Shrimp tempura udon is a classic Japanese dish made with chewy udon noodles in a tasty dashi broth topped with delicious shrimp tempura, spring onion and kamaboko (Japanese fish cakes). It's one of the most popular noodle dishes in Japan!
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Shrimp Tempura Udon
Shrimp tempura udon is a simply a hot udon soup dish served with shrimp tempura. We often call it "ebiten udon" (海老天うどん). The shrimp tempura is most commonly served on top of the noodles, allowing the batter to absorb the delicious flavour of the soup.
Without a doubt, shrimp is by far the most popular kind of tempura in Japan. On Ranking.net, shrimp is ranked first out of 60 other ingredients.
Shrimp is king of tempura, and this dish is king of hot udon soup dishes.
What is udon?
Udon noodles are made by kneading flour with water and processing it into noodles. They come in a range of thicknesses and are popular for their firm and chewy texture.
Udon has a longer history than it's cousin soba (buckwheat noodles) and is Japanese people's longest-loved noodle.
Other popular udon dishes
The beauty of udon lies in the fact that it is smooth and easy to eat. Its mild flavour also makes it extremely versatile and you can make a lot of different dishes with it.
If you're interested in udon dishes, check out some of my other recipes:
It is believed Portuguese missionaries introduced tempura and deep frying as a cooking method to Japan around the 16th century. In turn, tempura followed its own path in Japanese culture.
As I mentioned earlier, shrimp is the most popular ingredient in tempura and widely prepared in homes and restaurants throughout Japan.
In addition to being eaten on its own, prawn tempura is also used in noodle dishes such as soba and udon, and also rice dishes like tendon (tempura bowls) and tenmusu (tempura shrimp onigiri riceball).
You can check all the detailed information including what kind of shrimps to use, how to prepare them and tips on how to make the perfect shrimp tempura on my post, "how to make Japanese shrimp tempura".
Tips for making great shrimp tempura
There are a few tricks to making delicious shrimp tempura every time. If you follow my advice, you'll be making restaurant quality shrimp tempura in no time!
- Wash the shrimps with salt and cornstarch. (See how here)
- Remove the shells and veins but leave the tail intact for presentation.
- Make diagonal incisions on the belly that go halfway through the prawn. This will break the muscle and stop your shrimps from curling when deep fried.
- Coat the shrimps in a thin layer of flour to help the batter stick.
- Sift the flour for the batter.
- Use ice cold water.
- Mix starch with the flour (potato starch or corn starch).
- Use sparkling water (or lager beer even) to make it light.
- Do not over mix (Leaving lumps is actually better than smooth batter).
- Fry in oil with a high smoke point at 180-190°C (355-375°F).
In this recipe, I use the same soup as I used in my kake udon recipe. It consists of:
This udon sauce is a base for many udon noodle recipes so it's definitely worth perfecting!
Toppings to consider
I keep this shrimp tempura udon simple in order to let the shrimp tempura shine. I only add the 3 following extra ingredients:
- Chopped spring onions
- Tenkasu (tempura flakes)
However, if you want to make it more filling or add other elements of flavour, you can also consider these below as toppings:
- Wakame (seaweed)
- Grated daikon
- Shiitake mushroom
- Other types of tempura
- Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
- Aburaage (kitsune)
Have fun customising this classic Japanese noodle dish and enjoy the recipe!Print