This vegan udon soup is possibly one of the easiest Japanese dishes you can make. Even though the recipe is simple, it’s still pretty tasty! The key to making this hot, soupy dish an umami success is really in the aburaage (recipe) and dashi (recipe). Without the aburaage, the dish lacks depth. Without the dashi, your broth will just taste like soy sauce and water. Both are important, so I suggest not to omit either.
This recipe is quite forgiving and dare I say, fail-proof. You can easily adjust the measurements as you go along if you need to. Needless to say, it also adheres to the “cheap, fast, and easy” motto of this blog.
I am a big lover of Japanese cuisine – sushi, yakitori and tempura are some of my favourites to name a few. These dishes require a decent amount of effort and skill, especially sushi. On the other hand, this udon soup requires minimal effort and skill. I kid you not. The only thing easier than this is probably miso soup.
If you are craving something that isn’t rich and greasy – this is it. If you are busy and you don’t want to cook up a storm – this is it. If you don’t have much money like me and can’t afford to eat at a Japanese restaurant all the time – this is for you.
This dish is open to variations too. You can add some vegetables, preferably leafy ones like spinach. You can also replace the noodles with soba, or something gluten-free, such as rice or kelp noodles. This basic recipe is what I usually make though, simply because it is the easiest version possible.
I know, I’m lazy just like that.
Side note: I have recipes for both the seasoned aburaage and dashi, but you can also buy them from the store. Just note that the dashi will be in powder form – just reconstitute them according the the packaging directions. However, as with many store-bought things, there may be the occasional MSG and strange chemicals. Also, dashi can be a little tricky for vegans/vegetarians, because it typically contains bonito flakes (fish). So I would still recommend making them from scratch since it is really easy to do so!
Vegan + No Onion No Garlic
Vegan Udon Soup With Aburaage
If you are using fresh udon from a packet (usually vacuum-packed), boil the udon in plain water first to loosen the noodles. It should already be cooked so just a minute or two in boiling water is sufficient. Drain it and set it aside. You can skip this step if you are using dried udon.
Combine the soy sauce, mirin, brown rice syrup and dashi in a pot and bring it to a boil.
If using dried udon, put in the dried udon and mushrooms and leave it in until it's cooked. If using vacuum-packed udon, put in the mushrooms first and when it is cooked, put in the udon (the udon is already cooked).
Pour it into two serving bowls and top it off with an aburaage square each.