Hi to everyone! It’s your favorite MANGA.TOKYO otaku writer Ayumi! I have to confess that I like to eat nabeyaki udon, a hot pot noodle soup dish, directly from a nabe (pot) while it’s piping hot! Do you remember the udon musical mob in Episode 6 of Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru? You might have been shocked at the sudden singing session. Well, I certainly was.
You might have wondered what ingredients are in the nabeyaki udon which Heshikiri Hasebe cooked wholeheartedly for Master, who was suffering from a cold. Today, I’ll show you what ingredients are in it and the restaurants where you can eat it, as well as the restaurants which serve nabeyaki udon that are collaborating with Touken Ranbu.
What is Nabeyaki Udon?
Udon is a thick, white, and chewy noodle, generally prepared by boiling the noodles on their own, then adding dashi stock broth. Nabeyaki udon, however, is cooked with every ingredient in a clay pot (nabe) together. It’s easy to cook and can be served piping hot. It’s a comfort food and makes you feel warm inside, so it is often cooked at home when someone has caught a cold.
You can buy frozen nabeyaki udon in convenience stores these days. It’s popular among single people who live alone. When they catch a cold, it’s easy to prepare.
What is in Nabeyaki Udon?
In restaurants, the basic ingredients of nabeyaki udon are:
Fish cakes (kamaboko)
Rice cakes (mochi)
It’s a hearty food with lots of ingredients, isn’t it?
The ingredients can vary depending on the areas and the restaurant, but those ingredients are the basics.
Above you can see the typical nabeyaki udon in a copper pot served in the udon restaurants in Kitayama, Kyoto. It’s fun to find different types of pots in different restaurants.
The nabeyaki udon that Hasebe cooked was his original recipe with an egg and kitsune. There are no rules for the ingredients in nabeyaki udon. You can add anything you want to it!
By the way, don’t get me wrong! He DID NOT use a kitsune (literally means a fox) for his recipe! Kitsune is deep-fried thinly sliced bean curd boiled in soy sauce and sugar stock. It’s called kitsune (a fox) because the fox messengers of the goddess Inari are said to like oily food. Kitsune is added to Hasebe’s nabeyaki udon because Nakigitsune, who has a fox companion, sang ‘Because there isn’t anybody who hates kitsune udon’. Please be aware that not all nabeyaki udon has kitsune in it when you order in restaurants.
Where can you eat Nabeyaki Udon?
Udon Restaurant Chains Often don’t Have It
Unfortunately, the restaurant chains, such as Nakau and Sukiya, don’t have nabeyaki udon on their menus. I guess it’s because nabeyaki udon takes more time and effort than other dishes.
Udon restaurant chains, such as Marugame Seimen and Hanamaru Udon, feature Sanuki-style udon, cold udon with broth, so they don’t have nabeyaki udon on their menus either.
Frozen nabeyaki udon
You can buy frozen nabeyaki udon at convenience stores and super markets. It only requires heating up on a hob and it tastes fine. I always buy one myself when I catch a cold, as you don’t need to use the rest of your energy for cooking. It’s really convenient and tasty!
Fumiya in Kyoto, Famous Nabeyaki Udon @Nishiki Market
Fumiya has been serving tasty udon at Nishiki Market in Kyoto for 70 years. Locals affectionately call the restaurant ‘Fumiya-san’. Their nabeyaki udon is excellent! I always finish the dish until the last drop of broth. It’s mild, but its flavour has depth and I love it! You can get their udon kits at super markets and department stores in Kyoto. As a Kyoto local, I always have their broth in my fridge. They have recently started making Baumkuchen, a German cake that’s very popular in Japan!
519 Kikuya-cho, Nishiki-koji Sakaimachi-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
* 1 minute walk to the north from the Baumkuchen shop Fumiya Kyoto where the main restaurants used to be.
Local Udon Restaurants
Udon restaurants that you can find in town usually have nabeyaki udon on their menus. Be aware that some restaurants don’t serve nabeyaki udon during summer. There are no rules and it really depends on the restaurant.
Although eating nabeyaki udon during summer can be refreshing, I recommend you eat it during the cold months. It makes you feel warm to the core. Run into one of the udon restaurants when it’s snowing and freezing! Most independent udon restaurants in town have nabeyaki udon on their menus. Be careful about burning your tongue, as it’s usually served boiling hot!
Collaboration Menus with Hasebe’s Udon
Hanamaru Udon, Animate Café, and Touken Saryo; these three restaurants served ‘Hasebe’s udon’, which is not 100% nabeyaki udon, but quite faithfully recreated.
This is ‘Hasebe’s Udon’ served at Hanamaru Udon.
Fans are talking about the receipts of Hanamaru Udon which have randomly printed lines of Hasebe. Rumour says that the staff at the Higashi Ikebukuro branch are especially funny with an anything-goes spirit.
For your information, Hanamaru Udon is serving Osomatsu-san collaboration udon from January 20, 2017. Check it out!
How to Make Udon?
Please have a look at our recipe for udon on MANGA.TOKYO. You can make your own udon noodles following this recipe, and then place your udon and ingredients of your choice in a pot. Add broth and boil them until cooked, and it’s done!
When you catch a cold next time, try cooking nabeyaki udon while imagining it was made by Hasebe. It’s delicious and nutritious. Add a good amount of grated ginger and you can get rid of the cold in no time! Check the rest of our Anime Recipes and my previous article in the Anime Food series: where to find Yuri’s Katsudon from Yuri!!! on ICE!
I'm a good-for-nothing otaku who works as a freelance web writer.
I live in Kyoto, Japan, but I am so often in Tokyo for anime-related cafes and products that people frequently misunderstood that I live there. Yowamushi Pedal helps me overcome all difficulties. I'm also a huge fan of Touken Ranbu! In order to deliver to you the latest otaku info and trends, I'll keep dwelling in the 2-D world. Thank you very much!