This Spicy Udon Noodle Soup is a quick and simple Japanese-style comfort food made with thick and chewy udon noodles and loads of veggies in a spicy and well-seasoned broth. Topped with green onions and nori flakes to amp that umami flavor up a notch! It's all made in one pot and takes 35 minutes to make.
What is in this Spicy Udon Noodle soup?
Noodles are known to be a staple in Japanese cuisine. One of the well-known ones aside from ramen and soba is udon. Made from wheat flour, it is the thickest noodle in the line-up and is known for its springy and slippery texture and its versatility.
Cooked in its simplest soup form, it is called Kake udon. It is traditionally made with dashi, a Japanese stock base. This version uses vegetable broth instead which is just as delicious! Aside from Udon noodles, you will also need:
- Vegetables - This recipe uses yellow onions, celery, carrots, garlic, Napa or green cabbage, Bunashumeji, or Enoki mushrooms. It is quite a flexible dish though so feel free to add some of your favorite veggies too.
- Soup base - Vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved in water. Good quality, low-sodium cubes will add tons of amazing flavors to the dish. You can use regular broth if you don't have cubes.
- Flavoring - a dash of Sriracha sauce and a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper gives the dish a hint of spiciness that makes it even more appetizing! Add less or more, depending on how much spiciness you can tolerate.
- Toppings - Green onions and Sushi nori (toasted seaweed) give the dish a finishing and distinct Asian flavor that rounds up the whole dish nicely!
- Oil - Canola or any vegetable-based oil will do.
Ingredient tip: Adding protein in the form of some diced extra firm tofu will make the soup more substantial and filling.
How to make it
* This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
- Sauté all the vegetables except the cabbage in a large pot using medium-high heat until the onions turn translucent. Pour the water and bring it to a boil.
- Add the bouillon cubes, cabbage, and noodles and cook following package instructions.
- Remove from heat then add sriracha and ground pepper.
Can I use fresh or frozen Udon Noodles?
If you luckily come across fresh or frozen udon noodles, then you can definitely use them. Fresh or even frozen ones have better texture; they are springier and more elastic! Take note that they take less cooking time compared to dry noodles. Always check on package instructions before cooking.
Can I make it gluten-free?
All ingredients are naturally gluten-free except, unfortunately, for the udon noodles. If you want to try this out though, there are gluten-free brands made with brown rice flour that you can use. As an alternative, you can try using soba noodles made from buckwheat. The appearance and texture will not be the same but still delicious.
It’s always best to consume it hot after cooking. The noodles will really absorb the liquid once it cools down. For any leftovers, you can place them in a tightly covered container and keep them in your fridge for 2-3 days. You can reheat it in a microwave or stovetop. You may have to add more broth with the reheat.
More Soup Recipes to Enjoy:
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Spicy Udon Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small yellow onion , diced
- 2 ribs celery , sliced
- 1 large carrot , julienned or diced
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 cup bunashimeji or enoki mushrooms long, skinny mushrooms (optional)
- 9 cups water
- 3 cubes vegetable bouillon
- 2 ½ cups shredded napa or green cabbage
- 12 ounces dry udon noodles
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- Ground black pepper , to taste
- 2 green onions sliced, for garnish (optional)
- ½ sheet sushi nori toasted seaweed, finely sliced, for garnish (optional)
- In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the canola oil. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and mushrooms (if using), and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender and translucent.
- Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Add bouillon cubes, cabbage, and noodles, and cook for the amount of time suggested on the package.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the Sriracha sauce and pepper.
- Divide the soup among single-serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of green onions and finely sliced sushi nori (if using them).
Useful Tools To make This Recipe
- I used avocado oil instead of canola, but you can use any cooking oil you prefer.
- This is relatively spicy with the sriracha. To reduce the heat, use less or omit altogether. You can always add more after serving.
- If you don't have sriracha, you can add a ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes when you sauté the veggies.
- For a lower-sodium option, choose low-sodium bouillon cubes or broth.