There's nothing like a bowl of udon noodles in hot soup to bring comfort in cold weather. This one is flavored with blocks of readymade Japanese curry, soy sauce, and scallions. Sure, you could just go out and get some Curry Udon, but once you try this recipe, you'll see how easy it is just to make it at home.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 large onion, sliced
1/2 pound your choice of meat or seafood, cut into small pieces
3 cups dashi stock*
1 tablespoon sake
2 blocks readymade Japanese curry roux, such as S&B Golden Curry
Two 9-ounce packages udon
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt, to taste
1 scallion, chopped finely
Ito togarashi (red chile pepper threads) (optional)
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Add your choice of meat or seafood to the pan and increase the heat to high. Stir-fry until the meat or seafood is almost cooked through.
Add the dashi stock and sake to the pan and bring to a boil. Then, skim off the scum and fat from the stock. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the curry roux. Using chopsticks or a wooden spoon, dissolve the roux completely. Heat the curry over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir once in a while so the curry will not get burnt on the bottom.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the udon for 2-3 minutes and drain well. Add the soy sauce and season with salt, to taste. Serve in a bowl and pour the curry over. Top with the scallion and ito togarashi, if using.
*Note: Powdered dashi packets are available at Japanese markets and are the easiest way to make dashi stock. All you need is boiling water and you'll have dashi stock in a few minutes.