Udon Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms in Ginger Broth

Photo: Richard Gerhard Jung

This udon noodle soup is easy to make and so adaptable. The basic recipe creates a deeply flavored ginger-soy sauce-chicken broth with udon noodles and vegetables. Add diced firm tofu or cooked chicken to the simmering broth to make it a heartier soup. And, if you don't have soft and chewy udon noodles, you can substititure soba noodles—or ramen or even a long pasta like spaghetti.


  • 8 ounces Japanese udon or soba noodles

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh ginger (1 ½-inch piece)

  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced

  • ¼ pound (about 12) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps wiped clean and quartered

  • 2 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock

  • 1 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

  • 3 cups (about 3 ounces) spinach, tough stems discarded, rinsed well, drained, and cut into 2-inch-wide strips

  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally into 2-inch pieces


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles, and cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, toss with sesame oil, and return to pot. Keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add ginger, shallots, and mushrooms; cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to soften and turn golden brown, about 2 minutes.

  3. Stir chicken stock, vinegar, and soy sauce into pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook until mushrooms are very tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and scallions, and stir to combine. To serve, divide noodles among four shallow bowls; ladle soup over noodles.

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