A great source of amusement :) and just (in my opinion at least) a Wonderful Thing (TM).

Udon soup is thick, filling japanese noodles put in this wonderful but unidentifiable broth. (ok, so it's apparently called tsuyu--thanks, gn0sis). One cannot really tell if the broth tastes like chicken or beef or what. The flavor is very very distinctive but impossible to name. The soup is often available with beef, chicken, or shrimp tempura in it. It usually also has chives and/or bok choi in it, as well as those weird little rubbery cakes of something that so often accompany japanese food. (ok, these have a real name too, apparently. kamaboko. Again thanks to gn0sis.)

It is eaten with chopsticks and a funky spoon that vaguely resembles the little plastic scoop thingies from laundry detergent boxes

This is where the amusement comes in. You are supposed to pick up the noodles with your chopsticks and put them in the spoon, then dip it in the bowl to get some of the broth. You might also want to put a piece of the meat in the spoon. Watching someone who is not good with chopsticks already eating udon is possibly one of the funniest things known to man

I feel like (as do all of my friends who have tried udon as well) that this food is one that should be entered in the comfort foods/soul food category, as it seems to nourish the spirit as well as the body. Other foods in this category include chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate.

update: 8-29: the packaged udon you can buy in the grocery store or in our case the Super Target is *not* udon as it is meant to be. That stuff is over glorified ramen and is actually pretty nasty. Be forewarned.

Mmmm...udon. Big fat white noodles that aren't too hard to find fresh or frozen at asian markets. Usually sold in square packages of tangled noodle. Generally, these noodles are associated with southern Japan, as opposed to soba, which is considered more northern.

To Cook: for fresh udon, drop in a pot of boiling water and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.drain, rinse, and set aside.
for dried udon, drop in a pot of boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, add a cup of cold water. Repeat the process until the noodle is cooked. drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.
for instant, pour boiling water over to cover and gently separate with chopsticks. drain, rinse in cold water and drain again.

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