If you’re anything like me, you’re probably always on the lookout for simple, easy to prepare meals that your whole family will love. That’s why I’m here to tell what you can serve with udon noodles, to make your meal an absolute hit!
This list of side dishes comes from my experience living in Japan. Japan is a different world when it comes to food, there are many things you can eat there that might seem strange or undesirable at first glance.
However, if there is one thing I learned over the years living over there, it is that you can’t judge a food by its looks! Many of these dishes are absolutely delicious once you try them!
So I want to ensure that you give each one of these dishes a fair chance before deciding for yourself whether or not it is worth it!
So, without further ado, here are the 10 best side dishes to serve with udon noodles!
What To Serve with Udon Noodles: 8 Best Side Dishes
Before I begin listing all of these delicious side dishes, keep in mind that any of these can be used to accompany any style of noodles, so don’t obsess over whether or not they would go well with udon!
You can serve these with ramen, Soba noodles, spaghetti or any other kind of noodle dish if you want to!
1. Nukazuke (pickled vegetables)
First on our list of side dishes to serve with udon noodles is nukazuke! Nukazuke is a traditional Japanese dish where vegetables are pickled in black vinegar, brine, rice bran and other seasonings.
The end result is a very sour but crunchy side dish that is delicious with udon noodles.
One of the most popular pickled vegetables to make nukazuke is called shibazuke. It is made of sliced cucumbers, eggplants and radishes in a sweet vinegar marinade.
2. Yaki-Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls)
Yaki-onigiri is another popular dish to serve with udon noodles. They are basically rice balls that are grilled to perfection and seasoned with soy sauce.
Think of it like Japanese arancini – you can fill them with all kinds of fillings, from tuna to curry!
3. Chirashizushi (Scattered Sushi)
I know what you’re probably thinking: how can sushi be a side dish?
Well, I wanted to include Chirashizushi on this list of side dishes to serve with udon noodles because this is exactly how you would eat it in Japan.
Chirashizushi is a single serving of rice with different toppings scattered on top. It usually contains things like sashimi, vegetables and egg.
Since it’s single-serving sized, this makes it perfect to serve as a side dish – in fact that’s probably the best way to eat it!
4. Gomoku Soba (Five-Ingredient Udon Noodles)
Gomoku soba is a simple but incredibly tasty udon noodle dish. All it contains is 5 ingredients: udon noodles, dried shiitake mushrooms, konbu (seaweed), sesame seeds and green onions.
The taste is incredibly earthy and savory – it goes really well with a bowl of rice!
5. Tempura (Japanese Fried Food)
Tempura is the Japanese version of fried food.
Whenever I go out to eat udon noodles with friends, we always have a portion of tempura on the side.
Tempura tends to be a shared dish so everyone can try it at the same time. It is usually a mix of vegetables and seafood in a light batter.
6. Shinko Temaki (Pickled Radish Hand Rolls)
Although it may not look like much, you really need to try shinko temaki before making an opinion on this dish.
Shinko temaki is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of pickled radish wrapped in nori (dried seaweed) and rice. It is then rolled into a cone shape and served with soy sauce.
This may not sound like your kind of dish but it seriously tastes amazing!
7. Aemono (Various Mixed Veggies)
Aemono is a traditional Japanese dish where different types of vegetables are cut up and cooked together.
There are many types of aemono dishes and you can find everything from daikon radish to cucumbers added in.
I think that one of the best side dishes to serve with udon noodles is aemono; it’s quick and easy to make, doesn’t take up much space and it tastes amazing.
8. Natto (Fermented Soybeans)
Although some people might not like the idea of eating natto, this dish is definitely popular in Japan.
Natto is a type of fermented soybeans that has an incredibly strong smell and sticky texture to it.
It’s also very healthy and contains a lot of vitamins, which makes it perfect to serve as a side dish.
You can find natto served in all kinds of Japanese dishes, from udon noodles to rice ball sushi.
What Meat Goes with Udon Noodles?
Picking the right meat to serve with udon noodles is very important! Some people may say that you can serve basically any meat dish as long as it has a strong flavor.
However, I would argue that this is not true! You do need to think about what flavor you are trying to go for when picking the meat to serve with your udon noodles.
For instance, if you are serving a rich and creamy broth then it would be best to serve something light and lean with it.
This way, the combination of flavors won’t become overwhelming or clash with one another.
Typically most people serve chicken as the meat for udon noodles, but you could also try pork or beef as well.
What Soup Goes with Udon Noodles?
The most common soup to serve with udon noodles is a simple dashi broth.
It’s usually made of konbu (seaweed), shiitake mushrooms and bonito (fish flakes).
Although this is generally the way that most people make it, you can also try other varieties of soup!
For instance, you could make a simple soy sauce-based broth (dashi) and add miso to it. This will give it a very rich and thick flavor that will go well with the noodles.
You could also try making a hot pot! It may sound strange, but a hot pot can be very easy to make with udon noodles.
All you have to do is cook a variety of vegetables and meat in a deep bowl, and pour a dashi broth on top to serve!
These are just some examples of different soups that you could try with your udon noodles.
What Sauce Goes with Udon Noodles?
A fantastic sauce to serve with udon noodles is a ponzu sauce.
Ponzu sauce is made of soy sauce, mirin (sweet sake), citrus juice and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).
It tends to be very light and refreshing; it also has a very complex flavor.
What Vegetables Go with Udon Noodles?
If you want to keep it simple, you really only need to serve 2 different vegetables; corn and bean sprouts.
The reason why I recommend corn and bean sprouts is because they both compliment the udon noodles really well.
This means that you can serve them stir-fried or raw, and they will compliment the dish.
It isn’t necessary to cook your vegetables with udon noodles, but I would recommend that you include them if you are planning to serve tempura or Shinko temaki.
So, as you can see, you can serve a wide variety of side dishes with udon noodles!
I hope that this article gave you some inspiration and ideas on how to serve great side dishes with udon noodles.
Thank you for reading and good luck!
What To Serve with Udon Noodles: 8 Best Side Dishes
- Nukazuke (pickled vegetables)
- Yaki-Onigiri (Grilled Rice Balls)
- Chirashizushi (Scattered Sushi)
- Gomoku Soba
- Tempura (Japanese Fried Food)
- Shinko Temaki (Pickled Radish Hand Rolls)
- Aemono (Various Mixed Veggies)
- Natto (Fermented Soybeans)
- Pick any of these tasty side dishes to go with your Udon Noodles!
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Enjoy your meal in no time!
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.