Noodle Broth (kake-Jiru)

First, let’s give it up for the photo, eh? I really liked the way this picture turned out, and it really captured the essence of the dish.

Noodle broth is so blessedly easy once you have the ingredients. Making dashi was far more difficult, and considering the ease in which that was made, it should tell you how easy this dish was. Finding Mirin may be a problem for some, but if you can find sweeter sakes (rather than sweetened sake) to use in mirin’s place, you should do okay.

The one question I had while making this dish was this: Do I cook the noodles in the broth? The answer is no, the noodles should be cooked before hand. According to Shizuo Tsuji, kake-jiru literally means “soup for pouring on”. Pre-cooked store noodles should work very well here, with the soup re-heating the noodles.

This recipe comes from Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art with the only alteration being the mushrooms and green onions, both of which worked exceptionally well.

  • 8 1/2 cups Dashi
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 3 Tbsps Dark Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tbsps Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsps sugar
  • 2 Tbsps mirin
  • 2 cups Shitaki Mushrooms (optional)
  • Chopped green onions
  • 14 oz. Udon Noodles (previously cooked)

Bring your dashi to a rolling boil, and add the salt, soy sauces, sugar, and mirin. Reduce heat and allow the broth the get to a simmer. The broth can sit on the stove all day if you desire. Add the mushrooms.

Place a serving of your noodles in a bowl. Pour the broth over the noodles, and top with the green onions.

Serves 4-6