Tempura Udon and the Quiz Results

Serves: 2
Approx cost: ~€5+
Approx calories (per serving): ~650
Approx preparation time:  45 minutes

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0B0B61;”]Merry Monday everyone, and welcome, first of all to the results of my little quiz from my One Year Anniversary in blogging post. The polls are in, the totals have been tallied and the numbers crunched. I was surprised that only 1 person got 100%, though a couple of questions were a little tricky. The people in the top 5 or so were actually really close – literally only a point separating the positions so if you weren’t successful on this occasion I hope at least you had some fun – I know I did, so a big thank you to all the people who entered! There can only be three winners however,  so it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners…

First of all, I’ve posted the results here so you can see where you might have gone wrong if you’re interested.

The winners though can be found in the little drop-down box below. Join me in offering them my congratulations and thank you again to everyone for taking part!

[learn_more caption=”Celebrating One Year In Blogging – Quiz Winners”]

  • Kristy, from Eat, Play, Love
    Kristy should also get extra recognition for being the only person to score 22 out of 22 correct (100%) in the quiz!
  • Sharing joint 2nd place is Kelly, from Inspired Edibles and A_Boleyn
    They both got an admirable score of 21 our of 22 correct (95%) in the quiz

– Thanks so much for taking part – I’ll be in touch with you shortly to talk about your prize.

– Everyone else – some of you came so close – better luck next time! :)

Anyway – on to the recipe! I’ve been putting off writing this post for a fortnight already, but it was darn tasty so I really want to get it out there. The problem is, as the circle of people I get to know through blogging grows, so too does the knowledge that I am exposed to. This is a dish I must have eaten a great many times, in various restaurants, but I know nothing at all about the ingredients really. This is my first time making it at home and it’s a hotchpotch of a whole load of recipes muddled together, so if any “pro tempura udon eaters” are out there reading this and find that I’m doing something completely wrong, please let me know – though please also be kind! :)

Tempura Udon

For the dish itself, I was actually surprised at how darn good it was – like, really good. As I’ve said – I’ve eaten it frequently in a large number of Japanese restaurants in Paris – I never thought I’d be able to recreate the experience so effectively at home, but in fact, for a first try, I was very, very pleased. The tempura wasn’t quite up to restaurant quality, but that’s just a case of finding the right recipe and the right technique –  in any event, it was still good. Crispy and tasty. I decided to batter shrimp and lotus root – hardly the cheapest of ingredients in this part of the world, but you can do it much more cheaply – Aubergine is fantastic when battered, as is courgette, or white fish. After reading a number of posts, including Sissi’s, from WithAGlass.com, post on her delicious looking Udon Soup here, I decided not to opt to make my own dashi stock, instead deciding to buy a bottle of the concentrated stock. Following the instructions on the back the dilution ratio was roughly 1 part stock to 8-9 parts water. I went for 1:8 in the end, which gave a delicious broth! For the tempura, I referred to Nami’s, from Just One Cookbook, tempura post here – she also links to a rather useful Youtube video showing some good tips on how to make great tempura! Enjoy your Mondays everyone :)

Ingredients

Tempura Udon ingredients

For the Soup

  • Enough Udon noodles for two people (~200g dried weight)
  • 2 Eggs (One per person)
  • Sliced, fresh Spring Onions (The green parts are prettier and tastier than just the white parts)
  • Squares, or thin slices of Nori (seaweed)
  • Concentrated dashi stock
  • Water (Enough to roughly half fill two bowls)
  • Shichimi chilli powder for sprinkling on top

For the Tempura – I doubled the original recipe because I had a lot of things to fry – feel free to halve this if just frying ~8 shrimps or so

  • 200g  Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt (increased from the original recipe)
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 400 ml water – place into the freezer until really cold
  • 3-4 tbsps Cornflour (Corn starch)
  • A whole heap of stuff to batter and fry – I used raw tiger shrimps and slices of lotus root

You’ll also need

  • Enough Vegetable Oil to half fill a pan, for deep-frying
  • 0.5 dl Sesame Oil

Instructions

  1. Start off by putting two eggs onto boil in a pan of water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Once they’re boiled, allow them to cool slightly before peeling, and cutting in half. Meanwhile though we’ll prepare your shrimps – remove the heads and peel, but leave the tails on, and de-vein them as well. At this point you may as well get out a saucepan and make up the soup stock – around 8 parts water to 1 part stock concentrate (or as per the bottle’s instructions if different). You’ll need enough liquid to fill two serving bowls to just above half-way when empty, so calculate accordingly. When the stock is made up, set aside for now, and pour the frying oil and the half decilitre of sesame oil and place onto the stove and begin to heat through. Keep an eye on the oil at all times while you make up the batter. Sieve the plain flour into a bowl and add in the baking powder and salt. Mix the egg yolks with the cold water and add in a couple of ice-cubes, to ensure the batter remains cold. Pour the egg/water mix into the flour mixture and stir around with a fork a few times – do not mix smooth. It’s important to leave some clumps of unbeaten flour.
    Making the tempura batter
  2. When the oil starts to get hot enough (you can test this by chucking in a cube of bread. It should start to sizzle violently if it’s ready) place the cornflour/starch (I think it’s the same thing) into a bowl and roll a few shrimps in the flour. Holding onto the shrimp tails, dunk them, one by one, into the batter a few times and then carefully lower them into the hot oil. I fried them in batches of 4 – too many at one go will lower the oil temperature and the results will not be as tasty! Fry for about 2-3 minutes, depending on the ingredient, oil etc. When the batter is just beginning to turn golden, remove and place on kitchen paper to drain. If you’re cooking a lot and not serving immediately you can place them in the oven at about 100 degrees Celsius to keep them crispy.
    Deep frying
  3. While you’re frying the shrimps, in another pan cook the noodles as per the instructions on the packet. My particularly variety needed to be plunged into boiling water and cooked for about 10 minutes until soft. When cooked through, remove from the heat and drain, and place the other pan with stock onto the hob and bring to just below boiling point. Share the drained noodles between two bowls split the hot stock between the two portions, pouring over each pile of noodles. Decorate with the slices or squares of nori seaweed, the boiled egg halves, the chopped spring onions and finally, the crowning glory, a few pieces of battered deliciousness – in my case, shrimp and wonderful, crunchy lotus root.
    Boiling the noodles
  4. Sprinkle over a bit of shichimi chilli powder to bring out the flavour and enjoy! Makes a great lunch or dinner on a cold day :)
    Tempura Udon

Comments

  1. says

    Wow your tempura udon looks extremely delicious! I am usually too lazy to make tempura just for udon, but your photo made me want to have tempura udon this week! I love lotus root tempura too. I guess I'm going to make the same thing this week….hehehe. Thanks for linking back to me!

    • says

      Thank you so much Nami – it means a lot, coming from you! I hope I could do your recipe justice, though I noticed a few areas I could improve in which I will try to do next time – trying to keep the batter even colder for example, and the oil a bit hotter still. I tried to incorporate the improvements into the recipe, but I definitely will be trying it again – it's just so light and crispy, and I was so pleased that I could get the same general flavour of soup as the restaurants I love so much in Paris – if I closed my eyes I could imagine I was there, but just much cheaper instead. I think my next undertaking is going to be ramen soup, but not the thin stuff that is common here, but the soup which has the thick, pork sediment in the bottom. I remember going to the ramen museum in Yokohama and eating so many bowls of ramen in one evening… it was so delicious!

  2. says

    Ramen museum! I live so close, maybe 20 mins away from there. =) I've been there last November and ate a couple of bowls. Arh I miss home. I make pork flavor ramen at home without using bones (easy version but tastes pretty good), but this fall/winter, I'm trying to make good shoyu ramen… hope I'll succeed. My husband likes thick oily ramen too.

    Tempura needs practice but it's hard to imitate just like restaurant's tempura as they use 3 kinds of oil and keep the temperature pretty stable. When you put ingredients in the oil, temperature will drop, so that's the hardest time you control the oil temperature. I usually go from a little higher temp and so when the temp dropped it's not too low. But it all depends on your ingredients, skills and equipment too. I'm not expert in tempura – my mom does it so easily and I still struggle.

    • says

      Aw, it was a long time since I went – I loved the experience. I love how they do "half bowls" too, so you can sample more types without filling up so fast! There is (or was at least) a restaurant in Paris called "Tokyo Lamen" which did really great ramen but I could never find the thick stuff (so, that stuff is called "shoyu", right?) – I'll definitely try it!

      By the way, in every noodle place where I had tempura, after some time, a lot of little tempura bubbles detached themselves from the shrimp itself and were floating around in the soup bowl – sometimes really prolific in number. I always wondered – is this a "desired result"… something which is looked for in good tempura, the fact that all these little pieces break off and float around, or is it just nothing special?

      • says

        Shoyu = soy sauce flavor. Thick oily soup is totally depends on ramen owner's preference. I like less oily ramen shop, while my brother and typically men likes thick oily soup I think. Yep half bowl is nice – because we pay for admission and still need to pay for a bowl of ramen!

        To me, I like tempura to be cripsy, not soggy, so I usually eat it quickly. We consider tenkasu (the crispy batter skin) gives nice flavor to the soup. So one udon menu called "Tanuki Udon" which ONLY contains this crispy batter (tenkasu) on top of udon. I don't like soggy texture, but it gives nice flavor. There is no "correct" way to eat it. But batter does make the soup a little more oily and adds flavor…

        • says

          Ah yeah – I remember seeing this one (Tanuki Udon) on the menu and always thinking – "Who would pay just for only a pile of "batter balls"" – I never knew it was an accepted style of serving. There's a whole mini "Japanese district" in Paris: not as big as Chinatown, but still there are a lot of different shops and restaurants there – okonomiyaki, udon/soba, yakiniku, and of course sushi. They're really popular, especially among Japanese ex-pats, but also with Japanese tourists, which I find hilarious, because why travel 8000 miles to France and then decide to go and have something like noodles? :D

  3. Nami says

    Lol but I need to eat Japanese or Asian food after 3 days of Western food! Totally "relieved" moment with a bowl of noodle soup. ;-). We need simple food once in a while. Hope to visit French version of Japan town one day! Good nite and have a good day to you! Nice chatting with u today. :-)

    • says

      Yeah – to be fair, I can understand it. When I was visiting my sister in China, after several days of eating Chinese-style food for breakfast, lunch and dinner I was so happy to find a McDonalds (Argh, I feel so ashamed! – I just needed something with potato and cheese and bread!)

      Nice chatting with you too – have a good night :)

  4. says

    CONGRATTTSSS to the winners! I'm so thrilled! I really enjoyed the quiz, but I can't remember what my answers were… Did I get the Louis question wrong?

    MMMMMM! This noodle recipe is looking great. Speaking of which, I'm off to have my very own Indonesian noodles for dinner! :D

  5. says

    Yay! Thank you so much Charles! I’m so excited. :) I’ll be back soon to write more…have to jet off to a meeting this a.m. and I have to admit I’m in a much better mood now. ;)

    • says

      Okay…so thank you again! I'm so excited Charles. That quiz was a ton of fun and a brilliant idea. Congrats to the other winners as well! :) And congrats on your one year anniversary. :)

      Now for your soup – it looks so beautiful. Truly. I don't think I've seen a soup with so many ingredients presented so beautifully. I think Miss A would really like this. She loves udon noodles, and we'll eat tempura anything. I think we still have some of the concentrated stuff for dashi stock too. Looks like I have yet another soup recipe for soup night. :)

      • says

        Thanks Kristy – I hope you're able to give this a try – it's a really good soup… reminds me of cold winter mornings, getting the train to the part of Paris where they have the noodles restaurants and enjoying a nice bowl! (Now I can recreate the effect at home, yay!).

        By the way – I sent you a mail with some information about your competition prize but it seems I keep getting failure messages whenever I try to send this mail… to everyone, not just you. Did you receive it?

  6. says

    Charles, this tempura udon looks extraordinary! I want the same now! Your tempura looks perfect for me! Of course I'm not Japanese, but I make tempura quite often and I realised the most important is taste. I know even many Japanese home cooks don't make tempura at home since it's so tricky. I really must start cooking lotus root.

    Thank you for linking to my blog and for the kind compliment. It's a pity you don't live closer: I have at least two litres of dashi I made yesterday, waiting in the fridge to be used. I would happily share it!

    Congratulations to the winners!

    Oh, by the way, a couple of days ago I was offered some pork bones at my butcher's (you cannot imagine my husband's reaction when I arrived saying "I was offered bones" ;-) ) and made some pork stock. I hope to make a ramen stock with this and I don't know what else… I shall experiment. Congratulations! Your udon is really amazing and so complex! You must have spent half day preparing it.

    • says

      Thank you Sissi! When we have tempura udon from the restaurants in Paris it seems like the shrimp they have are enormous! I don’t know where they can get such long shrimp tails! Lotus root is so delicious, and I just love how beautiful it is. I still have some left over so I might add some chilli flakes and spice it up a bit, serve it as an accompaniment. I think next time I will definitely try to make my own dashi. When I was in the Japanese supermarket recently though the only size bags of those bonito flakes were “XXXXXL” size, like, the size of a large bed pillow. Probably it’s designed to be used in a restaurant I think. I’ll try again when they have other sizes in stock. Did you butcher charge you for the pork bones in the end? I always find it funny – something like this which they would be happy to throw in the trash, but as soon as they find out there is a demand for them they’re all like “aaaaah, ok, €1 per kilo”, or something. Well, I must try to get some bones myself because I just love ramen. My next try after that will be Pho (I tried to do the special “o” but it just came up as a “?”, strange, even though my WordPress database is in UTF-8 format) – did you try that before? I have a huge weakness for this soup! Just need some beef bones for that!

      The Udon wasn’t so complex – the most difficult part was timing everything. I actually had to cook the noodles first, and then keep them in a cold water bath until ready for use, and just chuck them into boiling water again very quickly just before serving because otherwise I found it difficult to coordinate everything. It was really tasty though – I’m so happy with how it turned out!

      Tonight I’m having “queue de langoustine”, which apparently translates to crayfish tail, but in my experience crayfish are much smaller… bigger than shrimps, but much smaller than these tails, which are like small lobster tails. Definitely NOT Five Euro Food, haha, but I’m going to make a hollandaise sauce with it. If it’s successful I will post such a sauce later, because I read that it is one of the five “mother sauces” in French cuisine, and it might be a fun avenue to explore in my food preparation skills!

      • says

        Charles, thank you for the answer. It's so much fun talking to you on your blog! I start with crayfish: I have always thought it meant "écrevisse" (it even sounds similar) and langoustines are definitely bigger.

        I know I always complain about Switzerland (not much choice in shops, everything more expensive, bad butter, bad bread, which means I go shopping to France most of the time), but apart from the Japanese products (and exotic products in general) I have here an extraordinary supermarket for restaurants, where I buy my fish. It's very fresh (as much as it can be in Switzerland of course) and they have a huge choice of frozen shrimps, langoustines etc. Judging from the shrimps/prawns (I never know the difference) you have used here, I would buy them about 12 euros per kg of frozen raw ones. The huge shrimps for tempura are sold there too, frozen for 20 euros more or less, so it could apply for a 5 euro meal!

        It means of course going shopping to several places, in two countries, but if one wants to eat the best…

        My butcher gave me the bones for free. It was when I was buying some beef for braising. He asked if I wanted some bones for the stock and I asked for pork bones instead (with a big shy smile of course!). It was about 1 kg and he didn't charge me. I think in France being a regular client in small places like a butcher changes a lot… After some time you know you can make him order anything you want (in my family someone orders for example beef to be matured longer than for other clients! and of course it's for free). My butcher, at the very beginning, was saying he doesn't sell chicken wings separately (the French never buy them) and now he says he can order for me whenever I want. This kind of relations is something I particularly appreciate in France. I have also received several times some kind gestures at my baker's but it took time…

        • says

          You're lucky to have such a huge seafood market nearby. I usually need to rely on Auchan for my seafood needs. They have a large fresh fish counter, and several big sections of frozen and fresh, pre-packaged fish so I can usually find the things I need. I sometimes go to my local fish market on Sundays, but it is much smaller and has very little range compared to larger stores and markets.

          The langoustine tails I had last night were so good – I made a hollandaise sauce for the first time ever which was amazing, even if I added a little bit too much lemon juice – oops. I'm definitely going to make a post involving the sauce again, after I've had a chance to experiment a bit more with it!

          I'd love to be "friends" with my local butcher, but the problem is, I find them (not just them, but butchers I've experienced in France in general) so arrogant. They're more than happy to help if you want some magret de canard, filet de boeuf or some jambon, but if you ever start asking for things which are non-traditionally French (like the time I wanted to make pulled pork and cook the meat for 10 hours), they look at you like you're insane and a complete moron. I guess I've had bad luck, but as a result I try to just buy meat from a store as quickly as I can, instead of risking being laughed at by some "besserwisser" butcher. Of course, they know a great deal about meat, but to assume that the unfamiliar is bad or wrong just because they've never had it really annoys me :(

        • says

          It's like an upside down circumflex with a little accent coming out from the side – not sure how to make it either… there's probably a key combination to do it, like Alt+0246 makes "ö" and so forth…

  7. says

    Go Kristy! This looks wonderful and I have a boatload, OK, 20 pounds, of Louisiana shrimp waiting to be cooked. Made the broth and froze shrimp yesterday after driving back from New Orleans.

  8. says

    Yay me, Yay me, ooooops!! I mean Congratulations Kristy and A_Boleyn!!

    Charles, I trust you hired an independent accounting firm to triple check the results. Hee-hee… do you know the question that gave me the hardest time?! Little SAMMY – apparently, the most visible one of all!! I never thought to run my cursor over his image to get his name…. total guess. He’s so darn *cute* – we love cats (and dogs) – heck, we’ve just got a lot of love to give :0

    Thank you so much Charles for this opportunity – I’m totally thrilled and happy to celebrate your first year blogging anniversary with you!

    How cool are lotus roots anyway? I just love how they look in the tempura too and the shrimp… mmmm… it’s coming up to 2 pm here and I haven’t had time to eat lunch yet, if there was any possible way of sneaking even the slightest taste of this soup, it would make me so darn happy. What a hearty, fall delicious recipe Charles – you’re inspiring me to get organized for a tempura night!

    • says

      Thanks Kelly – you know, the plugin I was using to run the quiz was supposed to auto-grade the results, but it was a bit buggy… some peoples' results were showed out of 13 (total number of questions), others' were showed out of 22 (total number of available points)…. sigh :( In the end I had to manually copy/paste everyone's results into an Excel sheet and calculate it that way!

      You should totally have a tempura night – I think I'll try to do it myself again soon – it was SO good, and yeah, lotus roots are just incredible. I looked them up on Wikipedia – the way they grow is just incredible and so pretty.

      By the way, as I mentioned to Kristy above, I sent you a mail with some information about your competition prize but it seems I keep getting failure messages whenever I try to send this mail… to everyone, not just you. Did you receive it?

  9. says

    Congrats Kristy!! What a wonderful contest and I'm mad at myself that I was too busy to take part. I am definitely not happy right now lol. But I am so excited for Kristy.. she's the best! Congrats on your one year again.. your blog is definitely amazing. Plus.. I love this Tempura Udon recipe :)

  10. says

    Yay, congrats to Kristy, that's so exciting! Very impressive too, I might add. I'm so bummed I didn't join the contest either, dag nabit! Next time. Anyways, this dish sounds fabulous, Charles. Gorgeous colors. :)

    • says

      Thanks Caroline – I wish I'd taken a slightly more close-up shot of the soup itself… you can't see the noodles so well, but oh well! There's always next time to take part in the contest – I guess my next celebration will be my 200th post!

  11. says

    Congrats to my fellow winners and the other participants of the quiz. I THOUGHT I missed the number of Swedish dishes but as I am not familiar enough with blogs to use the Site Map feature I did it the brute force way and got the wrong answer … I think I guessed 5 instead of 7. :)

    I love the soup you've made. I don't tempura very much as part of my frying phobia so I can only admire the finished dish.

    One of my senior high school students recommended a very good local pho noodle restaurant but whenever I think of going there, my car seems to have a mind of its own and continues for another 2 blocks and into the 'all you an eat' sushi restaurant for lunch. I've been twice in the last week (consecutive Saturdays).

    You know you've got a sushi obsession when you decide NOT to buy the full size madeleine pan at the restaurant equipment store cause you'd rather spend the money on a dinner AYCE sushi visit. :)

    • says

      Hehe, well, you did well in any case! You should definitely try pho sometime, although it's only good when they serve it with Thai Basil, mint, and culantro (a bit like cilantro, but long, thicker leaves), lemon wedges and bean-sprouts. If they just serve the soup on its own it's usually not good at all! The udon soup was really good – it's too bad you have a bit of a frying phobia because it wasn't actually that hard to make – you just need to be sure to watch the pan all the time. It can be dangerous if you are careless. As long as you pay attention all the time there should be no problems! :)

      As I mentioned to Kelly and Kristy above, I sent you a mail with some information about your competition prize but it seems I keep getting failure messages whenever I try to send this mail… to everyone, not just you. Did you receive it?

      • says

        I did get the gmail you sent but not any previous ones and have replied.

        One of these days I'll try that noodle place, hopefully while it's still in business. :)

  12. says

    Gosh, the first picture of the tempura udon got me hooked! Are you sure it wasn't up to restaurant quality, or are you just being modest?:p

    I think that this beats some of the udon I have seen or tasted in the Japanese restaurants :)

    • says

      Haha, thanks Christy – it definitely wasn't quite up to restaurant quality. It was really tasty, don't get me wrong, but I'll need a bit more practice before I can call myself a tempura master! :)

  13. says

    One of my absolute favourite soups, Charles. In fact, whenever we go out to a Japanese place in the colder months, it is all I order. It looks time consuming to make, but I am sure it is well worth the effort. Yum, yum, yum.

  14. says

    Charles, you have really been unlucky. You must keep on looking. Strangely, the butchers my French family goes to are also very polite and accept all the "strange" demands I have when I go there sometimes while on holidays (and I'm not a regular client). Sorry that I insist, but the butchers in France are a real treasure (like bakers…).

    • says

      Replying to your comment below as well to mention something, but I'll reply here instead –

      Firstly – I shall try some more butchers… in fact, Auchan has a "butcher" counter, in addition to all its pre-packaged meat. I've heard on good authority that the meat sold here is really great, so I'll try that place perhaps.

      On your second point about the documentary – I often buy from larger stores because I can actually pick up the meat myself and squish it (through the plastic, obviously), I know they have a wide selection of organic, free-range things there… even pork, beef, horse etc. Not just chicken, and this isn't the case in many butchers I go to. I never got sick from eating meat from a butcher, so this particular concern is, I'm sure, unfounded, but I always see some flies hovering. They don't seem to have the blue-light fly-killers like they do in English butchers, at least not in all places. It's just the way they stack cooked meat products, next to raw meat products, next to trays of chocolate cake and sandwiches – this is something which seems very French: Having a big coiled up Boudin noir nestling neatly next to some sandwiches… it just seems so unhygienic. Ultimately, I think it's not half as harmful as law-makers in England would have us believe, but all the same… :(

      But anyway – I did broach the subject of getting bones from my butcher, I will admit – so maybe I can start forming a great relationship with him :D

  15. says

    By the way, I have seen a program on French tv about meat in supermarkets and meat at the butchers. They were comparing beef and it simply looked disgusting. They were talking to apparently an excellent butcher in XIVe. Do you ever go there? I will look for his name if you want. I'm not sure if you like him as a person, but he has an excellent choice of meats.

    • says

      I wonder if they sell minced lamb and pork (not the "chair de saucisse" stuff, either), and I'd love to find a place which sells Beef Tenderloin – I never seem to see that in France! I'll check this place out in the 14th – thanks Sissi :)

  16. says

    I am missing a lot of your post, and I think i missed with you my congratulation on completing a year of blogging :)

    I am huge fan of tempura .. the crispy crunch is just too yum and ur dish is filled with some nice flavor.

    • says

      Thanks Kankana – I totally agree – I love how sometimes the tempura can even stay crispy inside, even after sitting in the soup for sometime. It's definitely a good dish, although not as quick as some things I make so I might need to save this for weekends!

  17. says

    It certainly looks like a beautiful bowl of goodness, Charles. This is one recipe that I will have to take your word for as I would never be able to get the ingredients. There are a lot of rewards living in a small town in New England but there are drawbacks as well. I think I would get a very strange look if I asked for dashi stock at our market.

  18. says

    Charles, I missed out on the quiz! Congrats to the winners! maybe next time I'll give it a try :)

    I love ordering tempura and odon noodles at most Japanese restaurants in DC. But your homemade odon/tempura looks absolutely inviting. Comfort in a bowl? The creamy soup and especially your detail instructions on how to make Tempura and shout out to Nami(I love her blog as much as I do yours:))are convincing me to make it at home too.

    Yeah, glad you like my Greek Meze Menu…..time consuming, but well worth it!!

    • says

      Thanks Malli! I guess my next celebration will be my 200th post in the not too distant future, so that's something to look forward to :) You should definitely make this at home – it's really satisfying, both to make and eat. Mm… talking about it is putting me in the mood for it again this weekend :p

  19. says

    Ooh, tempura! Never make it, but love it. This looks scrummy. I could eat cardboard or styrofoam if done up as tempura! Have you and Nami seen the delightful film The Ramen Girl? We just watched it last week and loved it.

    • says

      Haha, tempura covered cardboard… Well, to be honest, if someone gave me a piece of tempura covered cardboard I'd probably be chomping on it to get all the delicious flavour of the tempura out!

      I've never seen The Ramen Girl – thanks for the tip, I'll look it up :)

  20. says

    Looks really great! I should try something like that at home, there are not many Japanese restaurants in Cork you know ) And every time I go to thai or Chinese restaurant I order something that I can't eat. In general the dish sounds good, but there is always some crazy ingredient that I just can't handle ))

    • says

      lol, well, there's nothing to funky in this. The only thing you might find weird is the soup stock. It's made with dried fish shavings (bonito) which some people find weird. I think they're great but all the same. I'm finally going to the Japanese store on the weekend. Want some of the soup stock and some udon noodles so you can try it yourself?

      • says

        Hmm I think we have udon noodles in the local Asian shop, so I can buy them there. Soup stock sounds scary, it might be one of the things that I can't really use. Dunno, I always order something that looks good on the paper, and there is always something that I hate (like ginger). Or it stares back at me from the plate and I can't eat it as well ))

    • says

      Hi Gourmantine – thanks so much for your kind comments! Luckily, noodle soup with some ingredients on top is the sort of dish which lends itself really well to being arranged. Cookies are another matter – I just can't take good photos of cookies :( Hope you have a chance to try this, it makes a great meal! Have a nice day :)

  21. says

    I love tempura udon soup, Charles, and I have it on a regular basis, I can't believe this is your first time making udon soup, it looks TOO GOOD ;-)!!! I usually use instant dashi powder for the stock because I am too lazy making the fresh homemade one. Adding a bit of mirin and soy sauce would also make the stock tastes even better IMHO. Making a good tempura is very very difficult, my results so far have always been quite erratic. I often resolve to make ebi fry instead nowadays because it's much easier to make, just like schnitzel :-) .

    • says

      Thanks so much! I went on Saturday to have tempura udon from a restaurant in Paris… I think I prefer my own stuff after that… their stock was *really* concentrated, VERY salty… not so fun! I still have much to learn about tempura. I am going to try again soon with just some vegetables, and make a dipping sauce like Nami did on her blog!

  22. says

    That looks sooo comforting! I am so in need of that right now (nah, not depressed). It's raining cats and dogs, dragons and tigers outside. How perfect this would be. Darn! I don't even have the ingredients to make them. Go out in the midst of the storm? Thank you, no. I'll just salivate on this.

    A japanese bloke once taught me the right way to eat a bowl of noodles … slurp as loudly as you can. No kidding! For the life of me, I just couldn't do it! Also because the noodles flip up and shower me with the soup. He says if it's not loud, it means it isn't delicious and I would offend the host.

    Love the bed pillow-sized bonito flakes! Seriously?

    • says

      Hehe, yeah – it’s true (so I heard as well when I went to Japan)… although maybe it’s a joke which the Japanese play on foreigners to make them eat noodles so loudly :D Nah… I went to a lot of little noodle places and everyone is schlurping up the noodles with a whole lot of noise. It’s great fun eating them that way because they can be quite noisy to eat. Trying to eat them “quietly” is just annoying!

  23. Chami says

    Very pretty decoration. One tip: adding katsuobushi (sliced fermented bonito) will enrich the flavour. It cost 3-5 euros ( yeah quiet expensive) per bag and would be found out easily in asian market. I just ate instatn udon before heading off to thanksgiving dinner cause your Udon made my mouth water!!!

  24. Charlie says

    Hello Charles:
    This is my first time to your site via Nammi. Isn’t she just a sweetheart?!

    This dish sounds awesome.
    I’ll give you a hint for your tempura.

    Try substituting sparkling water for plain, it really makes a difference.

    I have subscribed to your blog.
    Charlie

    • says

      Thanks Charlie – I’ll try sparkling water next time, thanks for the great tip!
      Thanks for dropping by today – hope you enjoyed looking around :)

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