The Easy Chikara Udon Recipe using Mochi Rice Cakes
Udon is one of the noodles that represent Japan, together with Ramen and Soba. When it comes to the variety, there are many variations of Udon made with various ingredients in Japan. Among those Udon dishes, what we Japanese eat especially during the winter months is “Chikara Udon (力うどん)”.
Chikara Udon (力うどん)
We usually call the Udon noodle soup with sticky plain “Mochi (餅)” rice cakes “Chikara Udon”, which is a seasonal noodle dish for the cold wither day. Not only do some restaurants in Japan offer the noodle dish in the winter, but we sometimes have it at home as well, because it is very easy for home cooks to make it.
The home cooks bake Mochi rice cakes (Amazon.com) while or before cooking Udon noodle soup and, as a final touch, put the baked Mochi on top of the Udon. Other than Mochi, the ingredients in Chikara Udon vary depending on each household, but we typically add chopped green onions to the Udon bowl.
The Origin of the Name “Chikara Udon (力うどん)”
When it comes to the origin of the name “Chikara Udon”, the Japanese word included in the name, “Chikara (力)” actually has a meaning of “power” and there are several theories on the reason why the Udon name includes the Japanese word meaning “power”.
If I give 2 examples of such theories, one reason is that it is believed in Japan that Mochi brings lucky power, while another is that the rice cake is so filling that it can give people power to act.
Chikara Udon Recipe
Regarding how to prepare Chikara Udon, there are 2 easy ways to enjoy the seasonal Japanese noodle dish.
(Note that Mochi rice cake is very sticky and chewy, so please be cautious not to choke on it.)
Instant Chikara Udon
|Maruchan Chikara Udon Instant Noodles, 109 g × 12 cups|
One is to buy the instant Udon and cook it. There are several kinds of Chikara udon instant noodle soups available in Japan, including the above one, a popular item from Maruchan.
Quick and Easy Chikara Udon Recipe
The other way is to make Chiakara Udon noodle soup using quick and easy recipes, so here I will introduce one from a popular Japanese recipe website, cookpad.com.
Image and Recipe : cookpad.com
|Dried Udon noodles (Amazon.com)||1 serving|
|Mochi rice cake (Amazon.com)||1 piece|
|Kamaboko fish paste (if any)||3 slices|
|Tororo Kombu (Amazon.com)||5 – 10g|
|Umeboshi plum (Amazon.com)||1 piece|
|Chopped green onions||A proper amount|
|Japanese soup base powder (Amazon.com)||2 teaspoons|
|Soy sauce||1 teaspoon|
|Sake rice wine||1 teaspoon|
|Mirin sweet cooking rice wine||1 teaspoon|
- Bake Mochi in a toaster until the rice cake becomes swelled and light brown
- Put water, Japanese soup base powder, soy sauce, Sake, Mirin, and salt in a pot and bring the mixture to the boil
- Boil dried Udon noodles in another pot
- Set the broth in a bowl, to which add the boiled Udon noodles
- As a final touch, put baked Mochi rice cake and the other toppings on the noodle soup
- Enjoy the Chikara Udon!