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)

Chikara Udon with Mochi

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
Amazon.co.jp

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

The quick and easy Chikara Udon recipe (1 serving)
Ingredient Quantity
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
Water 250 cc
Japanese soup base powder (Amazon.com) 2 teaspoons
Soy sauce 1 teaspoon
Sake rice wine 1 teaspoon
Mirin sweet cooking rice wine 1 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
  1. Bake Mochi in a toaster until the rice cake becomes swelled and light brown
  2. Put water, Japanese soup base powder, soy sauce, Sake, Mirin, and salt in a pot and bring the mixture to the boil
  3. Boil dried Udon noodles in another pot
  4. Set the broth in a bowl, to which add the boiled Udon noodles
  5. As a final touch, put baked Mochi rice cake and the other toppings on the noodle soup
  6. Enjoy the Chikara Udon!

Tomo

Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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