Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon vs Maruchan Akai Kitsune Udon
When it comes to instant Udon noodles, Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon and Maruchan Akai Kitsune Udon have a large share in the market and have long been loved by people in Japan.
What is Kitsune Udon (きつねうどん)?
“Kitsune Udon (きつねうどん)” is one of the most common Japanese Udon dishes consisting of a bowl of Udon noodle soup topped with “Aburaage (油揚げ)” deep-fried tofu.
The broth is typically made with dark soy sauce and Katsuobushi dried bonito flakes, and the deep-fried bean curd is seasoned with sugar, soy sauce, and Mirin sweet cooking rice wine.
In the name, “Kitsune (きつね)” literally means “fox” in Japanese. The reason why the animal name is included in the Udon name is that in Japan it is believed that the fox likes Aburaage very much.
Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon vs Maruchan Akai Kitsune Udon Instant Noodles
Actually, this time I bought both the instant Udon noodles, “Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon (日清 どん兵衛きつねうどん)” and “Maruchan Akai Kitsune Udon (マルちゃん 赤いきつねどん)” for comparison.
The former was introduced into the market by Nissin in 1976, while the latter was put on sale by Toyo Suisan in 1978. By the way, Maruchan is a flagship instant noodle brand of Toyo Suisan.
Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon and Maruchan Akai Kitsune have almost the same contents; a dried Udon noodle block, a large piece of Aburaage deep-fried bean curd, and a flavor packet in the bowl.
Each flavor packet consists of 2 parts: one contains the Shichimi Togarashi 7 spice blend and the other contains soup base powder. Both Aburaage have a square shape and look like the same thing.
There is no difference in cooking between Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon and Maruchan Akai Kitsune instant noodles.
First, peel back the paper lid about halfway and take the packet out from the bowl. Then, put only the soup base powder in the container.
Pour boiling water into the bowl until it reaches the line indicated inside.
Close the lid and let the noodles sit and cook for 5 minutes.
5 minutes later, remove the top paper lid and sprinkle the Shichimi Togarashi spice mix over the noodle soup according to your preference.
Unlike the Udon served in the restaurant, these wheat noodles are both flat like Nagoya’s Kishimen noodles. But as far as Japanese instant Udon noodles go, that’s usual.
I prefer the Maruchan’s noodle, which is a little bouncier than that of Donbei.
Both are Dashi-rich broths but have different features. The Maruchan’s broth is somewhat intenser in soy sauce flavor, while the Donbei’s broth has a sweeter and milder taste.
Both Aburaage absorb the broth very well and taste very good.
The main toppings in Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon are small thin slices of Kamaboko fish paste and the Aburaage.
On the other hand, the main toppings in Maruchan Akai Kitsune Udon are small thin slices of Kamaboko fish paste, fluffy egg bits, and the Aburaage.
According to the ingredient list, the soup base of Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon consists of salt, powdered soy sauce, sugars, seafood seasoning, fish powder, and green onions.
On the other hand, the soup base of Maruchan Akai Kitsune Udon consists of salt, soy sauce, seafood extract, protein hydrolyzate, kombu (kelp) seaweed powder, green onions, sugar, vegetable oil.
Nissin Donbei Kitsune Udon has 420 kcal and contains 5.1 g salt equivalents per one serving (96 grams) (Noodles and Toppings 1.6 g, Broth 3.5 g).
Meanwhile, Maruchan Akai Kitsune Udon has 432 kcal and contains 6.6 g salt equivalents per one serving (96 grams) (Noodles and Toppings 2.8 g, Broth 3.8 g).