Eliminating all animal-derived foods and nutrients from your diet may sound like a walk in the park, but the reality is precisely the opposite. You must always be cautious about the contents of anything you pick for the first time. The same goes for udon noodles.
In case you’re wondering, then yes! Udon noodles are vegan. They are wheat flour-based and thicker than your usual noodles. So, the ingredients are solely water mixed into wheat flour, and that’s all.
However, if you’re at a restaurant and about to order udon, give it a moment. The golden rule of thumb for any vegan is to double-check the ingredients to be entirely sure of what you’re having.
Let’s dive deeper in case you’re still whispering this to yourself: Are udon noodles vegan?
The benefit of the doubt is quite sure here, as udon noodles are one such typical Japanese variation of cooked noodles that may include both vegan and non-vegan ingredients.
Udon noodles are soft, tasty, and a bit chewy. So there’s nothing wrong with it. The situation gets dicey when you cook it and put the add-ons in the cooking process.
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Udon Noodles: The Origin
Udon is a popular Japanese noodle dish in various shapes and sizes. It’s prevalent in Korean and Palauan cuisines. It is strongly believed to have originated in China. They first came to Japan during the Tang dynasty (618–907 CE).
Udon noodles are served hot as noodle soup or as an accompaniment to various vegan and non-vegan foods. These sticky, thick, and sweet noodles are ideal for soaking up any flavorful sauce you throw at them.
Dried udon noodles are pretty comparable to fettuccine in form and size. Freshly cooked udon is pleasantly plump and soft. Their smooth texture feel makes them versatile and flexible in all forms of noodle cooking.
What Makes Udon Noodles Vegan?
It all boils down to the fact that they are egg-free. Udon noodles are one of the few Japanese noodles kinds that do not include eggs. The addition of eggs is probably the only difference between noodles and pasta.
Udon noodles are not allowed to include eggs, even though eggless pasta variations are famous as pasta only and not noodles. Due to this, udon noodles are often labeled as “fake noodles” in most Western countries.
But this will never eliminate the possibility of udon being purchased from a local store or ordered from a restaurant having eggs in it. It is always a good idea to read the food label before buying. When in a restaurant, try to know about the add-ons in the udon dish.
Throughout the culinary culture worldwide, eggs are often used as binders. The egg proteins thoroughly combine with the other components in the dough or batter. It helps to blend all the ingredients perfectly and bring them to an even consistency.
Udon noodles do not require eggs since wheat flour contains enough gluten to act as a binder. A golden tint that distinguishes specific varieties of noodles comes primarily from the yolk component of eggs. Some noodles include carotenoids which are plant-based vitamin A hues.
So if you buy a pack of udon noodles, never forget to check the ingredients. It is usual for food manufacturers to prepare udon noodle broths using both plant-based and animal-derived ingredients.
You can prepare udon in a variety of different forms. They’re typically served hot as noodle soup. But the lesser-known fact is that you can also use it as a cold dip.
Kake udon is something that vegans must strictly avoid. It comes with a soup called kakejiru. Dashi, soy sauce, and mirin make the soup. Generally, fish stock is used to make dashi.
A vegan should be conscious of the various non-vegan dietary components too. Their derivatives may find their way onto your plate if you aren’t fully aware of what you’re consuming.
Some Vegan-Friendly Udon Variations
On the brighter side, miso nikomi udon is a satisfying and vegan-friendly udon stew. The key ingredients include udon noodles, veggies, and miso soup. Curry udon is another choice for vegans to enjoy. It comes in a roux, a vegan certified Japanese curry sauce.
Best Choices for Vegan Udon Noodles
● Whole wheat udon is a type of udon that is available in natural grocery stores. They are unquestionably healthier, yet their flavor is akin to soba more than the traditional thick Asian noodles.
● Dried udon comes in 8-ounce cellophane-wrapped containers, and you can cook it like any other noodles in lots of water that heats rapidly.
To achieve an extra chewy texture, cook them for about 5 to 7 minutes. Some recipes recommend washing them briefly after draining them to remove some of the starch.
● Fresh udon is plumper and more spherical than dried udon. It comes in sealed containers varying in size from 12 to 16 ounces (or more).
After you’ve purchased them, store them in the fridge and keep a close eye on the best-used-by period.
There is no doubt that udon noodles are considered vegan. However, animal-derived components may find their way into your food- something to be cautious of! So here, we’ve compiled a list of the recognized udon delicacies that are 100% safe to consume.
Myojo Udon Soup
These famous Japanese-style pre-cooked noodles are a delicious vegan alternative. The soup contains enriched wheat flour, salt, water, lactic acid, and natural flavors.
While many people think of these noodles as vegan, they contain lactic acid and natural flavors. Lactic acid usually comes directly from animals. It is also derived from bacteria in specific situations.
Vegans should avoid natural flavors because they have animal sources rather than fruit or vegetable, the taste of which they are attempting to replicate.
KA-ME Udon Stir Fry Noodles
Water, lactic acid, wheat flour, and tapioca flour are the only ingredients in these noodles.
Lactic acid from livestock is commonly present in food. Even yet, the lactic acid in these noodles comes from microorganisms that produce lactic acid.
Health Benefits of Udon Noodles
For starters, udon noodles are good for your gut. They are simple to digest. A steaming bowl of Udon noodles in a savory sauce is a perfect dish on hand when you’re feeling under the weather.
They also contain complex carbs, which aid in weight loss while lowering the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The high fiber content of udon noodles minimizes colorectal cancer, and the high quantity of vitamin B in the noodles keeps you energetic. Thiamine and niacin, two other vitamins and minerals found in udon noodles, are essential for decreasing stress and boosting circulation.
In most instances, their carbohydrate level is as high as 65 grams per serving. It is best to prevent your body from changing to fat burning.
So, the next time you find udon noodles in a restaurant or the store, grab a dish and have a tasty, healthy meal!
The following is a list of the nutritional content of udon noodles per serving:
● Calories per serving: 160kcal
● 1g total fat
● 0g saturated fat
● 0mg cholesterol
● 0mg sodium
● 65g carbohydrates
● 2g dietary fiber
● 0g sugar
● 28g protein
Udon noodles are low in nutritional content. It’s vital to mix them with items that can compensate for the inadequacies. The complete dish will provide a happy, vegan, and well-balanced diet.
Tasty Udon Recipes You Should Try
Fresh udon noodles in a simple dashi broth make up Kake udon, a traditional Japanese noodle meal. You can add ginger, mirin, soy sauce for extra taste, and shichimi togarashi (a spice blend) for a kick.
Udon Noodle Salad Jars
Udon noodle salad jars contain chewy udon noodles, crisp vegetables, and a creamy tahini dressing.
It will make your mouth water even before you bite in. It is a fantastic and straightforward lunch to bring for work, school, or even a picnic.
Udon Noodle Soup
Udon noodle soup is perfect for autumn. It is a lovely comfort meal, thick and robust, yet slippery and melting.
Despite a widespread belief that udon noodles are heavy in calories, a medium serving of this soup is incredibly nutritious. You can use dry sherry if you can’t obtain mirin (a Japanese rice wine).
Miso Roasted Pumpkin and Grilled Tofu With Udon Noodles
It’s a light, and pleasant meal served in a bowl inspired by Japanese cuisine.
Udon was typically homemade, but it began to be sold in specialty booths after commercials started in the seventeenth century. Udon has already become well-known among southerners of Japan from Osaka to Kyushu.
You can eat udon noodles are widely consumed in a hot broth as a noodles soup. You can also serve it with a dipping sauce. The best part is that you can have a bowl of udon noodles without worrying about your vegan diet. It is possible to make udon noodles with your favorite veggies.
So, now you can enjoy your tasty udon noodles at home.