Fox Noodles

Kitsuné Udon

The Japanese have many fanciful names for their dishes. This one refers to the garnish of fried bean curd; the golden brown is called “fox-colored.”

Ingredients

  • 3–4 slices abura agé (fried bean curd)

Cooking broth for bean curd

  • cup dashi (Basic Soup Stock)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (syrupy rice wine)
  • ¼ pound fresh spinach or collard greens
  • 1 recipe fresh udon noodles or 1 scant pound fresh-dried udon noodles, cooked according to instructions
  • 1 quart Hearty Soup (preceding recipe)
  • 4–5 slices kamaboko (commercially prepa red fish sausage), optional
  • ¼ teaspoon shichimi togarashi (7-spice hot pepper)

Method

Cut each slice of bean curd in half or thirds and blanch the pieces in boiling water to remove excess oil. Drain and pat dry. In a small saucepan, combine the stock, soy sauce and syrupy wine to make a cooking broth. Simmer the bean curd slices for 4–5 minutes in the broth.

Wash and trim the spinach. Blanch it in boiling salted water to cover for about 1 minute or until bright green and barely wilted. Drain the spinach and refresh it under cold running water. Drain again and squeeze out any excess liquid. Cut the spinach into 1-inch lengths and arrange them in 4–5 small bundles.

To assemble, place freshly cooked noodles in 4 or 5 deep bowls. Place 2–3 pieces of braised bean curd and a bundle of spinach on top of each bowl of noodles. Adding a slice of fish sausage makes this a more filling dish. Pour piping-hot soup over all and sprinkle with a pinch of 7-spice hot pepper. Serve immediately.

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