A recipe for Hiyashi Tanuki Udon (冷やしたぬきうどん, Japanese Chilled Tanuki Udon)! Chewy udon noodles are served in a cold broth with tempura flakes and vegetables for a refreshing summertime meal.
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Literally translating to Raccoon Dog Noodles, this noodle dish doesn’t have Tanuki, but the name in the Kanto region (including Tokyo) actually refers to the addition of the Tenkasu (tempura flakes) over the top.
Other than the necessary Tenkasu to make it Tanuki Udon, the other toppings may vary. I added a combination of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, daikon, wakame, green onions, and a soft boiled egg for a fun variety of color and flavors to pair with the thick noodles and cold broth.
I have also seen edamame, pickled ginger, nori, and/or kamaboko.
A Few Tips
Add the Tenkasu to the noodles right before you are about to eat. They get soggy and start to lose the notable crispy texture the longer they sit in the broth.
Udon (うどん) are long, thick noodles with a smooth and chewy texture. For this recipe, I prefer the frozen Sanuki Udon found in the freezer section of grocery stores with Japanese items and some larger supermarkets. They provide a nice contrast in texture to the vegetables and are usually packaged in individual portion (8.8 ounce, 250 gram) bricks. If not available, you can also make your own Homemade Udon Noodles.
Tenkasu (天かす, 揚げ玉, Agedama, Tempura flakes) are crisp little pieces of fried batter and the by-product of frying tempura. You can collect the leftover after frying a batch of tempura or buy prepackaged crumbs. They are available in some grocery stores specializing in Japanese food or you can get them on Amazon: Tenkasu.
Mentsuyu (めんつゆ, Tsuyu, つゆ) is a noodle soup base made by simmering together soy sauce, sake, mirin, kombu, and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes). This base can be refrigerated for up to a month, then diluted in water to serve with the noodles.
I used store-bought Mentsuyu (from Nijiya Market for those in the Los Angeles area). Just One Cookbook also has a great recipe for Homemade Mentsuyu.
Wakame (わかめ) is an edible seaweed with a slightly sweet and salty flavor. In Japanese cuisine, it is often added to soups and salads. You can find it larger grocery stores or markets with East Asian/Japanese ingredients. It is also available on Amazon: Emerald Cove Silver Grade Wakame (Dried Seaweed).
Japanese cucumbers are long and slender with less seeds than garden cucumbers. If you are unable to find Japanese cucumbers, you can also use Persian or remove the seeds and peel the garden or English cucumbers.
Looking for more recipes with udon noodles?
This recipe was originally posted in July 2015 and updated June 2022.
Hiyashi Tanuki Udon (Japanese Chilled Tanuki Udon) Recipe
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Hiyashi Tanuki Udon (Japanese Chilled Tanuki Udon)
- 1 tablespoon (2 grams) dried Wakame
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) grated Daikon
- 2/3 cup (160 milliliters) cold water
- 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) mentsuyu
- 2 bricks (8.8 ounces, 250 grams each) frozen udon
- 2/3 cup (35 grams) Tenkasu tempura flakes
- 6 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 Japanese cucumbers julienned
- 2 soft boiled eggs
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Place the wakame in a small bowl. Cover with water and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, soak the wake in water for 15 minutes until softened.
- Squeeze out the excess water and set aside. Squeeze out the excess water from the grated Daikon and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cold water and mentsuyu.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl of ice water nearby.
- Add frozen udon and cook until just tender. Drain and place the udon in the ice bath.
- Once cooled, drain and divide among two large bowls.
- Top the noodles with the wakame, daikon, Tenkasu, tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers, and a soft boiled egg.
- Add the diluted Mentsuyu and serve immediately garnished with sesame seeds.