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Chikara Udon (Japanese Power Udon)

Chikara Udon (Japanese Power Udon)

A recipe for Chikara Udon (Japanese Power Udon, 力うどん). Thick, chewy udon noodles rest in a rich dashi broth with toasted Kirimochi (rice cakes), spinach, negi (green onion), and kamaboko (fish cake).
Course Soup
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Japan, Japanese, mochi, new year, noodle, oshogatsu, soup, udon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 2 Servings



  • 5 cups (1.2 liters) water
  • 1 (6 inch, 15 cm) piece kombu
  • 1.4 ounces (40 grams) katsuobushi dried, shaved bonito
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) usukuchi soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) mirin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 4 Kirimochi
  • 2 bricks (8.8 ounces, 250 g each) frozen udon
  • 5 ounces (140 grams) spinach blanched
  • 1 negi (or green onion) thinly sliced
  • 4 thin slices kamaboko optional


To make the Dashi base:

  • In a large pot, combine the 5 cups water and kombu. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the kombu pieces and add another 2 tablespoons cold water. Stir in the bonito flakes until just combined. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Skim off any foam that develops on the surface.
  • Remove from heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a large bowl. DO NOT squeeze the excess liquid from the bonito before discarding.
  • Return strained dashi (water cooked with kombu and bonito) to cleaned large pot over high heat. Stir in the usukuchi soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Once boiling, reduce heat to low until ready to serve.

To make the toppings:

  • Place the kirimochi on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil about 2 inches apart. Place in the oven under a low broil until toasted and inflated.
  • In another large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add frozen udon and cook until just tender. Drain and divide the udon among 2 large soup bowls. Pour the hot broth over the noodles and top each bowl with the toasted Kirimochi, blanched spinach, thinly sliced negi, and kamaboko. Serve immediately.