Ramen may be everyone's favorite Japanese noodle soup these days, but just because it's the trendiest doesn't mean it's the best. We're huge fans of ramen -- don't get us a wrong. We could eat ramen for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks any day of the week, instant or otherwise. But it's time to get to know other Japanese noodles, like soba and udon. Because they're made with buckwheat, which is gluten free, soba noodles have gotten their due lately. Udon noodles, however, have been falling by the wayside, and we're here to tell you why you should give them plenty of attention this winter.
Thick, chewy and ridiculously satisfying, udon noodles are in a league of their own. These long, Japanese wheat noodles are great hot or cold, and with a neutral flavor, they're an unmatchable foundation for everything from miso soups to curry. In Japan, kake udon is one of the simplest and most common ways to eat these soft yet sturdy noodles. Udon noodles are served in hot dashi, a Japanese broth made with kombu and bonito flakes, and are topped with scallions. They might also come with tempura or fish cakes. Other popular ways to eat udon noodles include yakiudon, in which the noodles are stir-fried, and zaru udon, in which the noodles are served cold with a soy-sauce based dipping sauce. However you eat udon noodles, they will leave you feeling full but not stuffed, comforted but not sluggish, and completely nourished.
Udon's the comfort food you should be eating this winter, so here are 17 udon noodle recipes to get you inspired.