A classic Osaka Winter noodle bowl : kitsune udon
Kitsune means fox (not squirrel, as I wrote before). Udon are the thick and square sticky wheat noodles that marvellously keep the heat in chilly weather.
You can see thousands of standing restaurants in Osaka selling this dish at record low price (or not).
A few local udon restaurants and bars.
It has the color of a fox (and of a squirrel) due to the beige abura-age (fried tofu). Actually names vary over Japan. Here it’s called kitsune, in other areas, I think it’s tanuki (Japanese forrest dog).
A wax model in a window.
Simple ingredients, very cheap and common here. Spinach, leeks, there could be other greens or seaweed.
Fresh udon. Dry doesn’t even look like it. If you can choose take it fresh or frozen. But you need to reboil it as it’s sticky when cooled.
They have the perfect texture.
Abura-age, thin type (usu-age) is fried tofu. In a pan mix water, soy sauce and mirin, simmer it 5 minutes, let it 15 minutes.
Kezuri katsuo, flakes of dry bonito fish. Their infusion gives the dashi broth. I put them in small bags for tea. A tea ball (also called dashi ball here) can be used). Or nothing, and then you filter the broth.
When the dashi is done, squeeze the abura-age and add its broth to the dashi. Taste and see if your want a little more soy sauce or salt. Reheat.
Kamaboko (surimi fish cake) can be added. I had none, but I had shirasu baby fish. I added a little ginger (my taste too).
Pour the hot dashi. Top with raw negi leek (small type, not too strong to be eaten raw).
On the table, shichimi togarashi (7 spice mix) can be added.
Schlurp noisily while it’s hot !