Japanese restaurants in the United States often serve one or two udon noodle dishes. But there are actually a wide variety of dishes you can enjoy — here are 11 udon noodle dishes you must try!

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of enjoying a satisfying and comforting udon noodle dishes, you’re in for a treat! But even if you have sampled a dish or two at a Japanese restaurant, chances are you’re still just an initiate into the fantastically delicious world of udon noodle cuisine!

The Japanese udon noodle is a thick, somewhat chewy and light noodle made with flour, water and salt. The most typical form of this dish is in a flavorful broth with vegetables and/or proteins. Sometimes it even comes with a few pieces of tempura on top.

But there is much more to this versatile noodle than one or two simple dishes! Below you’ll find 11 tasty udon noodle dishes you may see at a restaurant. If you can’t find them in a restaurant, you can always make your own udon noodles and enjoy these dishes at home!

You can make udon noodles at home and it's easy!

Zaru Udon

This udon noodle dish is served cold, and the noodles are usually placed on a bamboo mat, though they may also be served in a shallow dish. The noodles are accompanied by a dipping sauce and sometimes garnished with a bit of nori or wakame.

Kake Udon

One of the dishes commonly found on the menu in Japanese restaurants in the United States, this is a simple dish comprised of udon noodles in a hot broth. Green onions serve as a garnish.

Tanuki Udon

For a heartier meal than kake udon, try this dish. It is the same as above, except now the dish comes with deep fried tempura batter. The addition of the tempura fritters, called tenkasu, is pure umami comfort!

Kitsune Udon

If you’re looking for a bit of vegetarian protein with your noodles, you can’t go wrong with this dish. The noodles can be served in a hot or cold broth, and they are topped with thinly sliced, fried sheets of tofu.

Tsukimi Udon

Another simple variation of the udon noodles in hot broth, this dish comes with a raw egg on top. The egg is poached by the hot soup, and when the yolk is punctured, the egg slowly coats the noodles and mingles with the broth. The name of this dish translates to Moon Viewing Udon, as the egg yolk resembles the moon.

Tempura Udon

A very hearty and filling meal satisfying those tempura cravings, this udon noodle dish comes complete with several pieces of tempura placed atop the noodles in the hot broth or alongside the dish. The actual ingredients fried in the tempura batter will vary according to the restaurant.

Curry Udon

As the name implies, this is a dish of udon noodles that come in a Japanese curry broth. Japanese curry differs from Indian and Thai curries but still delivers a warm, satisfying feeling, making this a very popular dish.

Chikara Udon

Another udon noodle in hot broth dish, this one comes with pieces of mochi. The addition of the mochi is believed to give whoever consumes the dish a bit of extra strength, earning the dish the name chikara, which means “strength” or “power.”

Nabeyaki Udon

For a truly hearty meal, try this large hot pot dish. The hot pot, called a nabe, contains udon noodles, of course, cooked in a broth along with various vegetables and an assortment of other ingredients depending upon the establishment. Additions can include seafood, tempura, mushrooms, steamed fish cake or egg. It is an excellent dish on cold days and nights.

Sansai Udon

For the vegetable lover, this hot udon noodle dish contains a wide assortment of vegetables and wild, edible plants. The distinctive flavors are earthy and warming.

Yaki Udon

“Yaki” means to stir-fry. Thus, this dish is a stir-fried udon noodles in a noodle broth, along with various vegetables. Great nutritious meal or snack when you’re hungry.

Try a new udon noodle dish the next time you enjoy Japanese cuisine, and your stomach will be happy!

Check out 8 regional varieties of udon noodle dishes here!