Steaming udon noodles served with ginger lamb balls and wasabi is a great traditional Japanese food recipe for the winter. Prepared by home chef Naoko but easy to make in your home kitchen, this warming soup will be a hit with friends and family.

Contributed by Naoko’s Kitchen

Ready for an authentic Japanese food recipe that will warm you up and give you vital energy? Our partner, home chef Naoko, is introducing us to a nice bowl of hot noodle soup perfect for this cold season. With this recipe you will be whipping up a healthy Japanese recipe packed with spice and bursting with flavor right at home. Learn how to do it below and get ready for the applause from friends and family.

What is Udon Noodle?

Noodles are a huge part of Japanese food. Just as big as pasta is to Italians, Udon noodles are one of the most popular types of noodle in Japanese culture and traditions. They are simply made from water, wheat flour and salt. They are usually served in a broth because they soak up the flavor. In this recipe there are plenty of spicy flavors like garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sake and wasabi, and the rich meaty flavor of the lamb will also be absorbed by the udon. Get ready to fall in love!

Find out everything about udon noodles!

Other Ways to Enjoy Udon

Udon can be enjoyed with or without soup. Some other popular ways to prepare udon noodles in Japanese food culture including hotpots, Japanese curries, stir-fries, chilled noodle dishes, and hearty stews. No matter how you cook them, udon must be slurped down to let other people know how much you are enjoying them and to cool them off at the same time!

Varieties of Udon

Different types of udon noodles have evolved in many different regions of Japan. Some, like the deliciously chewy Sanuki udon, are very popular all over the country now. Others, like the handmade Inaniwa, which take four days to make, are more of a delicacy. Certain kinds, like the flat Kishimen udon, are distinguished by their special shape. Besides udon noodles, both ramen and soba noodles are both also very popular in Japanese food culture.

What Else Can I Do With Udon?

The amount of traditional Japanese food recipes involvement udon noodles is nearly endless. Our home chef Naoko has previously shown us how to make stir-fried yaki style udon, a sizzling plate of pork and garlic goodness that is also easy to prepare. For more ideas about how to turn a simple pack of udon noodles into something truly extraordinary, check out our list of 11 different udon recipes you can make at home!

Which one of these eleven udon noodles do you want to try?

Cooking Tips

#1. Sticky mixture

Mix the minced lamb well until the mixture is sticky enough to make a ball shape. You can also substitute with other kinds of meat or even with tofu to make a vegetarian version of this dish.

#2. Flavorful soup

Udon noodles are thick. So it’s better to season the soup a little bit more to make it even more flavorful and savory. Always taste while cooking. And if you feel like something is missing, add some spices to the pot and have fun with it.

Meet Naoko’s Kitchen

Naokos kitchen logoNaoko’s Kitchen is brought to you by Japanese cook and Culinary Artist Naoko Kashiwagi who is living in the UK. Naoko has been sharing her authentic taste, knowledge, and skills of Japanese food by hosting pop-ups and Japanese cooking classes in Cornwall, UK. More than a thousand foodies from all over the world have participated in her informative and hands-on classes. They all enjoyed the entertainment of her exquisite dishes!

Naoko’s Kitchen is the first authentic Japanese pop-ups in Cornwall. This style allows her to collaborate with a lot of local businesses aiming at supporting each other as well. Her mission is simple. To entertain the customers with authentic Japanese flavors by adding subtle European twists to create innovative dishes.

Its concept promises to create family favorites using the freshest local seafood and seasonal ingredients with Naoko’s imagination and creativity. She creates a dish mixing authenticity with innovation for your taste buds and eyes.

Udon Noodle Soup with Wasabi & Ginger Lamb Balls

Recipe by Naoko's Kitchen

Cuisine Japanese


Lamb Ball

  • 2.5 oz Lamb, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp Garlic, grated
  • 1 Tbsp Wasabi Paste
  • A pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce


  • 2/3 cup Seafood Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sake
  • 2 pinch Sea Salt
  • 3/4 stalk Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 portion Udon Noodles, cooked


  • Bok Choi, ends trimmed and boiled
  • 2 stalks Fresh Cilantro
  • Scallion, chopped
  • Bean Sprout
  • Baby Corn, boiled


Make a soup

  1. Put the seafood stock and cilantro in a small pot and bring to boil.
  2. Keep simmering until the flavor of cilantro is infused into the soup.
  3. Remove the cilantro from the soup and add the soy sauce, sake and sea salt. Bring to boil.
  4. Turn off the heat and set it aside.

Make lamb balls

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and combine well until the mixture turns into sticky using your hand.
  2. Firmly shape the mixture into 3 to 4 even-sized balls.
  3. Bring the soup to a boil again, and place the lamb balls into the soup and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Then, add the separately cooked udon noodles in the soup and boil for additional 2 minutes.

Assemble the soup noodle

  1. Place the noodle and lamb balls into the bowl and pour over the soup.
  2. Put the toppings and serve immediately.