I love all noodles. Especially the Japanese style. I sometimes make my own udon. This came about because I was told by my mother that my grandmother was an excellent udon maker. Knowing that, I had to teach myself. It wasn't really hard because I was used to making Italian style pasta and found udon making very similar. With pasta, I was using the machine (kind you crank) to roll and cut. But with udon making, no machine is used. I also sometimes make my own soba. Soba making is hard. It's been 75% successful and other times 25% unsuccessful. But, when it's made correctly, it is a taste like no other. I will at later times make posts on making homemade udon and homemade soba. But, this post is on making very popular sauce or tare used in udon called amattare udon (sweetened sauce). It is most often served over chilled noodles with the sauce and sometimes with raw egg. I'm not into raw eggs so I don't use it. I never use same toppings. This time I used cut up tomatoes from my yard and blanched Chinese garlic green onion.
This is what the package of amattare udon looks like. It comes with 2 servings of dried udon and 2 packages of amattare sauce.
I like this very much. Unfortunately, it's not available in the US. So, like many things I do, I wanted to recreate the tare or the sauce. I've done similar things with hard to purchase or expensive items here in the US. I do lots of taste testing.
The middle one is the original sauce from the package:
To test the taste with udon, I boiled udon, rinsed very well in chilled water and drizzled some of the sauce on each plate. I topped with my favorite seasonal vegetable - cut up tomatoes from my yard. The verdict? Well, I like all three of them equally. The two I made are not the same as the original one. The original one has much more salt than my versions and much more taste of saba - or dried mackerel for the stock. But, tasting it by itself, I did not care for it. With udon, it works though. So do my versions I made. I may still continue to work on other versions, but for now I am happy with the results.
Amattare Sauce - Version 1
3 T soy sauce
2 1/2 T sugar
2 1/2 T sake
1 T mirin
1 tsp dashi granule or powder (if you have saba or mackerel flavor it will be closer to the original)
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to boil. When it comes to boil, take it off and on the burner to control the heat so it does not burn for about 3 minutes. The sauce will reduce to maybe 2/3 the original amount. It is ready when the sauce is thickened somewhat and shiny. Let it cool.
Amattare Sauce - Version 2
4 T mentsuyu - Japanese noodle sauce (commercial or make your own - see note on link to my recipe)
2 T mirin
1 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 3/4 tsp water
Mix cornstarch with water in a small bowl. In a saucepan, combine mentsuyu, mirin, sugar and salt. Le it come to boil for about 1 min - take it off and on so it does not burn. Add cornstarch mixture and combine well. Let it cool.
This is what the udon would look like without the sauce
**Note: You can find my own version of mentsuyu posted in food.com - check