Introduction: Mastering Homemade Beef or Niku Udon: Crafting Comfort in Every Bowl

About: Community Manager at Instructables.

After graduating from college, I moved to Southern California. 8 months later, the pandemic hit, leading to a virtual lockdown that kept everyone at home, blurring the days into a routine of uncertainty and mundanity. I’m convinced we can subtract 3 years from our age because of it. Amirite?

Amidst this blur, one dish stands out in my memory – Niku Udon, or Beef Udon. I learned about this dish at Marugame Udon, a renowned and popular restaurant in the Japantown Sawtelle neighborhood, which offered a noteworthy rendition in the Greater Los Angeles Area. It is one of their signature dishes. During the height of COVID, this dish became a source of comfort and tranquility.

Having moved back to the East Coast now, I've yet to find a worthy competitor, prompting me to create my own. Having found and created an almost exact replica, I find solace in preparing this dish, whether it's to soothe an ailment or craving.

Moreover, the world of Udon bowls offers countless variations. Once you've mastered this simple recipe, you can experiment with additions like a soft-boiled egg, fish cake, or even switch up the soup base with curry – the possibilities are endless.


For the ingredients, I found all of these at H Mart actually, but you can find these ingredients at any Japanese or Asian supermarket. Note: You should ideally always make/boil the noodles fresh right before you eat it, so if you're just making 1 serving for yourself, just use 1 packet of noodles. This recipe will give you extra soup in that case which you can save for another meal. I personally also use 3 separate pots and/or a pan to cook each the soup, beef, and udon noodles before assembling them at the end (since they all have different cook times).

Makes 2 Servings

Ingredient List:


  • 2 cups dashi stock (2 cups water + 1.5 tsp dashi powder)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • Handful of sliced onions
  • Thinly sliced beef
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey or sugar of your choice


  • 2 pack of Udon noodles

Optional garnishes:

  • Spring onion
  • Sriracha
  • Tempura flakes

Step 1: Prepare Dashi Stock

  • In a pot, combine 2 cups of water and 1.5 teaspoons of dashi powder.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat until the dashi powder is completely dissolved.

Step 2: Flavor the Soup

  • Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of mirin, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to the dashi stock.
  • Stir the ingredients well to ensure they are evenly distributed.
  • Allow the soup to simmer for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Step 3: Marinate & Cook the Beef

  • In a bowl, combine the thinly sliced beef with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of honey (or your preferred sugar).
  • In a separate pan, heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the marinated beef slices and onions.
  • Cook until they are browned and cooked to your desired doneness.
  • Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

Step 4: Cook the Udon Noodles

  • Cook the Udon noodles according to the package instructions.
  • Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Set aside.

Step 5: Assemble the Bowl

  • Divide the cooked Udon noodles among serving bowls.
  • Pour the prepared soup over the noodles.
  • Top the soup with the cooked beef slices.

Step 6: Garnish and Serve

  • Optionally, you can garnish your beef udon with sliced spring onions, a drizzle of Sriracha for extra spice, and a sprinkle of tempura flakes for added texture.

Step 7: Enjoy!

  • Serve your delicious homemade beef udon hot and enjoy the rich flavors of the broth, tender beef, and chewy udon noodles. Adjust the seasoning or garnishes according to your taste preference.