Kyoto-style "Raccoon" Udon Noodles with Crispy Tempura Flakes

Warm udon noodles with aburaage (deep-fried tofu), is known as "tanukki" (raccoon) in Kyoto. But, in Tokyo, it's called "Kitsune" – “fox”! Don't worry, it doesn't mean they actually contain raccoon or fox!

Kyoto-style "Raccoon" Udon Noodles with Crispy Tempura Flakes
Photographed by Shin Ebisu

Recipe by
Setsuko Sugimoto


Rice & Noodles



Calorie count is per serving

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 abura-age fried tofu (90 g)

    In case of large Kyoto-style abura-age, use only 1/2. Tofu cut into thin slices, drained, then deep-fried.

  • [dashi]

    • 1.2 L water
    • 1 tbsp sake
    • 40 g thick bonito flakes or mixed dried fish shavings
  • [A]

    • 2 tsp mirin

      Sake made with alcohol and rice-malt, mixed into glutinous rice, then fermented. In Japan, it is used to add luster and to sweeten ingredients.

    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce

      Popular soy-sauce originating in Kansai region. Light-colored, yet salty. Good for keeping the raw taste and color of the ingredients.

  • 2 servings boiled udon noodles
  • [B]

    • 1 tbsp mirin
    • 1+1/2 tbsp sugar
    • 2 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 piece ginger (peeled and grated)
  • Ao-negi green onion (thinly sliced diagonally), as needed
  • potato starch



Pour the water for dashi into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the sake and bonito flakes and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Remove the surface scum and replenish the water as necessary. Turn off the heat and pour into a strainer lined with a paper towel to strain.


Using mixed dried fish flakes containing mackerel or thick shavings of bonito flakes will result in a richer and more flavorful dashi for udon.


Press the abura-age between paper towels to remove excess oil and cut into strips 8 mm wide and 4 cm long. Pour 100 ml of dashi into a pot, add [A] and the abura-age and simmer over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.


Kyoto-style udon features sliced abura-age simmered in a lightly sweetened dashi, using some of the dashi made for the udon broth.


In a separate pot, bring 800 ml of dashi to a boil and add [B]. Thicken the dashi by adding a mixture of 3 tbsp each of potato starch and water.


Heat the udon by blanching in boiling water. Add to the thickened dashi and simmer for 1-2 minutes to infuse the udon with dashi.


Pour into individual bowls and top with abura-age, ginger and ao-negi.