Sakura Hiyashi Udon Tsukemen (さくら冷やしうどんつけめん)
The sakura zensen, or ‘Cherry Blossom Front’ is moving up Japan from south to north and is now passing through the center of the country where Kyoto is located. The delicate sakura blossoms don’t last long though, just a few days. It has already begun ‘raining’ cherry petals here and tomorrow ought to be a downpour.
The sakura is an important symbol for the samurai, and why so is a deep subject. Amid contemplating the sakura blooming, fading and disappearing on a momentary gust of wind, a foodie may ask, “ah, but what to eat?”
Paku came home with sakura udon and sakura soba last night and we made the udon, which was fresh and delicate.
While it is still rather chilly in Kyoto, especially at dinner time we had hiyashi (冷やし), chilled udon. The sakura flavor of the noodles is very subtle and delicate so a light and simple tsuyu (dashi-shoyu based dipping sauce) is all that is needed.
We enjoyed this as ‘tsukemen‘, literally ‘dip’ ‘noodle’. A bit of grated ginger is added to the tsuyu and the noodles are dipped in it and slurped up. Very simple and delicious.
Fresh Sakura Udon and Sakura Soba
Paku got these at Meiji-ya on Sanjo Street. It will only be on the shelves for a very short time.
Fresh Sakura Udon
Fresh Sakura Udon — detail
Sakura Udon — Boiling
Notice the dark bits in the noodle. That is the sakura leaf. The leaf probably has more ‘sakura‘ flavor than the flower.
Sakura Hiyashi Udon (Tsukemen) Simply Served
Take a bit of grated ginger (left) and place it in the tsuyu (right), then dip the noodles and slurp! Tsuke = dip and men = noodles.