Udon has long played an essential role in the local cuisine of Kagawa. The flour noodles are served at festivals and farming ritual events. The warm climate and low rainfall are an ideal climate for growing wheat for udon. The region also produces salt, soy sauce, and niboshi – small dried sardines, necessary for making the dashi soup. This is one of the reasons why udon is one of the local dishes of Kagawa.
Sanuki udon is touted for its chewy texture. It is consumed many ways including:
kake – warm udon served in a warm dashi broth,
shippoku – warm udon served with a warm broth and vegetables such as daikon, carrots, and taro root,
kamaage – warm udon noodles that are dipped into a flavored soy sauce,
zaru – cold udon noodles served on a tray with a dipping sauce,
bukkake – cold or warm udon noodles that has a seasoned soy sauce poured over it.
Sometimes the udon is seasoned with an unpasteurized soy sauce.
The people of Kagawa eat more udon than any other prefecture in Japan. Tourists pilgrimage to Kagawa to dine at the many udon restaurants which are an engrained part of the local culture.
Iriko – small dried anchovies or sardines are essential for the udon broth. More than kombu and katsuobushi, iriko makes a rich stock with glutamates and inosinates for an umami-rich soup that makes the Sanuki udon taste better.RECIPE_HEADEND