5 In Noodle/ Soup/ Video

Kitsune Udon Recipe

Kitsune Udon is Udon noodles in hot Dashi soup topped with Aburaage that has been cooked in a sweet and salty sauce.  Although you don’t often see Kitsune Udon in Japanese restaurants in the US, it is one of the most popular dishes and a staple menu item at Udon restaurants in Japan.

Kitsune is “fox” in Japanese, but don’t worry, we don’t use fox meat in the dish.  Some people think the dish may have been named because of a folk tale that Aburaage is a fox’s favorite food.  Others think it is called Kitsune because of the brown color that is similar to a fox.  In fact, we often use “Kitsune Iro” (fox color) to describe a brown color in cooking.

The origin of Kitsune Udon is not very clear, but they say that it was invented sometime in the 19th century at a restaurant in Osaka.  Over the next 100 years, the popularity grew and Kitsune Udon spread to the rest of Japan.  In the Kansai (western Japan) area, it is sometimes pronounced “Ketsune” with an accent showing  affection for this comfort dish.  Kitsune Udon is one of the soul foods for Kansai people.

Aburaage, fried thin tofu, is often cooked and seasoned strongly with soy sauce and sugar, as you may know from this dish and also in Inarizushi.  The well seasoned Aburaage stands out perfectly without its taste blurring into the soup.

Except for the “Kitsune,” the rest of the dish is very simple.  If you like Udon, you’ll love this interesting topping.  Try it!

Kitsune Udon Recipe



  1. In boiling water, cook Aburaage for a few seconds to cut grease and drain.
  2. In a pot, put the rest of the ingredients for "Kitsune," heat at medium heat, and add prepared Aburaage. Cook until all the liquid is gone. Set aside.
  3. Heat Dashi to a boil, and add salt, Soy Sauce, Mirin, Sake.
  4. Add Udon to the soup and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Divide noodles and soup into bowls, place cooked Aburaage on top, and sprinkle on the chopped green onion. Add Shichimi if you like.

Kitsune Udon Recipe

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  • Rebecca
    January 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    This is so delicious and so easy to make! My son and I love it!

    Thank you so much for posting your wonderful recipes and making Japanese cooking so easy for us all 🙂

    • Chyna Williams
      March 10, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Where do you buy your ingredients?

  • Yuliya Chernova
    February 6, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Thank you for this recipe, I and my husband, who loves japanese cuisine most, enjoyed this delicious dish so much! It’s yummy!
    But only sort of aburaage that I could find was aburaage dipped in mix of soy sauce, sugar and citric acid, so I wasn’t sure if I have to cook it as written in recipe. So I just put it in pot with that mixed sauce and added mirin and water. Was it right decision or not?
    When cooked like that, aburaage became very sweet. It was tasty, but should it be so sweet originally, I wonder? 🙂

    • Gordon
      February 25, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      I had a hard time finding the aburaage too. But I found it in the freezer at the Asian market. You could also buy the puffy squares for Chinese cooking and then just boil them in the ingredients needed to make them sweet.

  • Jami Hart
    December 15, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Just made this recipe for my friend as a “feel better” meal. It was her favorite when she was in Japan and when I came across it I was ecstatic. It turned out great! Thank you for having such a detailed and wonderful website for Japanese recipes! I’m going to be using many more recipes from here in the future.