Friday, January 25, 2013

Date Night Dinner: Beef Udon Noodle Soup

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In 2013, I’ve decided to be MORE and part of that is getting back into doing the things that I love, like joining Cook the Books Club for another great selection, The Hunger Games. I'm not going to do a major plot summary because I realize I'm a little late to the game and most other people have read the books.  Some of my favorite moments in the book come from Greasy Sae because, let’s be honest:  If I was living in a post apocalyptic world with few ways to spend my days, you can bet I’d be feeding people!  She supposedly can even make wild dog a really edible soup that Katniss downs with satisfaction after hunting.

Ironically, a couple days after reading this, I took a colleague out to lunch and asked him to pick the restaurant (his gift, his choice, in my opinion).  We ended up at this small little Asian restaurant that literally hundreds of people probably walk by daily and miss.  Only in New York.  Since said coworker is Asian, he ordered the Udon Soup and thus, I did, too.  When in Rome, right?

The Beef Udon soup was delicious but I couldn’t help thinking of Greasy Sae’s wild dog soup – this, like her soup, was being heated in a huge pot that everyone got spooned from like a big communal party.  You pay at one counter and move over to the next one with your bowl.  A few ladles of soup, a plop of udon and off you went.  I knew immediately I had found Katniss’ dish.  Sure her favorite dish at the Capitol might have been lamb stew but she was a District 12 citizen through and through – lamb stew was nice but it was wild dog soup that would call her home.
Beef Udon Noodle Soup (adapted from here)
Serves:  4
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
6 cups beef stock
1 pound beef round steak, thinly sliced
2 cups udon noodles, pre-cooked

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, garlic, and carrots.  Saute for 2-3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant.  Stir in soy sauce, sake, and chili garlic sauce.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until mushrooms release their water.  Add beef stock.  Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Then, add steak, simmering an additional 3-5 minutes to make sure beef is cooked through.  Stir in noodles and serve immediately.

Take care not to overcook the noodles, they should be chewy!!

Until the next time my oven is on...


  1. Fun! I agree, I'd be a feeder, for sure. your Wild Dog Soup sounds like just the thing for these harsh winter days. Beautiful inspiration! :)

  2. That looks delicious! I have never tried this particular soup but it looks very good.
    Lots of food choices in that book for sure.

  3. Inspiration can come from anywhere! This udon soup sounds delicious (and fun)!

  4. Good inspiration, I'm a fan of udon soup myself, though usually go for the duck version. Hope no dog lovers take exception to the mere thought of cooking one. Traditionally the Hawaiians did, though it is not politically correct to admit.

  5. Hey, Greasy Sae was one of my favorites in the book too! Love that name, for one thing. This soup is a perfect choice for this round of Cook the Books!

  6. That looks amazing. Thanks for sharing with Cook the Books!!!

  7. I had considered making squirrel stew a la Greasy Sae, but alas not enough squirrel in the freezer yet. (Don't ask.) That being said, your beef udon looks delicious! I love noodles in soup.

  8. Very fun and a MUCH more appetizing choice than wild dog. ;-) I love how satisfying it looks.

    Sorry to be so darn late in getting around to see everyone's posts. Bad co-host! ;-( It has been a crazy month.

    1. Deb - glad you got here - no matter when it was! Hope your life is slowing down a bit.


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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