Add Milk To Your Homemade Curry Udon For A Rich And Creamy Textures

If you frequently find yourself at Japanese restaurants and diners, you may already be quite familiar with curry udon. From intense taste to comforting textures — this dish has it all. The next time the craving strikes, however, you could try whipping up a few steaming hot bowls right in the comfort of your kitchen. It's much easier to make than you think, and you can make little tweaks that perfectly cater to your personal preference. For home cooks who prefer it as rich and creamy as possible, take a page out of recipe developer Michelle McGlinn's pork belly curry udon recipe and throw some milk into the mix.

Unlike Thai or Indian curries, which are often thin and liquid in texture, Japanese curry has a thicker and more luscious consistency. The secret behind this is a roux made by cooking down flour and butter with various seasonings. Adding a splash of milk to the recipe gives the sauce an even richer, smoother base and with that, an intricate touch of decadence.

Although the milk's main role is as a texture enhancer, it also comes with a flavorful bonus. Its sweet, creamy edge softens the curry's deeply umami, savory taste. Each spoonful offers a harmonious mix of deep and vibrant notes, with the milk creating a subtle contrast that intrigues the palate a little.

A simple secret ingredient with endless possibilities

Adding milk to your udon curry requires very few changes to the original recipe. Prepare the curry base as you normally would, either by making the roux yourself or using a store-bought curry cube. Once the broth is brought to a simmer, temper the milk by mixing it into a ladleful of broth, then stir it all back into the pot and bring to a boil for a few minutes. You can use almost any milk variety that you prefer, from regular milk to coconut milk, almond milk, and any others. For an even thicker and creamier texture, heavy cream or sour cream are also great choices.

This fun milky twist works for more than just Japanese curry udon. In regular stir-fried udon, you can mix it into an umami, earthy miso mushroom sauce, or try it fused with gochujang to make an oddly enticing treat. Soy milk, in particular, is a fantastic base for ramen-style udon soups (especially if you're looking to make an extra creamy tonkatsu ramen, or a vegan version using tofu). Mixed into dashi stock, it makes a toothsome broth for cold udon noodles or tonyu nabe (soy milk hot pot). Coconut milk, on the other hand, is a splendid way to bring in a bit of Thai flavor with Thai curry or tom yum. Just a splash or two is enough to add creaminess to delicious dishes across multiple cuisines.