Once Upon A Nerdy Eater

A place for all kinds of food, crafts and general nerdery

Nikuman, udon noodles and miso soup

Hello one and all,

Recently I have been having a huge hankering for Japanese food. The urge originally started when I started watching a show called “Cooking with Dog”. Do not be thinking it’s some show that uses dog in the recipes (you will be surprised how many people make that joke, for shame!). The show is HOSTED by a dog called Francis….this is Japan, remember…and the Chef prepares the food. Example video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfEUwNQTXwU (Yakibuta Ramen).

I looked up some other recipes and actually made tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette) and really enjoyed it. I am pretty fussy when it comes to food, but egg was something that was relatively fuss-free. When my other half took me to a local Japanese/Chinese restaurant however, I did panic a little. Liking the look of it in a video is a lot different to the idea of me actually eating it. Especially as I don’t really eat meat very often. However, I enjoyed yaki udon noodles.

I decided to actually attempt to make Japanese food for myself to see if it was doable. I decided to make Nikuman (steamed pork in bread dough), and udon (wheat noodle) miso (bean and soy paste) soup.


So these are all the ingredients. In the end, not all of them were used and some were bought simply for easy reach later on (we don’t have many asian supermarkets around my town as we are teeny tiny and not used to anything that’s not shepherd’s pie or chips lol).

I made the Nikuman the day before and, on reflection, should have made them on the day the first time around.


250g plain flour

1 tsp instant yeast

5g baking powder

25g sugar


1 tbsp sesame oil

130 ml lukewarm dashi stock. (I made mine from the water from re-hydrating the shiitake mushrooms.)

Meat Mix

150g pork. The video used shoulder slices but I couldn’t find those. I used mince instead. It’s easier for me to work with (as I said above, I don’t cook with meat much and it still icks me out a little to touch raw)

1/2 tsp salt

black pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp soy sauce

1tsp oyster sauce

1/8 5 spice powder

1 tbsp potato starch or rice flour (UK readers, have a look in the free from stuff, that’s where I found the rice flour)

1 tsp sesame oil

2 large shiitake mushrooms

spring onion.


These are the 8 nikuman the recipe makes. I have never admitted to being good at working with dough, and this stuff is incredibly springy, I originally tried to twist them like the “Cooking With Dog” video shows, but I just don’t have that dexterity. My method is the “randomly grab, twist, push and oh god I hope it sticks” version. They survived the second fermentation though, so it seems to work haha 🙂


Close up on one of the REALLY smooshed ones and some not so bad ones 🙂

Below is the final dish. I did cheat slightly with the udon noodles and brought dried ones but I thought creating the soup and the nikuman was experimental enough for one day 🙂 The miso soup was made by combining dashi stock with miso and a dash of soy sauce over a low heat until boiling and then removing the froth.



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This entry was posted on 09/23/2013 by in diy, food, Japanese and tagged , , , , .
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