‘Addictive’ Sanuki udon takes form of other treats

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Left: The U donatsu (doughnut) Right: Sanuki udon burgers

TAKAMATSU — A restaurant at the Tsuda-no-Matsubara service area on the Takamatsu Expressway in Sanuki, Kagawa Prefecture, serves more than just locally produced Sanuki udon noodles. It also sells a Sanuki udon burger, a variation of the local delicacy.

The burger has been sold for a long time, and enjoys a reputation as a very filling, “double-carbohydrate” food.

The burger is based on a recipe that won a competition held 10 years ago by Anabuki Enterprise Co., the operator of the service area. About 60 chefs from hotels run by the company participated in the contest. The recipe won first place thanks to the unique appearance of udon sandwiched between buns.

About 100 grams of udon with a firm texture is used per burger. The udon is boiled and made into a round shape before being deep-fried. It is then flavored with ginger sauce and placed between the bun slices with lettuce, chicken and a fried egg.

Squeezing the burger between your fingers reduces its thickness, allowing it to be eaten easily. The unique chewiness of the udon, combined with the flavor of the bun and the egg, gives it an “addictive” taste. Despite how it looks, the burger is light and easy to eat.

The udon burger quickly gained popularity after being featured on a TV program. The restaurant said some people visited the restaurant from around Japan simply to taste it. The restaurant has sold over 30,000 burgers in the two years since its launch.

The U donatsu (doughnut) is also available. The sweet is made by rolling and deep-frying twisted udon, then sprinkling it with granulated sugar.