Udon soup base is an easy throw it all together soup. Mix water with soup base (bonita tuna base you can buy at any Japanese or Asian market), dried kelp (dashi kombu), sake (or white cooking wine) plus honadashi mix, sugar.
Toss in traditional Japanese toppings or do it like me and toss in family favorites. Tonight it ended up 1/2 Chinese 1/2 Japanese. But all together yummy. Tonight our udon was a lot like our family. A jumble of preferences but the outcome is fundamentally the same. Accommodating everyone’s desires seems fussy but we accommodate and yield for love so why not in cooking? I don’t eat meat but I added Chinese bbq pork to my husband and inlaws bowls. My kids don’t care for mushrooms as much as I do so their bowls were heavy on veggies instead.
I invite my inlaws over each week because I believe it’s essential that my husband see his parents, for our children to know their grandparents and to disprove the big stereotype that inlaws can’t get along. We all need to be able to self reflect and see our own limitations and faults and think of the bigger goal: family accord for the sake of sanity and a continuation of family relationships. I know many Asians or people all together roll their eyes the minute the word inlaw is uttered…but I think it’s more important to teach my children another way. One day I hope to be lucky enough to be a mother in law, a grandma and wouldn’t want to be cast aside. It’s so easy to be unkind, unable to forgive and dismissive but much harder and -ultimately- more rewarding to accept and love.
Remember to add radish sprouts for the extra spicy kick.