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Nabeyaki Udon (鍋焼きうどん) from "Whisper of the Heart" | Ghibli Food Inspired 🍜

Whisper of the Heart (1995) 耳をすませば: A Japanese animated musical coming-of-age romantic drama film by Yoshifumi Kondō and written by Hayao Miyazaki. It was animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network and Hakuhodo. It is a love story between a girl (Shizuku Tsukishima ) who loves reading books, and a boy (Seiji Amasawa) who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.

"So, Miss, you're someone who knows about dwarves. Look at the clock face... I wonder if it's going to work?" "An Elf!" "The glass is shiny, isn't it? Come up here." "Yes... A Princess?" "Yes, she is." "Are they in love?" "Mmm, but they live in different worlds. Because he's king of the dwarves. Only while the clock is striking twelve can she return from being a sheep to her original world. And so, he too shows himself this way every time that it strikes 12. He keeps waiting for the Princess. I'm sure the craftsman who made this clock had an unfulfilled love." "That's why these two look sad somehow, isn't it."

—Nishi shows Shizuku the magnificent clock in his store

Nebayaki Udon: A traditional Japanese dish consisting of udon noodles and variety of vegetables and toppings that are cooked with flavorful dashi stock, all in one small clay pot. Udon noodle is considered comfort food for most Japanese people and are usually served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. In the Edo period, the thicker wheat noodle was generally called udon, and served with a hot broth called nurumugi (温麦). The chilled variety was called hiyamugi (冷麦).

You may find Nebayaki Udon in one of the scene in Whisper of the Heart where Nishi consoling Shizuku with udon when she breaks down in tears realizing that; despite her hard work, her manuscript is not good enough. Nishi reveals to Shizuku that he found his first love, Louise, when he studied in Germany in his youth. They discovered the twin statuettes of the Baron and his female companion in a café, but they could only purchase them singly because the female statuette was in repair at that time. Nishi kept the Baron while Louise would hold onto the Baron's companion, and they and the two cat statuettes would reunite later. However, the two lovers and the statues were subsequently separated during World War II and were never reunited.

MAIN INGREDIENTS (for 1 serving):

  • Udon noodle

  • Shitake mushrooms

  • Enoki mushrooms

  • Half carrot (cut into stars)

  • Spinach

  • Bok choy

  • Egg tofu

  • Leek

  • Egg

  • Clay cooking pot


  • 600ml water

  • 1 TBS bonito flakes

  • 2 kombu (dried kelp)

  • 1 TBS mirin

  • 1 TBS light soy sauce

  • 1 TSP brown sugar

  • 1 TSP salt

  • 1 TSP black pepper


1. Add water in the claypot and put in kombu. Let it boil. Once boiling, remove the kombu.

2. Then add in bonito flakes, mirin, light soy sauce, brown sugar, salt and black pepper. Let it boil for another 1 - 2 minutes.

3. Add in enoki mushroom, spinach, bok choy, and leek. Let it cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Then put in udon noodle. Let it simmer under medium heat for additional a minute.

4. Next, put in the toppings such as shitake mushrooms, carrots, tofu and egg. Cover with the lid and let it cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. All done! Super easy and simple!

Frankly speaking, this is my first time trying Nebayaki udon in a claypot. Very, very comforting especially during rainy day 😍 I ended up making another bowl as one is not enough! 😂

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