Saturday, February 25, 2012

Yaki Udon

Yaki Udon is one Japanese dish that my husband and I really enjoy. When we go out for Japanese food, this comfort food is top of my list.

I recently found out how easy it is to make at home and how easy it is easy to customize to your own preferences (meat, no meat, which veggies you like, etc.) and the number of people you are serving. I really like how when you make it at home you can really load up on veggies in this simple, one pan dish. It is perfect for those nights when we need a quick meal before heading out for evening activities.

Here is the recipe that I made the other night and we absolutely loved it. I would say a cast iron pan or wok is mandatory for this, as it gives the noodles and veg a nicely browned and crispy edge.

Yaki Udon
Serves 2-4
Udon refers to the thick, white noodles that are typically Japanese. You can get them frozen in asian markets or in dry form. You can also use soba, the thinner noodles or spaghetti in a pinch for Yaki Soba. Frozen udon typically takes about 1 minute to boil. Let it drain while you are cooking the veg.
Use whatever veg you have available- broccoli and bean sprouts often find their way into yaki udon dishes. If you choose to add very thin slices of chicken or pork, cook that first for a few minutes, then add veggies. You may need a little more oil depending on how many veggies you use in the pan.

1 tbsp, or more, vegetable oil (sunflower, grapeseed, etc.)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1-2 carrots, julienned
1/2 small cabbage, thinly sliced
2 packages udon noodles, cooked (approx. 2-3 cups cooked noodles)
2 stalks green onions or a small bunch chives, thinly sliced
soy sauce
worcestershire sauce (vegetarian brands are usually available)
salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in cast iron pan over medium to medium-high heat. Begin cooking onions for about a minute, then add carrots and cabbage. Stir fry for a couple minutes, or until veggies are tender-crisp. Season with soy sauce (about 1 tbsp) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove vegetables from pan to a dish.
2. Add noodles to hot pan, swirl in a little more oil if needed, and stir fry for a minute or two. Add approximately 1 tsp worcestershire sauce (add more or less depending on your preference) and a few sprinkles of soy sauce. Add vegetables. Taste. See if it needs any additional seasoning. If it looks a bit dry for you (something that I prefer), you can add approximately 2-4 tbsp water. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately!