I love Asian noodles, and probably just as much as Laura loves pasta. Stir-fried udon, mei fun (米粉), ho fun (河粉), pad thai, pho, etc... Dried or fresh, you name it, I'll get my hands on it. To me, Asian noodle isn't as heavy and dense as pasta so eating a massive amount of it is never a problem.
Let's talk about udon for a second here. The ones that are usually available at stores and even restaurants are the ones that are packed individually in little plastic bags that might look like they are vacuum-sealed. Even my favorite Japanese noodle bar in the East Village, Udon West, uses those kind of udon. (I love Udon West because it's a no BS, get-in-and-get-out joint that i can get a great meal for a bargain.) I would, however, love to try some fresh udon because everything tastes better fresh! (well, almost everything.)
Listen, I'm not Japanese or an expert in udon making. Was the udon noodle really introduced to the Japanese by Kūkai in the 9th century? I don't know. But I do know that udon is a thick, round noodle that's made out of wheat. It's soft and chewy, and usually served hot in a broth or dashi, very much like how soba and ramen are served. Another way to cook udon is "yaki" which means grilled or pan-fried. So next time you're in a Japanese restaurant, and see Yakiudon or Yakisoba on the menu, you should know what they are (without looking at the full-colored pictures). So yes, I guess I kind of made a Yakiudon here (without using a hot iron plate, and a much simplified version).
Stir-fries are easy. Chop your ingredients and line up your sauces and you're ready to get cooking. For this stir-fried udon, I got cabbage, broccoli, carrot, a couple (imitation) crab meat sticks, an egg, and used sweetened soy sauce for the main seasoning. I finished it off with a shower of sesame seeds on top! If you have teriyaki sauce, feel free to drizzle some of that in your stir-fried udon.
Pretty darn simple, right?
Stir-Fried Udon (炒烏冬)
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 30 mins
- 2 packs of udon noodles
- 1 cup carrot, julienned
- 1 1/2 cup shredded green (flat) cabbage
- 1 1/2 cup broccoli floret
- 2 (imitation) crab meat sticks, cut into 1/2" pieces on an angle
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- sesame seeds
- 3/4 soy sauce
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- Break down the packed udon noodles in a big bowl of warm water. Let it sit.
- In a sauce pan, heat up soy sauce with sugar on very low heat until the sauce has thicken up just a bit.
- Fry the egg roughly with some oil, and break the yolk. Set aside.
- Add some sesame oil on a hot pan, and cook the vegetable until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Then, add egg and crab meat.
- Drain the udon noodles (they shouldn't be hard anymore but not too soft), and add them to the pan.
- Pour the sweetened soy sauce on top and stir frequently until the sauce has well-distributed.
- Plate, and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.