Yaki-udon: Stir Fried Udon Noodles
Like everybody else in Kansai, I’m udon-crazy: there’s no udon dish I don’t love. This particular way to make udon – basically a fast noodle stir fry – is as unpretentious as Japanese cooking gets: a casual dish served to the hungry masses, typically for lunch.
Usually, you would make yaki-udon with yakisoba sauce – a sweet-and-savory concoction close to the type of sauce we put on Japanese pancakes.
For this recipe, though, we do something a little different, relying on dashi. To make the seasoning, what we did is take some katsuobushi bonito flakes and some konbu and throw them in the blender!
Very easy…surprisingly delicious.
Ingredients (serves four)
- Udon noodles – buy the dry kind – 400 g.
- Pork – 200 grams
- Onion – one medium one
- Cabbage – 1/8th of a head of cabbage
- Carrot – one medium one
- Spring onions – four
- Bean sprouts – 100 g.
- Katsuobushi flakes – two packs
- Dashi – one tea spoon
- Konbu – one small section
- Sake – two tablespoons
- Soy sauce – two tablespoons
- Salt – to taste
- Frying oil – two tablespoons
- Chop cabbage into largeish chunks, the spring onion medium-large, the carrot into thin little strips, and the pork into thin strips. Slice the onion.
- Place katsuobushi flakes together with dry konbu in a blender. Blend. (If you have powdery Katsuobushi, use that instead.)
click to enlarge
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook udon following the instructions on the package.
- Drain udon, run under cold water, massaging well with your hands to get rid of the excess starch
- Heat a large frying pan, add frying oil, stir fry the pork until it browns
- Add onions and keep stir frying until the onions get translucent
- Add carrots, cabbage, keep stir frying until everything softens a little
- Add bean sprouts, spring onions, keep stir frying
- Add the noodles, stirring all along
- Add the freshly blended katsuobushi, dashi, konbu, sake and then soy sauce
- When it’s well blended, taste to test the seasoning. Add salt if needed.
click to enlarge
The other night, we enjoyed yakiudon – along with beer and gyoza -with our friends Patrick and Anne-Frédérique. We suspect they enjoyed making these photos almost as much as they enjoyed the meal!