Fried noodles are a Chinese-inspired imported dish that is a favorite among the Japanese. Yaki means fried; udon is a thick white wheat noodle. There are other variations of fried noodles, using different noodles such as ramen (thin egg noodles) and soba (buckwheat noodles). It is a flexible dish because you can add any type of meat or seafood, along with your choice of stir-fried vegetables. The actual seasonings are quite simple which make this quick to throw together and perfect for using up leftover extra udon noodles.
Udon noodles come both wet and dried in packages. They can be found in the noodle aisle of your local Asian market, in the refrigerated sections or online. To cook the udon noodles, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Use plenty of water as the noodles will release a lot of starch and will stick together. Untie several bundles of noodles (for this recipes, use two) and place them in the boiling water. Stir to keep the noodles separated. Cook until tender but not soggy). Different brands of noodles take longer than others due to the difference in thickness. Read the label for cooking time suggestions. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water to cool them down and stop the cooking. Use as directed in following recipe.
2 bundles of udon noodles, cooked and drained
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked meat of your choice (thinly sliced beef rib, chicken thighs, pork rib meat or shrimp work well)
¼ cup carrot, grated
½ white onion, sliced
½ green bell pepper
1 cup cabbage, shredded
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup moyashi or bean sprouts, uncooked
½ cup kamaboko, julienned (matchsticks)
¼ cup katsuobushi or bonito flakes (not granules)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
5 Tbsp.Worcestershire sauce
pinch of black pepper, freshly ground
1 Tbsp. shouga or red pickled ginger slices
In a small mixing bowl, blend together the soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce, black pepper and katsuobushi. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the carrot, cabbage, white onion and bell pepper and stir fry until tender crisp. Add the meat and cook until done. Add udon noodles, moyashi and kamaboko and stir fry for a minute. Add the soy sauce mixture and toss well to coat while frying for additional two minutes.
Plate noodles and top with shouga (pickled ginger slices) and more sliced scallions, if desired.
This is one of my childhood favorite dishes. My husband who dislikes udon noodles in soup broth enjoys yaki udon quite a bit. I hope you enjoy it, too.