Quick Yaki Udon

There was a time when I had the time to knead my very own Udon noodles at home, from scratch. It requires quite a bit of elbow grease despite the simple list of just three ingredients. Yaki Udon literally means ‘grilled udon noodles’, so the recipe is pretty flexible and you can use whatever vegetables you find in your fridge for it. The younger and more original sibling of this dish is Yaki Soba and it is the most famous stir-fried noodle dish in Japan. One of the very visually entertaining aspects of this dish is that once you sprinkle the Katsuobushi flakes onto the hot noodles just before serving, the steam causes them to keep gently fluttering and moving as if some little live creatures were in your dish! Sorry, did that make you lose your appetite? Trust me, you’ll love it.

There’s also a lot of complexity that you can build into the sauce of this Udon stir-fry, but today I will tell you how you can put together this delicious dish in just a few minutes in a quick-version of Yaki Udon.

  • Ingredients (makes one portion):
    • 200g instant Udon noodles
    • 100g smoked chicken slices
    • 50g red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 25g bean sprouts
    • 1 egg
    • 1 green onion, minced
    • 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • Katsuobushi (Bonito flakes) for garnish
    • Sesame oil
  • Method:
    1. Drop the Udon noodles into a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes until they untangle.
    2. Heat up a skillet or a wok pan and add about a tablespoon of sesame oil into it.
    3. Add the noodles to the pan and stir fry until they show some color. Remove the noodles and set them aside until you cook the vegetables.
    4. Re-oil the pan and add the vegetables, while reserving some of the green onion to sprinkle over the finished dish for garnish.
    5. Stir-fry the vegetables for about two minutes or until they start to wilt. Add the noodles back into the pan along with the sauces.
    6. Continue to stir-fry over high heat until the noodles are well coated with the sauce.
    7. Quickly crack the egg onto a naked surface of the pan and let it set for a few seconds.
    8. Give everything one last toss over the heat and serve immediately with a topping of green onions and Katsuobushi.
    9. Enjoy it while the Katsuobushi is still alive! 😉

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