Yaki Udon

Yaki Udon

Udon are a type of thick white Japanese noodle, made of wheat flour and most commonly used in soup – kake udon – though they have many other applications besides. Yaki udon simply means ‘fried udon’ and it can be made according to many different recipes – no two recipes for yaki udon that I’ve seen have been the same. This fact makes it a perfect candidate for culinary exploration and experimentation. However, in this case I thought it best to go for a simple seasoning of soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil as it has yet to fail in the flavour department.

When using udon noodles always buy them fresh; all of the dried packets of udon I’ve seen are flat and boring – not at all what an udon noodle ought to be like. Most packets of fresh udon that I’ve come across purport to be ‘straight-to-wok’ – don’t listen to it! It’s always best to soak your udon in boiling water before use as it makes for a lighter, fresher meal. Every noodle in a stir fry needs to be autonomous, particularly when it comes to the thicker varieties – it can be very off-putting to be served a bowl of noodles which are clinging to one another as if holding on to their very lives.

Yaki Udon

Prawns make a great addition to yaki udon as they both possess a certain delicacy of touch and flavour. You may think that prawns are a little expensive to be featured on a so-called ‘frugal’ blog – not so! Shop around and it is a scientific certainty that you’ll stumble across a cheap source sooner rather than later. Besides, each bowl of noodles only requires 5-6 prawns – any more than that and it’s likely that someone’s being a little greedy!

How ever you wish to enjoy your yaki udon, give my basic seasoning a go – it won’t disappoint, I promise!

Yaki Udon

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 200g fresh udon noodles

• 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

• 1 fresh chilli, finely sliced

• 4-5 florets of purple sprouting broccoli, stalks and all

• 10-12 prawns (shrimp)

• 2 tbsp sesame oil

• 2 tbsp soy sauce

• 1 tsp fish sauce

Method:

1. Prepare all of your ingredients, separating the broccoli stalks from the flowers – slicing the stalks into small pieces. Pop the noodles in a bowl of boiling hot water to separate.

Yaki Udon

2. Add the oil to a very hot wok, add the garlic and chilli, followed by the broccoli stalks and prawns, cook for a minute. Add the broccoli flowers and noodles, followed by the fish sauce and soy sauce. Cook and toss for a further 2 minutes, ensuring everything is coated with the sauce.

Yaki Udon

Cost: Purple sprouting broccoli always seems to be rather expensive, but if you use the stalks it’s easy to get 5-6 meals out of every bunch. As mentioned above, prawns can be found for a very reasonable price if you search around. Indeed, this may seem like a rather luxurious dish – and it is – but can be made for very little money – £1.60 for two portions!

67 thoughts on “Yaki Udon

  1. swedenole13

    I like that you describe the ingredients so well. And I also like the fact that even people on a limited budget can have some of the finer things in life in moderation! (Prawns!!) Photos speak in volumes! Now if we could just get a scent thing going…..

  2. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    This looks delightful! (And you are so right about the importance of “autonomous” noodles in stir-fried noodle dishes :) ) I love the shrimp/broccoli combination as well as your not-so-Japanese mixture of seasonings, adding chili and fish sauce– it all seems so bright and flavorful!

  3. narf77

    I love udon. They make the most unctuous chewy morsels to soak up Asian sauces and I even went as far as hunting the net for days to find out how to make them myself. There is a stage of udon making that involves putting the dough into a garbage (or other plastic) bag and stomping it with your feet…I think I lost interest in the homemade udon around about then…I only eat them occasionally because they are all white BUT when I do, it is love and adoration all tangled up together. Udon…you complete me :)

  4. kumquat

    That purple brocolli is gorgeous….there was a fantastic episode of worst cooks on foodnetwork that showed you how to make Asian noodles….looks fun too no tools needed

  5. Bunny Eats Design

    I always keep udon noodles in the pantry (the vacuum packed kind) and prawns/shrimp in the freezer. I’d probably sub the purple sprouting broc for the regular stuff or even gai lan which is quite similar. I adore sesame oil. It’s such a rich flavour that I cannot stop eating.

          1. Conor Bofin

            Excellent. I did a quick 20k between work and a chicken curry by the wife this evening. I use the Strava app. Brilliant info and great for making one more competitive. As if I need it at my age… Enjoy the Welsh hills.

          2. Admin

            I’m actually living in Bristol at the moment, so we’re cycling between here and Bath – 48k there or there abouts. Just downloading the app!

          3. Conor Bofin

            Excellent. I plan a spin tomorrow. My Strava name is my name so follow if you like. There are a few stretches on the road to the Wicklow Mountains of 15 degree grade. Enough to make a grown man cry.

  6. Karista

    I could eat Udon everyday! This is beautiful and I’d like a bowl right now. :) Your photography is stunning Frugal. I can’t browse your blog without getting hungry. Have a lovely day!

  7. Somer

    Love the boiling the udon in water for a bit trick. Some packages I’ve seen simply said to rinse the noodles. Stuck as ever… I think I need to try this with a bit of tofu.

  8. Elsie Humphrey

    How do I use it? Udon can be served hot in a broth, or cold with a dipping sauce. The toppings and soups are similar to soba with variations such a tempura udon, kitsune udon (with fried tofu) and tsukimi udon (with a raw egg on top). Other variations that are exclusive to udon noodles include karei udon (with japanese curry on top), and yakiudon (pan fried with veggies, seafood and a sweet sauce).

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