Though I most often picture udon swimming in huge bowls of broth, the thick Japanese noodles are just as comfortable when sautéed.
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When it comes to cooking Asian noodles, I tend to obsess over each and every ingredient or make them needlessly fussy and complex. But I'm learning to lighten up and focus on simplicity. This week I decided what I could do with the trio of bay scallops, baby bok choy, and udon noodles.
Dried mushrooms are the secret to this intensely-flavored mushroom-soy broth that is 100% vegan. Serve it with udon noodles topped with with stir-fried mushrooms and cabbage, scallions, and fried tofu.
We're taking Tom Kha Gai, the famous Thai coconut chicken soup, and changing it up. We're removing the "gai" (chicken) from both the name and the dish, doubling the amount of mushrooms, adding to it the bouncy udon noodles which is very Thai (just kidding), and replacing the source of salinity from the traditional fish sauce to salt (I personally don't think Tom Kha seasoned with soy sauce is palatable, but YMMV). We're also switching from chicken broth to vegetable broth.
This Sumo Wrestler Stew or Chankonabe from Poulet is a traditional method of carbo-loading for Japan's massive wrestlers. It's a hearty, bursting bowl of soup filled with rice, udon noodles, chicken thighs, tofu, and a load of good-for-your veggies. But even if you're not about enter the dohyō (that's a sumo ring), it's a fantastically filling bowl of soup and perfect for winter.
I'm absolutely stunned by this recipe from Takashi's Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi. This beef-topped udon dish is complex and slightly rich, with just a tinge of sweetness in each spoonful. The thinly sliced beef cooks in seconds, and the tofu and scallions need all of a minute before they're ready to go. It's so good I've made it twice in the past 24 hours.
I've gone a little noodle crazy. Though I've done my fair share of Italian pasta dishes over the years, it wasn't until the past few months that I started eating Asian noodles with abandon. I guess I finally realized a simple sauce and vegetables works just as well for udon as it can for spaghetti. This recipe from The Kitchn is one of the better ones I've found recently.
"Finally, these were the noodles of my dreams, noodles with the kind of the flexible yet creamy strands that I had only ever tasted with homemade Italian pasta." Note: Every week, SE intern Chichi Wang will be discussing some aspect...