This dish has a delicious sauce that is super easy. Just soy sauce and mirin. How easy is that? (sorry Ina, just had to say it.) And it uses those fat, yummy udon noodles that absorb the sauce and make every bite perfect. Easy week night meal to boot.
I just made a few little changes but you can see the original recipe in the link. I did not care for the cabbage, maybe I didn’t use the right kind? Any way I love the carrots and I think they look prettier too! I also used more ground pork but this is a personal choice. I tried using less sodium soy sauce but I didn’t think the flavor was there. Switched back to the regular when I made it again.
I ate the leftovers cold (or you could warm it up in the microwave), lunch for the next day? Also a vegetarian possibility as well: substitute the pork with mushrooms and/or tofu.
Better-than-Takeout Stir-Fried Udon (Bon Appetit March 2017)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
8-9 ounces julienne carrots (super skinny sticks of carrots) from 1 bunch of fresh carrots, if possible (fresh carrots still have their green frilly tops attached)
2, 7 ounce packages instant udon noodles, flavor packets discarded
2 teaspoons sesame oil (toasted if you can find)
12 ounces ground pork
5 scallions (1 bunch) white and pale green parts thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (from about a 1 inch piece)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/3 cup mirin
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Combine mirin and soy sauce in a glass or plastic measuring cup and set aside.
Place udon noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with 6 cups of boiling water. Let sit for 1 minute, stirring to break up the noodles, then drain into a colander. Transfer the noodles back into the heatproof bowl and toss with sesame oil.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non stick saucepan over medium high heat. Add julienne carrots, toss with the oil until coated, add 4 tablespoons of water and cover, steaming for about 5 minutes until just tender. A tiny bit of bite is perfect. Transfer carrots to the large bowl with the udon noodles.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add pork and break up into 6-8 large chunks. Let cook UNDISTURBED (that means do not touch) for 3 minutes. When the pork is nice and brown, turn over and then break up into smaller chunks. Toss the pork chunks occasionally until no longer pink.
Add scallions, ginger and red pepper if using and continue to cook, tossing often, for about 1 minute.
Add udon/carrot mixture and mirin/soy sauce mixture to sauce pan and toss together constantly for about 1-2 minutes until everything is heated through and noodles are coated with sauce.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Serve immediately.
julienne carrots: cut in 1/2 lengthwise, cut the 1/2 into 4-5 pieces:
cut those pieces in half. The top half is probably skinny enough, but you will have to cut the bottom pieces in 1/2 again.
mise en place:
place udon noodles in bowl and cover with boiling water:
drain and add back to bowl:
toss with sesame oil:
stir carrots with oil, coating:
add 4 tablespoons of water, cover, cook ~5 minutes until crisp tender:
add to bowl with udon noodles:
12 ounces ground pork:
place in pan and break up into 6-8 large chunks. Let cook undisturbed:
turn over: undisturbed crispy brown
break up into smaller chunks and toss together until no longer pink:
add scallions, ginger and optional red pepper:
cook for 1 minute:
add noodles and carrots and soy sauce/mirin sauce: