Udon with Mushrooms and Greens
This little recipe is not wildly exciting from an ingredient standpoint but it does illustrate a useful technique for cooking noodles that works especially well for the lovely thick Japanese variety known as ‘Udon’.
Basically, the idea for this type of stir-fry is to do a preliminary frying of the noodles in a good amount of fat at high temperature so that they become slightly toasted on the outside. This gives them a nice crisp, chewy texture that adds a different dimension to the dish than one gets from adding the noodles only at the end.
This Recipe Card below calls for Dried Black Mushrooms (Shiitake), which need to be reconstituted before use. You can use the fresh variety, or even some other sort of mushroom, but the taste and texture will just not be the same.
The Daikon Greens can be replaced with some other sort, such as Spinach, or Kale, if you like. Kale, or other robust greens should be blanched like Daikon Greens, but you can skip this with Spinach.
Finally, I am using rendered pork fat for stir-frying in this recipe as it really produces a great flavor but you can use just vegetable oil if you wish…
Heat 3 or 4 tablespoons of rendered pork fat (or vegetable oil) in a pan over very high heat and then throw in the noodles. Toss very quickly so that each becomes coated in fat and then continue sautéing, making sure that none stick to the bottom of the pan. As the surface of the noodles start to brown slightly, add the soy sauce just a splash at a time and let it get absorbed. Continue tossing, and when some of the noodles are getting distinctly toasted in places, remove to a bowl.
Mix the Oyster sauce, wine and sugar in a bowl and set aside for now.
Turn down the heat under your pan and add just a splash more fat or oil. Sauté the scallion and the Jalapeno (if using) for a few seconds and then stir in the garlic paste. Allow to cook for a moment or so longer until the aroma of the garlic arises.
Add the mushrooms and greens and stir-fry until the greens are nicely tender.
Finally, add the noodles, toss for a few moments until all is heated through and then serve. That’s it…
Your Recipe Card:
Udon with Mushrooms and Greens
- 3 cups cooked Udon
- 1 cup pre-blanched and chopped Daikon greens
- 2 Shiitake Mushrooms soaked and sliced
- 2 Scallions sliced thinly on the bias
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper de-seeded and cut into slivers (optional)
- 2 – 3 tbsp. Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Garlic paste
- 4 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
- ¼ cup White Wine
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- Fry the cooked noodles in oil, or fat, over a high flame, adding Soy Sauce a little at a time, until the noodles are getting toasted on the surface. Remove to a bowl when finished.
- Mix the Oyster sauce, wine and sugar in a bowl and set aside for now.
- Reduce heat to medium, stir-fry the Scallion and the Jalapeno for a few seconds, then add in the Garlic Paste and fry a few seconds longer until the Garlic aroma rises.
- Add the mushrooms and greens and stir-fry until the greens are nicely tender.
- Finally, add the noodles, toss for a few moments until all is heated through and then serve.