I was looking for some rice noodles for dinner the other day and realized I have A LOT of noodles in my pantry. There were vermicelli rice noodles, Chinese egg noodles, pho noodles, soba noodles, dried ramen noodles, and dried udon noodles (2 kinds even). If you include all the pasta, then I pretty much
look like am a carb hoarder. However, that didn’t stop me from trying and falling in love with yet another asian noodle – instant udon noodles for this stir-fried udon noodles recipe.
Though there are some udon noodles that are found in the frozen or refrigerated case, we’re using the pre-cooked/shrink-wrapped/shelf stable kind for this recipe. I found some next to the old-school ramen soup packages at my grocery store. I didn’t even have to go to the Asian market or a fancy grocery store to find them.
Udon noodles are thick and chewy so they carry the flavor of the sweet-salty sauce in this stir-fry really well. Plus, these stir-fried udon noodles pack plenty of vegetables. And, you can change up the veggies and protein to what you have in the fridge. By using instant udon noodles and taking other shortcuts (like using bagged shredded cabbage), this dish comes together in under 30 minutes. Basically, there is nothing about this recipe I don’t love.
Personally, I can always use more recipes for quick, weeknight meals. Adding more noodles to my stash is just an added bonus.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 5 cups shredded cabbage (see Notes)
- 1 cup (firmly packed) julienned carrots
- 2 (7 ounce) packages instant udon noodles, flavor packets discarded
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 8 ounces ground pork or ground turkey (I use turkey)
- 5 scallions, chopped, plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (I use a microplane)
- ⅓ cup mirin
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving (optional)
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and carrots. Toss the mixture with tongs until cabbage just begins to wilt then let the mixture sit for 20-30 seconds to let the cabbage brown slightly. Repeat tossing and letting the mixture sit until cabbage is crisp-tender and slightly charred in spots, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place udon noodles in a large heatproof bowl or pot and cover with 6 cups boiling water. Let sit 1 minute, stirring with tongs or chopsticks to gently break up noodles, then drain in a colander. Transfer noodles back to bowl and toss with sesame oil. Transfer cabbage mixture to bowl with noodles. Wipe out skillet.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground pork or turkey, breaking meat up into large chunks. Cook meat, undisturbed, until underside is brown, about 3 minutes. When meat is browned, break it up into small bits. Continue cooking meat, tossing occasionally, until there’s no more pink, about 1 minute. Add scallions and ginger. Continue cooking meat mixture, tossing often, until scallions are softened, about 1 minute. Drain meat and return to skillet.
- In a small bowl, stir together mirin, soy sauce, and sriracha.
- Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add udon mixture and mirin mixture to the meat mixture. Cook, tossing constantly and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, until noodles are coated in sauce, about 45 seconds. Remove from heat and fold in sesame seeds. Top with more sesame seeds and chopped scallions before serving.
To make the prep work super easy, I use bagged coleslaw mix for the shredded cabbage.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.