Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pan-fried Udon Noodles with Beef, Broccoli and Shiitakes

As promised, I’m posting the recipe for pan-fried udon noodles, a dish that I submitted to Citymama’s $10 dinner challenge. Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you! I made this dish for under $10! You can read the original post here. Who says flavorful, healthy, low-cost meals can’t be had anymore?

Someone made the comment that this dish looked sensual. That gave me a good chuckle.

This is a versatile recipe and you can use any vegetables you choose. Same goes with the meat or you could leave it out all together. I do recommend the shiitakes though. They really add a nice flavor and texture. The udon noodles also have a nice texture and they are just fun to eat in the same way spaghetti is fun to eat. I think kids and adults alike can enjoy this dish.

Pan-fried Udon Noodles with Beef, Broccoli and Shiitakes
Serves 3 to 4
  • 1 package dried udon noodles (usually sold in 8.8 oz packages) or about 1 pound fresh udon noodles
  • 10 ounces chuck steak, sliced for stir-frying
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbs mirin (keep divided)
  • ¼ cup low sodium tamari (or 3 tbs regular soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp sugar (more to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • ½ pound broccoli, cut for stir-frying
  • 1 ounce dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds, toasted
If using dried noodles, boil them first for about 3 or 4 minutes less than indicated on the package. You’ll cook them further when you stir-fry them. Drain and rinse them with cold water. Allow them to drain well and toss them with a little oil if you aren’t ready to us them right away.

Soak the mushrooms in boiling water until they soften up. Squeeze them dry and set aside until needed.

In a small bowl, combine the sliced beef, cornstarch and 1 tbs mirin. Mix well and allow to marinate for 10 minutes or so while you prepare the other ingredients.

Make the sauce by combining the remaining mirin, tamari and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.

Once all your ingredients are ready, heat a wok over high heat. When hot, add about 1 to 2 tbs oil (try refined sesame oil, it’s appropriate for stir-frying). When it gets really hot, throw in the marinating meat and garlic. Quickly stir-fry until just no longer pink, but not until done. Remove from the wok and set aside. Add a little more oil if necessary then add the ginger, broccoli, and mushrooms. On top of that add the cold, drained noodles. Stir-fry without over-stirring for about 2 minutes. The noodles should begin to take on some color and the broccoli should begin to soften. Once the noodles are warmed through, add about half of the sauce and allow the noodles to absorb it. Covering the wok helps this go a little faster. Then add the beef back in and the remaining sauce. Once the sauce is absorbed and the beef is cooked through, you’re done!

To serve, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.


Jason said...

I love udon noodles, they are really fun to eat, and I love broccoli, this recipe sounds really amazing!

Manggy said...

Like Jason, I *adore* udon too... It's so thick and fun to slurp. I was surprised to find the inclusion of mirin-- this sensual (yes) dish is the perfect blend of Chinese and Japanese influences!

Dee said...

Jason, it's easy too!

manggy, mirin, tamari and a little sugar. That's my super simplified teriyaki sauce :-) I think you pin pointed the fun part--slurping them!

Lars said...

Still looks yummy. I've never tried the udon noodles, but i've been eyeballing them for quite some time at the local asian market. The wife just made me throw the moose meat (yes moose, it's norway!) in the freezer, that i was planning on using today, because she insisted on no meat tonight since we already had quite enough meat for the week + we are going out to this brilliant french restaurant in town tomorrow to celebrate that she just got a new job back in denmark! So I think I might try out a vegetarian version of your japanese udon noodles tonight instead. Thanks for great posting! Looking forward to the first round up of the regional recipes.

tigerfish said...

This looks awesome! I like pan-fried udon but never tried cooking them at home before.

Mary Bergfeld said...

This looks so very good. Another great recipe...thanks for sharing.

Dee said...

Lars, it still looks yummy because I used the same picture :-). Any vegetarian version would be just as good. It's the noodles in the sauce that is the star of this show! Oh, and congrats to Lene! I'm sure both your parents are glad you'll be closer.

Tigerfish, it really is so easy to do. I actually never thought to pan-fry udon, but I saw it at a take-out restaurant and thought I could make it just as good at home :-)

Mary, thank you! And thank you for your link to Regional recipes. Round-up is coming soon

Jan said...

That looks great! I have some udon noodles that I keep meaning to do something with. Your dish looks really yummy.

test it comm said...

That looks like a tasty meal. I will have to try frying udon noodles.

MaryRuth said...

I made this for dinner tonight--yummy! I've always wanted to do something more with udon than soup, this was a good way to learn.
What's this "refined sesame oil"? I live near a huge Japanese grocery store, so if you give me a brand name, I'm sure I will be able to find it. Makes sense to use a higher temp oil.

Dee said...

maryruth, refined sesame oil is used for things like stir-frying. it's light on color, like peanut oil, and it's light on taste compared to the sesame oils one normally sees in grocery stores. I use Spectrum brand, which I purchased at Whole Foods. I've not yet seen it at my Asian market, which is surprising. Spectrum also makes a toasted sesame oil with a nice robust flavor. I've purchased Asian brands before, but a couple of times they tasted more burnt than toasted. I actually had to throw them away!

If you can't find this oil easily, it's not big deal. Peanut oil can substitute nicely.

I'm glad you tried it. It is pretty yummy, huh?

gaga said...

I love fried udon. Your food always looks so gorgeous. Mine usually doesn't get that beautiful deep brown color.

Dee said...

Thanks, gaga! The color comes from the caramelization of the sauce, and beef stir-fries tend to be darker anyways. My vegetarian stir-fries don't get that dark normally.