Yaki Udon

Yaki udon is a Japanese dish that involves stir-frying udon noodles (yaki means fry/grill) with meat and assorted vegetables in a sweet and savory sauce that comprises mainly of soy sauce and mirin. This dish is a variation of yakisoba, which involves frying/grilling soba noodles. The combination of umami from the soy sauce and the sweetness of the mirin makes this a very comforting meal that you can commonly find in izakaya or in street markets.

One of the reasons why I absolutely love making yaki udon because its such an easy, convenient and inexpensive one-pan meal! It’s a perfect midweek meal that you can quickly whip up after a busy work-day and is easily scale-able to feed your entire family. If udon know, then now you know!

Ingredients (for approx 5 servings)
-5 x 250 g frozen udon noodles
-10 oz sliced shiitake mushroom
-2 bellpeppers (red, green, and/or orange), sliced thin
-Approx 1 lb bok choy, leaves pulled from root
-1 whole large yellow onion, diced
-2 lb of ground beef (For Vegetarian: 2 lb Beyond Meat Ground Beef -or- 20 oz OmniPork Ground Pork)
-Fried garlic, for garnish
-Chopped green onion, for garnish
-Cooking oil

Sauce
-5 Tbsp soy sauce or Maggi sauce
-4 Tbsp oyster sauce (For vegetarian: vegetarian stir fry sauce)
-2 Tbsp mirin
-4 tsp brown sugar
-1 tsp rice vinegar

Procedure
1. Add all “Sauce” ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix well until sugar all dissolved and sauce is homogeneous.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place frozen udon noodles into the boiling water for 1 minute.
3. Drain the udon noodles and cool down with cold water.
4. Heat up approx 1 tbsp of cooking oil to a wok or stir-fry pan.
5. Add diced onion and sliced bellpepper into the pan and cook on high heat until onion caramelizes and bellpepper softens.
6. Add mushroom to the pan and stir-fry until mushrooms soften.
7. Add bok choy to the pan and stir-fry until stem and leaves shrink and soften.
8. Add the drained udon noodles into the pan and stir.
9. Add approx 80% of the sauce into the pan and mix everything well.
10. Remove all the udon and vegetables from the pan.
11. In the empty pan, add 1 tbsp of cooking oil.
12. Add ground beef (or mock ground meat) into the pan. Add the remaining 20% of sauce and stir well.
13. Cook the meat until it browns.
14. Place meat on top of noodles and garnish with green onions and fried garlic.

Observations
-Other good vegetables to use for this dish can be snow peas, green beans, or carrots
-This dish can be prepared for both meat eaters and vegetarian. If you want it to be vegetarian, substitute oyster sauce for vegetarian stir fry sauce (you can find in most Asian markets). Also replace the ground beef with mock beef.
-Fried garlic is optional, but adds a whole new depth of flavor and texture! Very much recommended.
-If you don’t have mirin, you can replace with sake + an additional 1/2 tsp of brown sugar

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