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Yaki Udon: My Journey to the Perfect Stir-Fried Noodle Dish

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy92vsysjqQThere's something magical about a dish that's quick and easy to make, but still tastes absolutely delicious. Yaki Udon is one of those dishes for me. It's a Japanese dish that involves stir-frying udon noodles with a variety of ingredients, and it's incredibly satisfying to make and eat.


Yaki Udon

The first time I made Yaki Udon, I admit I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing. I had never stir-fried anything before, so I was a bit intimidated by the process. But as I started to cook, I realized Yaki Udon is a pretty forgiving dish. You can add whatever ingredients you have on hand, and as long as you have the basic technique down, it will turn out delicious.


So, what exactly is Yaki Udon? At its core, it's a stir-fried noodle dish that's made with udon noodles. Udon noodles are thick and chewy and made from wheat flour, salt, and water. They're a staple in Japanese cuisine and perfect for stir-frying because they hold up well to heat and don't get mushy.

To make Yaki Udon, you start by cooking the udon noodles according to the package instructions. Then, you stir-fry them with a variety of ingredients. The most basic version of Yaki Udon involves stir-frying the noodles with soy sauce and some vegetables, but you can add all sorts of other umami ingredients to take it to the next level.


Speaking of umami ingredients, one of my favorite things about Yaki Udon is how versatile it is. You can add just about any ingredient that has a savory, meaty, or slightly funky flavor to enhance the umami. Some of my favorite ingredients to add include mushrooms, tofu, bacons, and bonito flakes. But really, the possibilities are endless.


As I started to experiment with different ingredients and techniques, I began to develop my own personal approach to Yaki Udon. Here are some of the tips and tricks I've learned along the way:

  1. Use a hot pan: One of the keys to stir-frying is to use a really hot pan. You want the pan to be hot enough that the ingredients sizzle and cook quickly. This helps to create that delicious charred flavor that makes stir-fry so satisfying.

  2. Prep your ingredients ahead of time: Stir-frying is a fast and furious cooking method, so it's important to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. Chop your vegetables, slice your meat, and measure out your sauces so that everything is within arm's reach when you need it.

  3. Don't overcrowd the pan: When stir-frying, it's important not to overcrowd the pan. If you add too many ingredients at once, they'll steam instead of fry, and you won't get that delicious charred flavor. Cook in batches if necessary, and leave plenty of room in the pan for the ingredients to cook evenly.

  4. Add the sauce at the end: One mistake that many people make when stir-frying is adding the sauce too early. If you add the sauce too soon, the ingredients will get soggy and won't brown properly. Instead, wait until the very end to add your sauces and toss everything together quickly.


Using these techniques and incorporating different umami ingredients, I've been able to create my own personal version of Yaki Udon that I absolutely love. Here's my recipe:


Ingredients:

  • 400 g. udon noodles

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 bell pepper or carrots, thinly sliced

  • 4 oz. mushrooms, sliced (optional)

  • 4 oz. tofu, diced (optional)

  • 4 oz. cabbage, sliced (optional)

  • 150 g. proteins (i.e. Bacons, Chicken, Shrimps, etc.)

  • 3 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce

  • 1 tbsp. mirin

  • 1 tbsp. sugar

  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil

  • Spring onions, sliced, for garnish

  • Bonito flakes, for garnish

Preparations:

  1. Cook the udon noodles according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.

  3. Add the onion, bacon, carrots, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.

  4. Add the mushrooms, tofu, garlic, and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add the cooked udon noodles and toss everything together.

  6. Whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl.

  7. Pour the sauce over the udon noodles and toss everything together quickly.

  8. Garnish with sliced green onions, bonito flakes and serve hot.



This version of Yaki Udon has a ton of flavor and texture. The udon noodles are chewy and satisfying, while the vegetables and bacon add crunch and substance. The sauce perfectly balances savory and sweet, with a slight tang from the mirin. And the green onions on top add a pop of freshness and color.


Overall, I've learned that Yaki Udon is a dish about personal preference. You can make it as simple or as complex as you want, depending on the ingredients and techniques you use. But no matter how you make it, Yaki Udon is a delicious and satisfying dish that's perfect for any occasion.


I hope this blog post has inspired you to try making Yaki Udon for yourself. Whether you're an experienced cook or a beginner, Yaki Udon is a dish that anyone can make and enjoy. So go ahead and give it a try - I promise you won't be disappointed!



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1 Comment


Herbert Chandler
Herbert Chandler
Apr 26, 2023

I love this dish, my family's favourite. Thanks for sharing.

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