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Better Japanese noodles via Italy
Milk Street Bowtie Yakiudon with Pickled Ginger

Yakiudon with Pickled Ginger

45 minutes

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Yakiudon with Pickled Ginger

Free

This Japanese stir-fried noodle dish is largely about the chew, which comes from hearty wheat udon noodles. We got the dense chewiness we wanted by using the Italian technique of cooking until al dente—still quite firm. Japanese noodles often are rinsed after cooking, and chilling helps prevent them from turning soggy. We streamlined the process by adding ice to the strainer as we rinsed the udon under cold running water. Fresh udon is sold frozen, refrigerated and in shelf-stable packages, but for this recipe we used dried noodles, which are more widely available. The sharp bite of pickled ginger complements the salty, savory noodles. If you’re not up to making your own, look for jars of it in the grocery store’s Asian section. Also in that section: shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend for sprinkling on at the table to add a little heat.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t boil the udon until fully tender; the noodles need to be al dente, or they will be limp and overdone in the finished dish. Start checking for doneness well ahead of the suggested cooking time on the package. We found that some brands were al dente in about half recommended time. And don't let the cooked udon chill in the ice water for any longer than needed or the noodles will become waterlogged.

45 minutes

12 ounces dried udon noodles
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 small dried shiitake mushrooms, broken in half
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, halved if large, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced crosswise ½-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Shichimi togarashi, to serve (optional)
Pickled ginger, to serve
Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces dried udon noodles

  • 2

    tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • ¼
  • ¼

    cup water

  • 2

    tablespoons mirin

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 3

    small dried shiitake mushrooms, broken in half

  • 8

    ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, halved if large, thinly sliced

  • 1

    small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 12

    ounces baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced crosswise ½-inch thick

  • ½

    teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 2

    scallions, thinly sliced on bias

  • 1

    tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

  • Shichimi togarashi, to serve (optional)

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the udon, stir well and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles, then add 2 cups of ice to the strainer. Continue running under cool water, tossing, until the noodles are chilled. Drain well, then transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 2 teaspoons of the oil, then set aside.
    See Demo
    Yakiudon Step 1
  2. 02
    In a small saucepan over medium, combine the soy sauce, water, mirin and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring, then add the dried mushrooms, pushing them into the liquid. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside until the mushrooms have softened and cooled, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the shiitake mushrooms from the soy sauce mixture, squeezing them to allow any liquid to drip back into the pan. Remove and discard the stems, then finely chop. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
    See Demo
    Yakiudon Step 2
  3. 03
    Remove the mushrooms from the soy sauce mixture, squeezing them to allow any liquid to drip back into the pan. Remove and discard the stems, then finely chop. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. 04
    In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and slightly shrunken, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy and cook, stirring, until the leaves are wilted and the stem pieces are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add to the chopped dried shiitakes.
    See Demo
    Yakiudon Step 3
  5. 05
    Set the now-empty skillet over medium and add the udon, gently tossing them with tongs. Add the vegetable mixture, gently toss a few times, then add the soy sauce mixture and white pepper. Cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are heated and have absorbed most of the liquid, about 2 minutes. Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with shichimi togarashi and pickled ginger.
    See Demo
    Yakiudon Step 4
Tip: Don’t boil the udon until fully tender; the noodles need to be al dente, or they will be limp and overdone in the finished dish. Start checking for doneness well ahead of the suggested cooking time on the package. We found that some brands were al dente in about half recommended time. And don't let the cooked udon chill in the ice water for any longer than needed or the noodles will become waterlogged.
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In the store
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Reviews
Patrica M.
July 11, 2022
Yakiudon
Delicious, very authentic taste, a bit of prep but easily comes together. Yum.
Robert S.

I made this for me and my wife, so I reduced the noodles by half. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written. It was great! Will definitely make this again.

Cody A.

I've made this about 4-5 times now and it's quickly become one of my favourite meals! Great with added protein (I like tofu, but ground pork or a fried egg is also nice), and vegetable substitutions have worked out well if you know how long to fry them. If you can't get your hands on togarashi, adding a bit of spice to the finished product helps with balance.

Janine W.

This was very delicious and the dish came together very easily. Will definitely make it again :)

Janet A.

Fantastic!! I multi-tasked steps 1, 2, and 3 and it came out perfectly. Absolutely scrumptious and so healthy. Perfect balance of flavors.


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Yakiudon with Pickled Ginger

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

45 minutes

Tip

Don’t boil the udon until fully tender; the noodles need to be al dente, or they will be limp and overdone in the finished dish. Start checking for doneness well ahead of the suggested cooking time on the package. We found that some brands were al dente in about half recommended time. And don't let the cooked udon chill in the ice water for any longer than needed or the noodles will become waterlogged.

Ingredients
  • 12

    ounces dried udon noodles

  • 2

    tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • ¼
  • ¼

    cup water

  • 2

    tablespoons mirin

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 3

    small dried shiitake mushrooms, broken in half

  • 8

    ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, halved if large, thinly sliced

  • 1

    small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • 12

    ounces baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced crosswise ½-inch thick

  • ½

    teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 2

    scallions, thinly sliced on bias

  • 1

    tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

  • Shichimi togarashi, to serve (optional)

Step 1 of 5

Cook and drain the udon

12
ounces dried udon noodles
2
teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the udon, stir well and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles, then add 2 cups of ice to the strainer.


Continue running under cool water, tossing, until the noodles are chilled. Drain well, then transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 2 teaspoons of the oil, then set aside.

Step 2 of 5

Make the soy sauce mixture and submerge the mushrooms

¼
cup soy sauce
¼
cup water
2
tablespoons mirin
1
teaspoon white sugar
3
small dried shiitake mushrooms, broken in half

In a small saucepan over medium, combine the soy sauce, water, mirin and sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring, then add the dried mushrooms, pushing them into the liquid.


Remove from the heat, cover and set aside until the mushrooms have softened and cooled, 20 to 30 minutes.


Remove the shiitake mushrooms from the soy sauce mixture, squeezing them to allow any liquid to drip back into the pan. Remove and discard the stems, then finely chop. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 3 of 5

Remove the Mushrooms

Remove the mushrooms from the soy sauce mixture, squeezing them to allow any liquid to drip back into the pan. Remove and discard the stems, then finely chop. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 4 of 5

Cook the vegetables

2
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
8
ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, halved if large, thinly sliced
1
small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2
medium garlic cloves, minced
12
ounces baby bok choy, trimmed and sliced crosswise ½-inch thick

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and slightly shrunken, about 3 minutes.


Add the onion, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Add the bok choy and cook, stirring, until the leaves are wilted and the stem pieces are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add to the chopped dried shiitakes.

Step 5 of 5

Finish cooking and serve

2
scallions, thinly sliced on bias
1
tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Shichimi togarashi, to serve (optional)
Pickled ginger, to serve

Set the now-empty skillet over medium and add the udon, gently tossing them with tongs. Add the vegetable mixture, gently toss a few times, then add the soy sauce mixture and white pepper. Cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are heated and have absorbed most of the liquid, about 2 minutes.


Transfer to serving bowls and sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with shichimi togarashi and pickled ginger.

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