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Better Japanese noodles via Italy

Yakiudon with Pickled Ginger

45 minutes

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Yakiudon with Pickled Ginger

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.




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

Patrica M.
July 11, 2022
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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