If I could only eat one Japanese noodle for the rest of my life I just might have to choose udon. They’re thick, soft, chewy, slurpy and so amazingly versatile that you won’t get bored with them anytime soon. This recipe for vegetable udon stir fry is quick and easy, ready in just fifteen minutes and a great weeknight dinner idea.
Summer is by far the best time to be whipping up 15-minutes meals, especially ones that don’t require you to turn on the oven. When it’s too hot to put on pants and you’d much rather be on the patio with a glass of wine than standing over a hot stove in the kitchen, this recipe is for you! Simply give your noodles a quick soak to separate, throw some veggies in the wok with a bit of water to steam, pour over the sauce and Bob’s your uncle. Dinner in 15.
The Japanese really have the noodle game covered. Don’t get me wrong, Italy, I will forever love pasta e fagioli (another great summertime meal, btw), but the variety in tastes, textures and ingredients of Japanese noodles are unmatched, in my humble opinion. Instant ramen has had its day in the spotlight but now it’s the turn of soba and udon to take over the world.
Both soba and udon can be served hot, cold, in soups, with any combination of veggies or sauce. I’ve already got two soba recipes on the blog: sesame-ginger soba and soba with shiitake mushrooms, both of which are quick and easy, but I’m sure that this vegetable udon stir fry will be just the first of many, many udon recipes to come.
As with any stir-fry, the choice of vegetable is up to you and stir-fried dishes are always great for cleaning the fridge out of any stragglers. Because udon noodles are so soft, I chose broccoli and red pepper to add a bit of fresh crispness and textural contrast, and fresh shiitakes for bit of meatiness. Fried tofu would also be great in this dish if you don’t like mushrooms, or add in some shredded cabbage or fresh spinach for some green goodness!
- 400 grams (14 oz) of fresh udon noodles
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 green onions, sliced and whites separated from greens
- 150 grams (5 oz) broccoli florets
- 150 grams (5 oz) fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- Half a red pepper, sliced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed for steaming the veggies
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Soak the noodles in a pot of hot water for just a couple of minutes until they separate. Drain and set aside.
- Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, 2 tbs water and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a wok or large pan over medium-high heat and add the oil, garlic, ginger and white parts of the green onions. Fry, stirring continuously, until transparent and fragrant.
- Add the broccoli, mushrooms and red pepper. Add about 3 tablespoons of water to the pan to allow the veggies steam while stirring continuously. Once the water has evaporated, test the veggies and see if they are done to your liking. If not, add a bit more water and continue stir-frying.
- Add the noodles, give the sauce a stir in the bowl and pour it over. Mix well and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens - just a minute or two. Serve and sprinkle over the green onion greens and sesame seeds.