Udon noodles, as you probably know, are Japanese-style wheat noodles. On the surface, they seem a lot like Italian pasta, and the two are more similar than different (both are wheat-based noodles). The main difference is that udon are made with a different type of wheat that results in a softer, more “plump” texture when cooked.
You would traditionally serve udon in a full soup broth, but I didn’t like the idea of doing that with this recipe. Instead, I used just a little bit of vegetable broth kicked up with sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce as a final step of cooking so that the flavor is absorbed right into the noodles to create what you see here – flavorful noodles with lots of fresh stir-fried veggies and a garnish of sesame seeds. It’s an awesome 15-minute meal.
Makes about 3 servings
- 2 sliced carrots
- 2/3 cup broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 4-5 chopped green onions, divided
- 1 package (10 oz) udon noodles
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- Sesame seeds for garnish
Note: It’s a good idea to gather and measure all the ingredients for this recipe before starting because timing is critical around step three when you drain the noodles and add them back into the pot. If they have to sit for too long they might become overcooked.
Begin stir-frying the veggies (sliced carrots, broccoli florets, mushrooms, green onions, etc.) in a skillet with just a splash of water or a drizzle of vegetable oil. You can obviously use any veggies you want, maybe some bok choy or cabbage, or even some tofu or tempeh. Also, set aside 2-3 of the sliced green onions to add as a garnish at the end.
While the veggies are stir-frying, begin boiling some water for the udon noodles in a large stockpot. When it reaches a boil, add a little salt and drop in the noodles. Cook for only 5-7 minutes – do not cook as long as the package suggests. The idea is that we’ll drain the soaking water when the noodles are soft but still al dente and add in the broth to finish the cooking process.
When the noodles are al dente, drain them into a colander and let them sit for a moment. Return the same empty stockpot back to the burner and add in the vegetable broth, 2 cloves minced garlic, soy sauce, and a drizzle of sesame oil. Begin warming these ingredients over medium high heat and return the noodles back into the broth. Also at this point, bring the stir-fried veggies into the stock pot with the noodles.
Cook everything together for just 3-4 more minutes until the broth is absorbed and the noodles are perfectly tender. Finally, transfer to serving dishes, garnish with some fresh green onions and sesame seeds, and serve immediately.