Udon noodles 101

By Glauce Fleury

The first time I tried Udon was at Hapa Izakaya, a Japanese restaurant in Yaletown (Vancouver, B.C.). On the menu, there was an option with chicken. But the staff was kind enough to prepare a vegan version for me with tofu and veggies.

It was a delight, considering that I had just left another restaurant (a famous chain at Robson Street) where I’d been told that they wouldn’t accommodate my dietary restrictions because they were not a vegan restaurant.

Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle popular in Japan. Chewy and soft, it’s considered best when fresh. Dried Udon has a more dense texture, which is really different. Its flavour is neutral , so the taste will depend on your creativity and preferences.

According to many food websites, Udon is usually served cold in summer and hot in winter. If you follow a plant-based diet, know that there are dozens of Udon-based vegan recipes. You can find some here.

I had a few packages of dried Udon. It’s always practical when I’m in a hurry, but still want to eat at home. Yesterday I made a stir-fry using only the noodles and veggies. It was yummy.

If you like its texture, go ahead. Udon can be simple and quick to make — perfect for someone with a busy schedule. Just chop a few veggies and voilà. It’s ready.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (200 g) of Udon (carb | fibre | iron)
  • 1 large carrot (vitamin A)
  • 3 large broccoli florets (vitamin C)
  • 1 small yellow pepper (vitamin C)
  • 1 small orange pepper (vitamin C)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (iron)
  • 1 handful of parsley (vitamins C and A)
  • onion (vitamin C)
  • soy sauce (magnesium) – it’s high in sodium, so consume it with moderation
  • black pepper (iron | calcium)
  • Himalayan salt
  • sunflower oil
  • 1 handful of pecan

Directions 1

  1. Finely chop the onion, carrot, broccoli, peppers, spinach and parsley.
  2. Reserve.

Directions 2

  1. In a frying pan, heat the oil at medium temperature.
  2. Add the onion.
  3. When the onion is golden, add the carrot and broccoli. Stir.
  4. When they look soft, add the peppers. Stir.
  5. Add Udon and cover it for 5 minutes. Stir.
  6. When they’re all cooked, add the spinach and parsley. Stir.
  7. Add black pepper and salt to taste.
  8. Add soy sauce to taste and stir for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove it from heat.
  10. Pour pecan on top.

Serves: 1 person.

This is a simple recipe and you can build upon it. When you do it, could you please come back and tell me what you made?

Photo credit: Glauce Fleury

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