I mentioned earlier that I have been a fan of oriental noodles – udon, soba, vermicelli, etc. – for a while. Udon is a type of thick wheat flour noodle popular in Japanese cuisine. The origin of udon in Japan is credited to Buddhist priests who traveled to China around the beginning of the 9th century to study Buddhism. He got back to Japan with the recipe of udon.
For the noodles
Udon noodles are served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. Toppings are chosen to reflect the season and to balance with other ingredients. Most toppings are added without much cooking.
Spicy Udon Noodles with Cabbage and Shiitake
Ingredients (serves 2)
For the noodles
– 200 g udon noodles
– 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, soaked in water for about 30 minutes, caps thinly sliced
– 1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
– 4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 150 g tofu, diced
– 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
– 4 spring onion, thinly sliced
– 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
– 1 tablespoon coconut oil
For the sauce
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons water
– 1 teaspoon dried chili
In a dry pan toast the sesame seeds over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until pale golden, then transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan, add garlic and ginger and saute them until fragrant. Add shiitake and saute, stirring frequently until it gets tender. Reduce the heat to medium and add tofu, after 5 minutes cabbage and spring onion too. Cook, stirring occasionally until tofu and cabbage is crisp-tender and a bit golden brown. Pour over the sauce, simmer 2-3 minutes more. Set aside but keep it warm.
While cabbage is cooking, cook udon in boiling salted water until the noodles tender. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, give the vegetable mixture, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with fresh chopped spring onion on top.