Yaki Udon is a stir-fry noodle dish originating from Fukuoka, Japan. Soba noodles were difficult to find in 1945 following World War II, so the Darumado restaurant tried using Udon in its place. Udon are thick, white Japanese noodles with a smooth, chewy texture. I used frozen udon that I found in my local market. I have also seen fresh and dried udon in supermarkets in my area. Take care not to overcook the noodles when boiling. They will cook further while the sauce simmers.
This dish is completely customizable depending on your tastes and what is available. I used bok choy, carrots, and a bell pepper, because those vegetables were in my CSA box. Cabbage, onions, mushrooms, and green onions would also work well. The chicken can be omitted or substituted for another meat or even shellfish.
Adapted from Drool Factor
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce divided
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 inch piece ginger peeled and grated
- 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 medium carrots peeled and julienned
- 1 bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 pound udon noodles
- 1 bok choy thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- pinch ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- In a large pot, bring water to boil over high heat. Cook udon noodles until barely al dente, just tender. Drain and rinse well.
- Thinly slice chicken into 1/4-1/2 inch wide strips. Toss with 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a medium bowl.
- In a large wok, drizzle sesame oil over medium high heat. Add ginger and garlic. Fry until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Stir in the carrots and bell pepper. Cook until beginning to soften.
- Add the cooked udon noodles, bok choy, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, dark soy sauce, mirin, and ground white pepper. Toss to combine. Stir in the chicken stock, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add just enough water to cornstarch to create a smooth paste. Add to the udon and stir occasionally until thickened.
- Serve immediately.