Better Than Take Out Stir-Fired Udon

2 - 14.2-ounce packages Ka-Me Udon noodles* see note below

1½ tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 cups very coarsely chopped green cabbage (from about ½ medium-large head)

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 pound ground pork

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 bunch scallions, white and pale-green parts coarsely chopped, dark-green parts thinly sliced

1 tablespoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger

1½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup mirin

½ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving

Place udon noodles in a large heatproof bowl (or pot if you don't have one) and cover with 8 cups boiling water. Let sit 1 minute, stirring to break up noodles, then drain in a colander. (Be careful not to let noodles sit in water any longer than recommended.) Transfer noodles to large bowl and toss with sesame oil.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring often, until thickest parts of cabbage leaves are tender and mushrooms start to brown, about 4-6 minutes longer. Remove from heat and transfer cabbage mixture to bowl with noodles.

Add pork to skillet, and spreading into a thin layer across surface of pan with a spatula or tongs. Cook pork, undisturbed, until underside is brown, about 3-5 minutes. When pork is browned, break up meat into small bits. Continue to cook, until meat is no longer pink, about 1 minute.

Add red bell pepper, chopped white and light green scallions, ginger, and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until scallions are softened and bottom of skillet has started to brown, about 1 minute. Add noodle mixture, mirin, and soy sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until noodles are coated in sauce (be sure to scrape bottom of skillet to dissolve any browned bits), about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sesame seeds and dark-green parts of scallions. Top with more sesame seeds before serving.

*Ka-Me udon noodles can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store or via mail order. These noodles are fully cooked and vacuum sealed in shelf stable packages. If you cannot find them and need to use dried udon, rehydrate using package instructions, but don't allow noodles to get too soft.

Serves 6

Inspired by BonAppetite

Set out your ingredients before tackling this recipe for stir-fried Udon noodles. Courtesy of Penny Kazmier
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