Udon noodle and tofu stir fry: A slightly unconventional recipe
Hello friends! Here’s a recipe for an udon noodle stir fry which ditches some of the stir fry usual suspects in place of something a bit less conventional to match what’s on offer in the fridge. There are a few different components to come together so it takes a little bit of multitasking, but all the steps are simple. It’s really little more than a matter of making the parts, and then assembling the meal.
Dried shiitakes are soaked, and the soaking water will later be used for a dashi stock. Some tofu is marinaded (using an adaptation of the Asian marinade archetype from the mighty Veganomicon), and later the marinade will be the sauce for the stir fry. An omelette is made by frying on the stove and finishing in the grill, and dried udon noodles are cooked in a pot of water on the stove. Finally, the wok is heated and bit by bit the pieces come together…
Recipe: Udon noodle and tofu stir fry
Things to go in
Shiitake and dashi broth
- Shiitake mushrooms, dried x 10-12
- Dashi stock powder x 1 tsp
Marinaded tofu/ sauce (slightly modified from Veganomicon)
- Mirin x 1/2 cup
- Tamari x 3 tbsp
- Brown rice vinegar x 2 tbsp
- Sesame oil x 1 tbsp
- Harissa x 1/2 tsp
- Ginger, peeled, chopped finely x 2.5cm/ 1″ chunk
- Garlic, chopped finely x 2 cloves
- Tofu, firm, cubed x 350g
- Eggs x 3 large or 4 medium
- Tamari x 1/2 tsp
- 1 tsp peanut (or other) oil
- Udon noodles, dried x 270g
- Peanut (or other) oil x 2 tbsp
- Onion, small, diced x 1
- Black beans, cooked x 1 1/2 cups
- Kale, stalks removed, leaves cleaned, roughly chopped x 6-8 stalks
- Cashews x 2 tbsp
- Coriander leaves/ cilantro x small bunch
- Sesame seeds x 1 tbsp
Things to do
1. Get the dried shiitake mushroom soaking. Later you will use the soaking water so don’t tip it out!
Place the shiitake mushrooms into a small bowl and cover with around 1-1.5 cups of warm water.
2. Prepare the marinade (to serve as a sauce in the stir fry, too) and get the cubed tofu marinading.
Make the marinade by whisking together all marinade ingredients. Add cubed tofu, submerge as fully as possible, and marinade for at least 30 minutes, and up to one hour if you have the time. While the tofu is marinading, crank the mise in place and get your other bits and pieces ready (chop the onion, prep the kale…).
Check the shiitake mushrooms for softness (this may take around 30 minutes). Once softened, remove mushrooms from the soaking water and remove the tough, woody stems. Do not discard the soaking water. Discard the stems, and chop the mushrooms into roughly equal pieces. Strain any lumps or suspicious objects out of the shiitake soaking water.
Mix the dashi stock into the shiitake soaking water.
3. Start the noodles cooking.
Heat a large pot of water with a generous pinch of salt for the noodles. Once boiling add the dried udon noodles to the water and cook as per the packet instructions. Once al dente, strain out of the pot and set aside.
4. Make the omelette.
Whisk together the eggs and tamari in a small bowl.
Heat the peanut oil in a small, non-stick frypan and fully coat the cooking surface with the oil (heat your grill to medium at this point). Once hot, add the egg mix and swirl around to achieve an even spread.
Cook on the stove until the bottom of the omelette is well cooked, then transfer to the grill on medium heat to cook the top side. Leave until the grill until all liquid has become solid, checking regularly to avoid burning. Plan for around 5 minutes in the grill.
Once fully cooked, remove from the heat and use a spatula to casually fold the omelette into a roll. Allow to cool enough to touch, then slice the rolled omelette into ribbons (like cutting one of those sponge scroll cakes).
5. Begin the stir fry
When there’s about 5 minutes left for the tofu to finish marinading, heat the peanut oil in a wok on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion. Stir and fry until translucent with golden edges.
Remove the tofu from the marinade and place straight into the wok. Add in about 1/3 of the marinade with the tofu. Stir and fry until the sauce has evaporated, allowing the tofu to golden on the edges.
Add the black beans and the shiitake dashi stock. Stir and fry until the liquid has full evaporated.
Add the chopped shiitake mushrooms and another 1/3 of the marinade. Stir and fry until the liquid has evaporated.
Add the kale, the cooked udon noodles, and the remainder of the marinade. Stir and fry making sure the kale brightens in colour, then wilts, and the noodles become fully coated in the sauce. Continue to stir and fry until the liquid has fully evaporated.
6. Add the final touches, and serve.
Remove the wok from the heat and stir through the omelette ribbons, cashews, and coriander leaves. Serve into bowls then top with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve hot.