I have always been a fan of udon noodles, especially the fresh ones. They’re like fat spaghetti, so they’re fun to eat and they also grab a great sauce like nothing else. I always have them in my pantry for nights when a quick and easy dinner is needed (or when the fridge needs to be cleaned out of odds and ends :) This udon noodle recipe is made in record time – just 15 minutes from start to finish.
Delicious doesn’t need to be time consuming. You can be enjoying a bowl of this spicy udon and vegetable stir fry in only 15 minutes!
This stir fry is a great base recipe, featuring just a basic collection of ingredients. Feel free to add in a protein like chicken, shrimp or pork, if you’d like a meatier meal. Extra vegetables, such as mushrooms, bell peppers, bean sprouts, shredded cabbage or just about anything else you have around would also be a great addition.
As for the sauce, the Sambal Oelek is responsible for the spicy part of this stir-fry. If you’re not familiar with it, look for it in the Asian sauce section of your grocery. It’s fairly easy to find these days. Any spicy Asian-style sauce (Asian Chili Garlic Sauce/Sriracha etc.) will work though. If you’re not wanting it too spicy, start with 1 tsp. of the Sambal Oelek and work your way up, as needed. Sambal Oleek packs a punch, so a little goes a long way.
This recipe uses fresh (soft) udon noodles, that usually come packaged in individual packets. My brand (President’s Choice) has 4 individual packets that are 200g (7 oz.) each. I love them because they don’t need pre-cooking. I like to soak them in hot water ahead, so I can separate them before adding them to the wok, but that isn’t necessary if you’d like to skip that part. You can add soft udon noodles directly from the package to the wok.
If you want to try this using dried udon, you’ll obviously need to cook them before adding to the wok. You may also need to increase the sauce ingredients, as I suspect dried noodles might soak up a bit more that the fresh ones.
This recipe will serve 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish. To serve more, simply double the recipe!
- Stir Fry:
- 1 Tbsp. olive, peanut or vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced (matchsticked)
- 1 cup green onion (green part only), sliced diagonally
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 2 (200g/7 oz) pkgs. soft (vacuum-packed) udon noodles
- 1-2 heaping tsp. Sambal Oelek (or Asian Chili Garlic Sauce/Sriracha)
- 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- For garnish:
- Sesame seeds
- Additional sliced green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
- Prepare your vegetables and set aside. Mix up the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. If you like, you can fill a large bowl with hot tap water and add udon noodles to the bowl to soak, so they can be separated before adding to the wok This isn't necessary though, as you can add fresh udon noodles directly from the package to the wok, if you prefer to skip this step.
- In a large frying pan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add carrots and cook, stirring for a minute or so. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and carrots are tender. Add green onion and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so.
- If soaking udon noodles, gently stir to loosen udon noodles and separate, then drain. Add drained noodles (or unsoaked fresh noodles) to the wok and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or so. Add sauce and cook for another 30 second, stirring to combine well. Scatter baby spinach over top and cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted.
- Remove stir fry to a bowl or plate and garnish with sesame seeds, additional sliced green onion and parsley/cilantro.