Noodles. I find it to be a very beautiful word. The "oo" sound and the adorable arrangement of the last four letters; there's no way you cannot think of a wonderland where everything is made up of noodles and different sauces and soups. I can literally sing this word and just this word across all genre and in different context and emotions and yet be proud of myself. Well, unless someone in a different sanity level hears me do it. You're singing with me, aren't you?
I had always loved pasta and noodles even when I was a child living in the rural lakeside, where the most delicious dry noodle dish was this instant noodles that you boil for 3 minutes, strain off water, and sprinkle with flavoring that is mostly just magic powder and addictive crystals of monosodium glutamate. Oooh, the memories.
Back until last year when I was pregnant, I still craved for that instant noodle several times. In fact, though it is sold in my hometown for about ¥20 per pack, I bought it online here for ¥100. Plus delivery fee. Oh snap, I've been keeping it as my little sinful indulgent secret but my mom is probably reading it now too.
Anyway, last year-end vacation at my husband's hometown, my mom in law (probably somewhat out of ideas on what vegetarian dish to prepare for me) cooked yakiudon (the one in the picture above). It was oh-so good.
If you are not yet familiar with the terms used in the title, I will explain them to you.
Udon is a kind of thick, white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour, while yaki in yakiudon means stir-fried. Shouyu on the other hand is soy sauce. Thick wheat noodles stir-fried with soy sauce.
I'd say there are 3 points in perfecting this dish: one is to cook the udon right-- overcooking will kill the chewiness of the udon; two, it's best to play it safe with the seasoning-- the main flavor is shouyu (soy sauce) and the mushroom or seaweed powder is just for adding slight hints of layers of flavors and; three, without the chili, it will be quite mediocre.
• udon (cooked according to package instruction)
• fresh mushroom (shimeji mushroom)
• bell pepper
• black pepper
• mushroom or kombu powder
• ichimi or any chili powder
• good quality soy sauce
• cooking oil
1. Stir-fry vegetables and mushroom on a non-stick pan with cooking oil. Season with salt, black pepper, and mushroom/kombu powder.
2. Cook udon according to package instructions. Mix the udon with the vegetables on the pan over high heat. Pour some soy sauce and chili powder. Mix well. Transfer to a plate immediately to avoid over cooking.
3. Serve hot and enjoy!
The procedure was short and simple, but still I made a cooking video of it for you! It was my second cooking video ever, and I forgot several things (like the video clip where I put olive oil, shimeji mushroom and black pepper). I'll get better at it and someday I'll find my own videography style, you just wait!