Udon are thick, white wheat noodles.
They are sold dried, frozen, and in packages like ramen
noodles. I've used ramenlike package
that had not-dried-but-sealed-in-thick-plastic noodles,
and dried straight noodles. The dried ones were much
better than the ramenlike ones. And if you're adventurous
you can even make homemade udon
this is another of those "throw in what you like"
recipes, so the list of ingredients is mostly suggestions
rather than requirements. Basically, it's what I have used.
Tweak according to your own taste. I have some other
ingredients listed down below.
12 ounces of udon noodles
2 tbsp of cooking oil
cups of cut-up cabbage
handful of cooked cocktail shrimp, or a similar amount
of any meat cut up small. (Beef, turkey, chicken,
pork - here's where you can use up some leftovers!)
2 scallions, cut
1 carrot, cut into ovals
Several water chestnuts
cut into thin slices
2 tbsp bonito
3 tbsp soy sauce
Cut the cabbage up into thin coleslaw-like strips.
If you're using bok choy, cut out the white "rib"
and either throw it away or cut that into thin sticks
Cook the udon however the packaging directs you to.
Then rinse it under cold water and drain.
Heat the oil in a wok or skillet until it is very hot
and stir-fry the carrots until they start to get tender.
If you're using bok choy and have cut up the "rib,"
cook this with the carrots. Add
the scallions, non-rib cabbage, shrimp, and water chestnuts
and stir-fry for several minutes. Then add in the
udon, bonito flakes, and soy sauce,
and stir-fry for another few minutes. Done.
If you're using leftover meat, put it in when you
add the noodles. If you're using raw meat, add it after
the carrots are done to make sure it gets cooked enough.
You can put in any ingredients you like. Here are
a few I've tried and enjoyed: turkey bacon, yellow squash,
zucchini squash, button mushrooms. bamboo, broccoli,
lotus root, nori (as garnish), seafood medley (frozen squid, octopus, mussels,
shrimp, and imitation crab), shiitake mushrooms,
snow peas, squid, marinated
If you don't like the idea of cooking this with oil,
you don't have to. I've been simmering the vegetables,
and later the vegetables-with-noodles, in a small amount
of shiitake water (the water left over after you soak
dried shiitake mushrooms). It adds a good earthy flavor,
and leaves out the oil calories. You just have to keep
adding water in, a few tablespoons at a time, to keep
the bottom of the pan wet.