This udon noodle stir fry is so delicious, that you’ll be able to happily bypass that takeout-food temptation in favor of an equally as quick (perhaps quicker!), and much healthier dish.
It may be obvious that I’m a pasta lover based on my many noodle-ey and pasta-filled recipes on my site, and that would be truth. That’s why any reason to have pasta or noodles, preferably long noodles (but love those short ones too), will be thoroughly pursued. Hence, whenever I’m at a restaurant and perusing the menu, my gaze will ALWAYS move towards that carby, squishy yet firm, yumminess that they call noodles.
One day earlier this week, when I realized that I have udon noodles in the pantry that I have yet to make, I was immediately inspired to combine them with some pantry staples and fresh vegetables (because we ALL know that we have random veggies in the fridge that are ready to expire at any given day, minute, moment!). To my utter amazement, I found snow peas, bok choy and bean sprouts in the fridge from a grocery store run a few days prior — this must have been unconscious fate in the making.
This sauce, noodle, and vegetable combination was so delicious and satisfying that I will be thinking twice, and even thrice, about picking up the phone to order takeout or delivery next time. This recipe would work equally well with soba noodles, brown rice noodles, or heck — even regular noodles.
Something about the combination of flavors just worked, and I was blessed with leftovers for the next day. The toppings of black sesame seeds and cilantro were perfect, and I will also usually drizzle some sriracha and/or red chili flakes over a dish like this as well.
The pantry staples I mentioned above are the following: rice vinegar, sesame oil, low-sodium soy sauce, liquid aminos, and sesame seeds. Together, these items can do amazing things. You can totally use all liquid aminos for this recipe, rather than a soy sauce / liquid aminos split. Add on some noodles and vegetables, and you have a ridiculously quick and hearty meal in no time.
You can add in whatever extra protein you would like to this dish. I usually meal prep various proteins on the weekend and/or mid-week, so I am sometimes lucky enough to have some protein that I can add in here from the fridge that’s already cooked. Having said that, I am routinely eating through this pre-prepped protein like a protein predator, so I run out of these items pretty quickly. That’s why I love having packages of tofu in the fridge, because it is so darn quick to open, cut up, and cook without having to have a massive cleanup.
Almost the same deal goes for tempeh, but for some reason, some brands of tempeh double up the plastic packaging. Ah, the woes of opening tempeh packages. Not sure if anyone else can relate to tempeh struggles? Picture me, knife in hand, tempeh package in the other hand, trying to skillfully and quickly remove the tempeh from it’s fortress-like package….and failing miserably. I eventually get through the first layer of plastic, then on to the second layer. At long last, I finally get through it and realize that this packaging struggle will probably take longer than cooking the entire rest of the meal 🙂
This recipe requires a couple pans going at the same time, but trust me, it’s worth it and I have faith in your multi-panning skills! And the total time is no more than 30 minutes at most. This is thanks to udon noodles that cook in record time, and the fact that some of the vegetables don’t need to be cut.
Feel free to use shortcuts that make life easier, such as store bought grated ginger paste (jarred) and/or jarred minced garlic.
Full recipe below. Enjoy!
Udon Noodle Stir Fry with Snow Peas and Bok Choy
INGREDIENTS (6 to 8 servings – feel free to halve the recipe!):
- 1 package udon noodles
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 2 cups snow peas
- 4 medium size bulbs bok choy, large diced
- 2 packages extra firm tofu, diced in small chunks
- 2 T hoisin sauce
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 4 T sesame oil + 2 teaspoons
- 4 teaspoons grated ginger
- 6-8 cloves minced garlic
- 4 T liquid aminos
- 4 T low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 T water
- 2-3 T chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- 3 T sesame seeds (for garnish)
- red pepper flakes to taste (for garnish)
- sriracha to taste (for garnish)
- salt/pepper to taste
- Cook udon noodles according to package directions, drain, rinse, and add 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Gently mix to combine, and set aside in a large bowl.
- Add rest of sesame oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often.
- While onions are cooking, in a second large pan, add tofu cubes and a small amount of oil (teaspoon sesame oil) and brown on all sides, which takes about 10 to 12 minutes, over medium heat. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in two batches if using the original recipe (which uses 2 packages of tofu).
- Turn off heat and sprinkle the hoisin sauce over the cubes. Stir very gently to coat all surfaces, careful not to break up the cubes. Set aside. You can cover to keep warm if needed.
- Once onions are getting translucent, add snow peas, bok choy, and bean sprouts. Cook an additional 3 minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
- In a medium bowl, add the rice vinegar, liquid aminos, soy sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, and add this mixture to the medium bowl over the rest of the sauce ingredients.
- Make some space in your large pan by pushing the vegetables slightly to the side. Add in your sauce mixture with the heat still on – but change heat to low – and stir the sauce until it slightly thickens, which happens in about a minute or two. Mix together with vegetables gently.
- Pour sauce/vegetables onto noodles and gently toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper if desired.
- Top with tofu, as well as the garnish items in the ingredients list.