Low Waste Yaki Udon

By Kristin Eriko Posner
August 8, 2018
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Author Notes: As a 21st century, modern, California born and raised, Japanese-American, Reform Jew, eating consciously is deeply rooted in my soul. There's a Japanese saying, "mottainai もったいない". It conveys a sense of regret over waste. My Mom taught me this everyday by teaching me creative ways to use every ingredient and every part of a vegetable, so nothing would be wasted. Here's one of my favorite low-waste weeknight recipes: Stir-fried udon noodles!Kristin Eriko Posner

Serves: 4
Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 40 min

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh meat, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, tops removed, scrubbed, and sliced into matchsticks (no need to peel!)
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, stems included (ends removed), thinly sliced
  • green tops of carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small cabbage sliced thinly
  • 1 packet udon noodles
  • 3 tablespoons mentsuyu or soy sauce (mentsuyu will give you much more depth of flavor!)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a bowl with sake. Mix well and set aside for 40 minutes.
  2. Boil a large pot of water for the udon noodles.
  3. Chop and slice all vegetables, set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a sprinkling of salt. Continue to mix well for 5 minutes- until they are translucent and starting to brown. This will give you dish a nice layer of flavor.
  5. Add the chicken to the pan with a bit of salt and mix until it's almost cooked through, but not quite.
  6. Add the vegetables in the order above, one at a time, mixing continuously.
  7. When the water for the udon comes to a boil add the udon. It will take about 3-5 minutes to cook- check for doneness and strain into a colander.
  8. Throw the udon into the pan with the vegetables and add the mentsuyu. Toss until everything is mixed in and evenly coated with the sauce.
  9. Serve in bowls topped with some chopped green onion and sesame seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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