My love for noodles knows no bounds. Pasta, soba, rice vermicelli you name it, I love it. In my mind, udon has always been reserved for soup. Particularly reserved for that glorious soup I get at the Japanese restaurant. I never thought about using udon in a stir fry until I saw a recipe from Bon Appetít. Me being who I am, I had to add my own spin on it, so Spicy Pork and Udon Stir Fry was created.
Udon are thick, fat wheat noodles. They are so fat they have a chew to them, which is why they are a favorite of mine. I also used another ingredient that is near and dear to my heart and that is Toban Djan, which is a Chinese chili bean sauce. It is made from fermented beans, chilies, and garlic. This sauce packs a ton of flavor and gives the dish umami. You should be able to find both ingredients in any Asian supermarket or check the international aisle at a chain grocery store. The udon will be in a refrigerator section where fresh noodles are, and if you can’t find them sub another noodle. If they are not fresh you will need to pre-cook them before adding them to the stir fry.
- 4 - 7 oz packages instant udon noodles, flavor packets discarded
- 8 oz ground pork
- ¼ of a small onion, sliced
- 2 tsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 2 tsp minced ginger (about a 1 inch piece)
- 4 scallions, white and pale-green parts coarsely chopped, dark-green parts thinly sliced (separated)
- 4 cups chopped baby bok choy
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp doban tojan ( I used Lee Kum Kee Chili Bean Sauce)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp neutral flavored oil (grapeseed oil, canola etc.)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Place udon in a large heatproof bowl (or pot if you don’t have one) and cover with 8 cups boiling water. Let sit 1 minute, very gently break up the noodles, then drain in a colander. Transfer noodles back to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, add the soy, mirin, doban tojan, salt, and sesame oil. Whisk to combine and set the sauce aside.
- Make sure all the ingredients are prepped and fairly close to the stove.
- Add 1 tbsp of oil to a large frying pan (or wok if you have one) over medium heat. Once hot add pork and about 1 tbsp of the sauce. Stir to coat the pork in the sauce then break up the pork for about 3-4 minutes or until most of the pink is gone and the meat is mostly crumbly.
- Turn the heat up to high and let sit undisturbed for 45 seconds, stir, and let sit again for another 30-45 seconds, browning the meat. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and white and light green parts of the scallion. Saute for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add bok choy and sauté until wilted about 2-3 minutes.
- Add noodles and remaining sauce. Tossing gently to combine all the ingredients. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the dark green parts of the scallion. Serve immediately.
More noodle recipes here!