It’s no secret how much I LOVE noodles. I make at least one Asian dish a week…okay I make at least three but that’s all right because between me and the husband we cook pretty much every day of the week.
One of the things I appreciate about our Tokyo Midnight Diner meals is that I get to see my husband’s take on some of my favorite dishes or on other recipes I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t gotten around to for whatever reason. This fiery udon noodles was one such dish. I asked for Dan Dan noodles, which became a new favorite of mine in 2019 when I decided to kick up my Asian cuisine knowledge to about a thousand. Anyway, I asked for Dan Dan noodles and this was his interpretation of the dish.
What’s great about this dish and most Asian or Asian style dishes is that they don’t need a ton of ingredients to give you a ton of flavor. The ingredient list on fiery vegan udon noodles is pretty simple: scallions, red peppers (bell & capsicum), ginger, garlic, lemongrass, chili flakes, soy sauce, tomato paste and Sriracha. Oh, and udon noodles.
That’s it. Oil is optional as is the Sriracha but we all know how much I love spicy foods!
If you’ve ever made any type of stir-fry then you’re ready to re-create Dan Dan noodles. What that means is that you should prep EVERYTHING before you heat any oil or any skillet. Make sure it’s all ready to go because this dish cooks fast and high. Fast and high, people.
Oil and ginger first and then peppers and scallions. He added the dried soya granules–already re-hydrated–early in the cooking process to make sure they were infused with all the great Asian flavors. When everything is cooked to satisfaction, add soy sauce (or mirin, or tamari), brown sugar (optional and I usually skip it), chili flakes and Sriracha. Make sure to taste it for flavor and as soon as the udon noodles are done, mix well and plate.
A quick tip I learned from Marion’s Kitchen about cooking udon noodles: drop them and mix them on a semi-regular basis but don’t jostle them heavily. Let them separate organically and quickly. It’s a learning process but she does a much better job explaining than I can so hop on over so you don’t mess up your next noodle night!
You can also add toasted sesamee seeds or chopped peanuts as garnish to this dish. I’m still limiting my calories thanks to weight loss so I usually skip these in favor of scallions or chili peppers, but they are delicious and really do add a nice flavor.
We’ve also been experimenting with Chinese black vinegar and Xioaxing wine, so if you have’em feel free to try them and let me know how they turn out!