Today,I thought I’d research some of the food trends for this past year and stumbled across udon noodles. I’ve had them before, but usually on a Friday night redbox night- having never actually worked with them. I found a recipe on Epicurious.com that I thought sounded pretty interesting and adapted my recipe from theirs (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kimchi-udon-with-scallions)I’m using most of the ingredients from the recipe but with a few adjustments as well as some add-ons (veggies and crispy chicken 🙂 ). After I read the recipe I decided to go to my local nearby Asian market for some inspiration and got so excited by what I found.
Fresh SHITAKE MUSHROOMS!! Baaaby bok choy and crisp golden bean sprouts! Perfection! I never find fresh shitakes’ here and I was beeeeyond stoked when I bought a HUGE bag for like 3 bucks. Who’s having mushrooms for breakfast??!! Me Me MEEEEEEEEE!! K, I’m done. Little info on shitakes-besides the fact that they are awesome. They’re originally from Asia but have been domesticated here in the states as well so it’s not toooo hard to find them (unless you live in GA..haha). They have a very distinct, almost meaty, flavor and can easily add that depth of wonderfulness to vegetarian dishes. I usually don’t rinse my shrooms but rather, wipe them with a clean towel or you could use a mushroom brush (who has those??). I’m going to be sauteing my little babes tonight in a little oil and burro (butta) ((butter)) after I’ve removed the stem (it’s tough-no bueno). The only other suggestion I’d make is to hold off on the salt until after the cooking is complete to prevent the shrooms from toughening up (no- no- bueno).
Baby baby bok choy is just a tasty lil bite of green. It’s in the cabbage family but like the tender and sweet niece (and not the nasty naughty aunt Cabbishuh). Besides being low cal, it also contains vitamins A and C. Whooot! Whoooot!
And now for the star (besides the shitakes). Udon noodles are best when fresh, but more commonly found frozen (even in my Asian market). Although these guys are not gluten free you can easily switch out the recipe with soba noodles which are made from buckwheat (just make sure the label reads “pure buckwheat”). I also read that there are brown rice udon noodles available but all the ones I found still contained wheat. Udon is normally found in Japanese cuisine and is a thick chewy noodle with neutral flavor.
Udon Umami Mushroom:
3 chicken thighs
2 packages frozen Udon (8.8 oz. each)
6 shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced 1/4″
6 small baby bok choy, ends removed and slices into 1/4″ pieces (washed well to remove sand)
small handful of bean sprouts
4 green onions, sliced thin, using mainly green
3 T butter
olive oil (to your liking)
1/2 cup Kimchi
1 T hot pepper paste
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Lightly pat the chicken thighs with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast on a pan uncovered at 425 degrees for 45 mins and remove from oven to cool. Start pot of water for boiling noodles.
Saute mushrooms in olive oil until browned. (shitakes’ love liquid so once they drink the oil in the pan you may need to add a small amount of stock and cover the pan so the mushrooms steam through, season gently). Remove shrooms from pan and add a scad more of oil and saute your bok choy til cooked through but still crisp. Season with s and p. Remove from heat and repeat process with bean sprouts, only cooking about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
In a separate large skillet add Kimchi along with pepper paste. Cook 4 to 5 mins to render out juice and get the Kimchi a little golden in color. Add chicken stock and let flavors merry another 2 to 3 minutes. Throw udon in (should be now boiling) water and cook to package specs (usually only a couple of minutes). Drain noodles and add remaining 2 Tablespoons butter to large skillet of kimchi. Once better has melted gently stir in veggies and add the now cooled chicken (pull off bone with hands) to pan. Reserve the crispy skin for last. Add in your udon and toss to coat noodles.
Once plated, sprinkle with green onions and torn crisped chicken skin.
Any ideas or comments from you guys for noooodles? They’re oh so comforting and versatile. I bought a huge bag of udon so I’m hoping to experiment with some cold salad ideas for lunch:)