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Category: Gluten Free

Corn Cheese

Corn Cheese

You don’t see a lot of cheese in most Asian cuisines. But boy does that change in South Korea! Dating back to the war when American army bases would hand out some of their rations like Spam, canned corn, corn meal, and sliced cheese, Koreans read more

Poached Chicken

Poached Chicken

In theory I get the appeal of meal prepping. In practice though the idea of making a big batch of say, chicken and rice, on a Sunday and then eating that same chicken and rice on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is my personal read more

Makanai Noodles

Makanai Noodles

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant before you may be familiar with family meal. In our restaurants, family meal is always served between lunch and dinner shifts so the whole staff can eat together. Ideally family meals are filling, quick to make so they can still crank out food for diners, and makes use of things we already have on hand (or maybe need to use up soon). Additionally, since we are a melting pot of people, it’s important to me that everyone enjoys the hot meals that we provide. We always try to impress the trifecta of a successful employee meal onto our cooks: cheap, fast, and tasty.

Enter Makanai Noodles. Makanai means in-home in Japanese and some form of these noodles or other appear weekly and are always greeted enthusiastically. (Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t LOVE noodles?) This dish is packed with protein from eggs and beef which helps fuel everyone through a busy shift. Makanai Noodles are also super versatile. Want a vegetarian version? No problem, just substitute the beef for tofu or other vegetables and use vegetable stock in place of chicken. Have some ground turkey or leftover roast chicken that needs to be used up? Awesome, that will be a delicious variation. As much as our staff loves them, these noodles are a favorite for the cook too; easy and fast to prepare so let’s get into it!

ingredients make noodles

I start making Makanai Noodles by soaking the noodles. They need to soak in cool water until they are pliable, which takes about 20 minutes. Today, I’m using a type of Japanese noodle called Malony. They are made from potato starch, which means they are gluten free. Sometimes, they are marketed as glass noodles and they have a delightful chewy, bouncy texture. You can substitute rice noodles, sweet potato noodles (like for japchae), or bean thread noodles as well.

I like to put dry noodles in zip top bags for soaking. I can never find a bowl that can fit long strands so this trick allows for even soaking without having to fuss with positioning your dry noodles.

drain noodles

While the noodles are soaking, I prep everything else, starting with whipping up a very fast and deeply flavorful sauce. It may seem like it makes a lot, but the noodles really soak it up.

soy sauce

sugar makanai noodles

Once the sauce is done, I prep the veggies. Makanai Noodles is a stir fry dish which comes together very quickly when I start to cook, so I get every thing ready and within reach.

green onions

I wipe and slice the shiitake mushrooms, mince the garlic and ginger, and whisk the eggs.

shiitake mushrooms

Then I gather everything together by the stove so that once that cooking starts, it’s super fast and seamless.

ingredients makanai noodles

Start by heating a pan until it’s good and hot and then adding the oil. Swirl the oil and pour the egg in. The egg should be cooked for only a minute because it will finish cooking with the noodles. You want soft, pillowy eggs that are not tough or rubbery because they are overcooked.

noodles

This dish yields a dry noodle so you should not have much liquid in the pan once the noodles are cooked. If you are using a different noodle than I am, you may need to cook them longer or you may find that there is still some liquid in the pan once the noodles are fully cooked. Tasting the noodle is the best way to know if it is cooked through. Taste a strand after the stated cooking time and if it has a core or tastes too firm, cook the noodles for several more minutes, adding a little extra water to the pan if needed. On the other hand, if you’re using very thin noodles, your pan may still have a good amount of liquid in the pan. Turn up the heat and stir regularly until the sauce has cooked down.

Now these delectable Makanai Noodles are ready to be served family style! Dig in and hope there’s enough for seconds.

I hope our restaurant’s family’s favorite noodles become a favorite in your house too. Let me know what you think, leave a comment on the recipe and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

And if you’re a noodle-holic like me, check out some of our other popular noodle recipes. Like Longevity Noodles (perfect for New Year’s!), Pancit, or these addictive Coconut Curry Noodles.

 

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recipe card makanai noodles

Makanai Noodles

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: entrees
  • Cuisine: japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 7 ounces dried malony noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 5 stems scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch segments
  • ½ large onion thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 eggs 

Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Soak the noodles in a bowl of cool water for 20 minutes or until the noodles are pliant. 

Make the sauce:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Make the noodles:

  1. Drain the noodles and set aside. 
  2. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Scramble the eggs with a fork or whisk.
  3. Heat a large skillet or wok pan over medium high heat for several minutes until the pan is hot and you see some wisps of smoke. Add 2 Tablespoons of oil and add the egg, gently scrambling for a minute until the egg is half cooked. Transfer the egg to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining oil and swirl to coat the pan. Next add the ground beef and onions and let it sit untouched for a minute and then break it up with a spoon or chopsticks continuing to stir fry for another minute.
  5. Then add the minced ginger, and garlic and stir for a couple seconds.
  6. Add the shiitake mushrooms, the drained noodles, and the sauce.
  7. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes until the noodles have soaked up most of the sauce and are cooked through, but are still chewy and bouncy.
  8. Add the scallions and egg back into the noodles and cook for another minute until the scallions are wilted and the egg cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer the noodles to a platter and serve immediately.

Notes

*To make this gluten free, look for gluten free versions of soy, oyster, and hoisin sauces.

*You can substitute any protein for the ground beef and any leftover meat like roast chicken is fine too.

*You can use different noodles like rice, bean thread, or sweet potato as well, adjusting the cooking time depending on the thickness of the noodle. Increase the cooking time and add a little more water if you find the pan too dry and your noodles still firm. If you use very thin noodles and have too much liquid once the noodles are cooked, raise the heat and cook off some of the residual sauce.

*If you don’t have all three sauces (hoisin, oyster, and soy), you can use just 2 but one should be soy sauce. Double up on the other sauce.

*Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or on the stove top for a several minutes on moderate heat until the noodles are hot and regain the original chewy texture.

Keywords: noodles, makanai, gluten free, eggs, beef, veggies

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

It’s official: Fall has arrived in Miami. We woke up this morning to 63 degree weather. I know most other places are already enjoying cooler temperatures but I was walking in 92 degree weather last week. And now finally we can enjoy our days without read more

Bacon Wrapped Mochi

Bacon Wrapped Mochi

I feel like the words “bacon wrapped” alone should be enough to get you running into your kitchen, but these Bacon Wrapped Mochi are truly the perfect snack. Salty, sweet, and savory hit all the right notes; ready in minutes with just a handful of read more

Yakimatsu

Yakimatsu

I just recently returned from a family trip to Hungary, where the food was heavy on rich meaty dishes, but light on veggies. I found myself craving one of my meatless meals where I make an array of plant based dishes so there’s a variety of textures, colors, and flavors to make dinner exciting.  Yakimatsu is a powerful player in my arsenal of quick veggie sides. It’s ready in minutes, it’s a perfect side for any protein, and it’s made with only a handful of pantry ingredients. This speedy stir fry is tangy from the ponzu sauce while toasted sesame oil lends nutty richness, and a sprinkling of scallions adds a fresh bite.

This dish, with just regular mushrooms, has been on our menu since 1979! I know crazy. But it’s a time tested recipe that has savory flavor, likable ingredients, and a taste that doesn’t get old. It’s delicious whether you keep it simple with basic mushrooms and bottled sauce or extra special with some fancy mushrooms and homemade ponzu.

ingredients for yakimatsu

Use a Variety of Mushrooms for Yakimatsu!

This dish is all about the mushrooms. I select a variety for both visual appeal and to provide lots of different textures and flavors. Shiitakes, oysters, cremini, enoki, baby bellas, beech…they’re all good. And even good old button mushrooms all have their own distinctly different look, flavor, and texture.

beech black bean tofu

Prep for Yakimatsu

Like all stir fries, prep is key for Yakimatsu. The actual cooking time is just about 5 minutes, so everything has to be prepped and within reach. Prep your veggies and have your ponzu sauce and sesame oil close. By the way, homemade ponzu sauce is so easy to make and is amazing here, but the bottled stuff will be great too.

slicing onion

Now it’s time to prep the mushrooms. I know the prevailing wisdom is to just gently brush dirt off mushrooms rather than wash them. That’s a no from me. I thoroughly wash mushrooms because that dirt can really cling to them and I feel that brushing them can actually rub the dirt in. So instead I wash them quickly under running water and dry them thoroughly. Then I use high enough heat that I don’t worry about the dreaded mushiness.

cutting mushrooms yakimatsu

enokis

Yakimatsu Stir Fry Time!

Usual rules of stir fries apply here:

  • Get your pan good and hot before adding the oil. This means heating it for several minutes.
  • Have all your ingredients prepped and ready.
  • Use high heat and keep everything moving in the pan.

And for good measure, I let the mushrooms sit undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. I know this goes against the rule I just mentioned but mushrooms have a ton of water. And like other extra moist ingredients (such as ground meats) you need that heat plus lack of movement to get a good sear on your food.

stir frying yakimatsu

ponzu mushrooms

Stir in the toasted sesame oil:

sesame yakimatsu

Mince the scallions to top the yakimatsu.

I like to also sprinkle some Shichimi togarashi chile on top for a little tickle of heat.

Yakimatsu makes a wonderful side to any number of dishes, and it pairs exceptionally well with these Japanese style pickles. I also like to serve it with other veggie forward plates like my fave Spinach, Air Fryer Tofu, Braised Peppers, or this Eggplant Salad.  I hope you love this earthy and tangy mushroom stir fry as much as I do. Give it a try and let me know, we love hearing from you!

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recipe yakimatsu

Yakimatsu

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: side
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 ounces mushrooms: use a combination of button, cremini, shiitake, or oyster
  •  1 pack enoki mushrooms (about 5 ounces)
  • ½ large onion
  • ½ cup homemade or bottled ponzu sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil 
  • 1 Tablespoon minced scallion for garnish
  • Shichimi togarashi chile to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the onion thin and set aside.
  2. Slice the mushrooms into approximately the same size and thickness. If the mushrooms are long or big, cut them in half before slicing. 
  3. Open the packet of enoki mushrooms and cut off the growing medium at the bottom.
  4. Separate the mushrooms into small clusters. Set aside.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium heat for several minutes.
  6. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. 
  7. Add the mushrooms (except for the enoki) in an even layer over the pan and let them cook for 1 minute without touching them. They should brown around the edges. 
  8. Next raise the heat to high and add the onions.
  9. Stir-fry for 1 minute, moving the food in the pan constantly.
  10. Add the enoki mushrooms and ponzu sauce. Stir to combine and cook for an additional minute.
  11. Add the sesame oil and toss to combine.
  12. Serve yakimatsu immediately garnished with scallions and shichimi togarashi.

Keywords: stir fry, mushrooms, vegan, vegetarian, ponzu, enoki, side dish