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Category: Quick

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 read more

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

How many times have you heard, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”?  Now….how often do you actually eat breakfast? Yeah, me too. It’s just a lot to expect a person to get up and do everything they have to do to get read more

Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. Udon noodles are so fabulously slippery and chewy, staying the perfect texture all the way to the last bite. And this Beef Udon dish is a keeper. Juicy bites of beef, a tangle of noodles, a next level savory broth, and some fun garnishes create the perfect bowl.

I know we’re getting ready for summer, but Asians eat hot soupy noodles year round. It’s not reserved for wintry months. So whether you have AC 24/7 like we do in Miami, are still experiencing the last vestiges of a cold spring, or believe in sweating out toxins, this Beef Udon will hit the spot. So let’s get into it.

ingredients beef udon

Beef Udon Starts with Dashi

Beef Udon has 3 separate, but quick, components to cook. The first component is a dashi stock. If you made one of the homemade dashi stocks I posted recently, this is an excellent use for it! (If not, you can still make Beef Udon by whipping up a dashi with some dashi powder mixed with water or with dried anchovy dashi packets.)

beef udon dashi mirin

lid beef udon

The second component is a fast stir fry of the beef and onions. I use shaved beef (like the kind used for Philly cheese steaks) that I purchased from Trader Joes. Any tender shaved or thinly sliced beef is fine. You can either purchase it or cut it yourself. If you’re slicing the beef at home, put the beef in the freezer for an hour or so. The semi frozen beef will be much easier to slice that a chunk of swishy meat.

Once the onions are cooked, I move them aside to make room for the beef. Whenever cooking ground meat or hefty amounts of sliced meat, I always try and leave it alone for a minute or two in the pan, to try and get some sear. It’s very hard at home to generate enough heat to burn off moisture and not steam meat, particularly if you have other items in the pan. Cranking up the heat may solve the meat steaming issue, but the other ingredients will scorch. So for me, the solution is to keep the heat moderately high, but allow the meat to sear before stirring it around.

Try this technique on other recipes and see if you like the results. It’s easier and more forgiving than high heat stir-frying.

beef udon in pan

Once you add the sauce ingredients, stir to coat the beef and then turn the stove off. I prefer a slightly pink beef, plus the residual heat in the pan will continue cooking the beef as well.

Lastly, we head to the third component, which is of course to make the udon noodles. There are two types of udon noodles. Dry and fresh. The fresh ones, which are what I’m using here, come either frozen or vacuum packed, which can be stored at room temperature. I like the frozen noodles best. They have the best chewy texture and only require quick heating as they are already cooked. If you are using vacuum packed noodles, follow the same instructions. However, you will want to proceed with package instructions if you are using dry udon noodles.

cooking udon

While the noodles are cooking I quickly prepare some garnishes. I like to use scallions for their fresh bite and I slice up some Japanese fish cakes for their fun chewy texture and a bit of color. (Love the delicious versality of fish cakes? Try them in this braised pepper dish, in Shabu Shabu, or Japanese Oden Stew.)

japanese fish cakes

Now it’s time to put all three components together, then garnish, and your Beef Udon is ready to serve!

I like to sprinkle a little schichimi togarashi for a little heat.

Now dig in and enjoy- It’s good to be home 🙂

Love noodles as much as I do? Try some of these other Funky Asian Kitchen faves: Sukiyaki, Mushroom Japchae, or Pancit.

beef udon beauty

Try this Beef Udon tonight, and let me know what you think.  Don’t forget to tag us @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

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feature beef udon

Beef Udon

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2
  • Category: noodles
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale

Beef Udon:

  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
  • ¼ large onion
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced beef (rib eye, tenderloin, or sirloin are all good choices)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 servings udon noodles (7 ounces dry noodles or 1 pound frozen noodles)

Udon Broth:

  • 3 cups of dashi Japanese soup stock
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Toppings (optional but nice to have):

  • 1 green onion
  • 4 slices kamaboko fish cakes
  • Shichimi togarashi chile served on the side

Instructions

  1. Put the dashi in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add the soy sauce, mirin, and salt. Stir to combine. Put a lid over the pot and keep it on low heat while you finish the other components.
  2. Peel and slice the onion thinly. Set aside.
  3. Trim the scallions and slice thin. Set aside.
  4. Slice the kamaboko and reserve the rest for another purpose. (You can freeze it if you do not have an immediate use for it.)
  5. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil and the onions. Sprinkle lightly with salt and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until softened. 
  6. Push the onions to the side and add the beef in one layer. Let it cook untouched for 1 minute and then stir fry for another minute.
  7. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar and continue to cook for another minute or two, making sure to coat the meat well with the sauce as it cooks. Set aside.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the dry noodles according to the package. If you’re using frozen noodles, cook them for 1 minute. Drain the noodles and portion them into two deep bowls. 
  9. Top the noodles with the broth, beef, and the garnishes.
  10. Serve Beef Udon immediately.

Notes

*If you do not have dashi you can combine 3 cups of water with 2 teaspoons dashi powder or 1 dashi packet and continue with the recipe.

Keywords: udon, noodles, dashi, beef, fish cakes

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

This recipe sits somewhere between cake and bread. If I need a quick dessert, it’s Banana Cake; lusciously light and tender and baked in a Bundt pan so it’s automatically festive. When I have a hankering for something a little sweet at breakfast however, it read more

Chanpuru

Chanpuru

Why are stir-fries one of the most popular Asian dishes made at home? Because they are versatile, economical, and fast. No matter what you have (or don’t have) in the fridge, a stir-fry can generally be had. So today, we’re going to introduce one that read more

Vietnamese Mussels

Vietnamese Mussels

I’m on a mission to get people to make and enjoy mussels at home. Mussels are sustainable, economical, and an effortless way to add drama and sophistication to any gathering. There’s no reason to save these for a special restaurant meal. These Vietnamese Mussels are part of my game plan; once you see how easy they are to prepare you’ll be making them over and over to impress guests.

mussels ingredients

What Makes these Mussels Vietnamese?

While at first glance these mussels may seem like something you would order in a French bistro- a pile of gleaming mollusks in a wine based broth, these beauties take a tour through Vietnam. Lemongrass, fish sauce, and a shower of fresh herbs, the trifecta of Vietnamese flavors, all make an appearance here. A garnish of crunchy fried shallots seal the deal.

Making Vietnamese Mussels

I start by soaking the mussels in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes. This helps them expel sand so they won’t be gritty. Then I thoroughly rinse them under running water. I also remove any long hair-life strands attached to the shell, known as the beard. Some may not have beards at all. Removing them is easy, just grab and pull.

Now it’s time to prep the aromatics-the lemongrass, garlic, chili, and onion.

mussels onion half

I use the flat side of the blade to roughly smash the garlic cloves.

garlic mussels

I love to use frozen, chopped lemongrass. It’s one of the most convenient of convenience products. It can be found in the freezer section of well stocked Asian stores. Pop it in the freezer and then just scoop out a tablespoon or two whenever you need it. If you are using fresh lemongrass, I show you how to prep it here. I like to put chopped chilis, garlic, and lemongrass in a small bowl so I have it handy when it’s time to add to the pot.

Now that everything is prepped and within reach, it’s time to cook.

wine mussels

Stir again and cook for a couple minutes more, until all of the mussels open. (Discard any that don’t.)  Taste the broth to see if it needs any more salt, it should be deeply flavorful.  Then stir in the butter for a little added richness, and top with the herbs-I like a mix, and the fried shallots.

recipe mussels vietnamese

You can serve these right from the pot, or pile them onto a platter, or portion them out for your guests. Make sure to include plenty of that glorious liquid!

Vietnamese Mussels are a perfect holiday party starter alongside a batch of Yuzu Margaritas! Make a batch and let me know what you think. Comment on the recipe or tag us @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe mussels vietnamese

Vietnamese Mussels

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 (plus soaking time)
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minute
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lemongrass stalks or 2 Tablespoons chopped lemongrass
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2.5 lbs mussels
  • 1 ½ cups crisp white wine (like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)
  • 23 bird’s-eye chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter cut into cubes
  • ½ cup (small handful) Thai basil leaves, cilantro, mint, or any combination roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fried shallots (optional)
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Put the mussels in a large colander and rinse under running water.
  2. Pull any pieces of beard (the long hair like strands attached to the shell) off and set aside to drain.
  3. Cut the onion into thin slices and set aside.
  4. Wash the lemongrass stalks.
  5. Smash them lightly with a wooden spoon or the side of your knife.
  6. Cut off the top half and discard. Then slice the stalks into ½ inch pieces. (You can also use frozen chopped lemongrass if you prefer.)
  7. Next smack the garlic cloves with the knife or spoon to smash them roughly.
  8. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes and add the oil, and onions.
  9. Cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly softened.
  10. Add the lemongrass, chiles, and garlic. Sauté briefly until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  11. Add the mussels, fish sauce, ground black pepper, and wine.
  12. Stir the contents of the pot, cover with a lid, and steam until the mussels start to open, about 2-3 minutes. 
  13. Stir the clams again, cover with the lid, and continue cooking until all of the mussels pop open, about 2-3 minutes. (If you still have 1 or 2 mussels that have not opened after all of the rest are open, discard them). 
  14. Taste a little of the broth to measure saltiness and add a little salt as needed.
  15. Turn off the heat and add the butter, fried shallots, and the herbs. 
  16. Stir again. Transfer to a deep serving platter or just serve the Vietnamese Mussels out of the pot and serve immediately.

Keywords: mussels, vietnamese, lemongrass, fish sauce, party food, appetizers, holiday, starters