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Category: Beef

Beef Japchae

Beef Japchae

I don’t like to abuse the phrase “game changer”, but sometimes its use is warranted. And this Beef Japchae recipe is one of those times. Japchae is as ubiquitous in Korea as mac and cheese is in the states but it’s more versatile. Although it’s 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 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

Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage

As the weather finally starts to cool down a bit, we can look forward to spending time in the kitchen again and working on some comfort foods. This Stuffed Cabbage dish is a great project to tackle this weekend. Like Hambagu and Corn Potage, this read more

Teriyaki Meatballs

Teriyaki Meatballs

It’s hard to believe, but apparently we’re already in back to school mode. And that means easy dinners that will bring everyone to the table. These Teriyaki Meatballs really fit the bill. A juicy and tender mixture of pork and beef with a yummy teriyaki read more

Bulgogi

Bulgogi

Bulgogi is addictive. There’s no other way to say it. Besides kimchi, it is probably Korea’s most popular culinary export, and for good reason. Slightly charred sweet and salty meat should be a food group all its own. Plus there’s the fun communal aspect of bulgogi. If you’re lucky enough to live near a Korean BBQ restaurant, it’s common to have tabletop grills where everyone cooks their own meat. And the wide variety of banchan, or little side dishes typically served with bulgogi, means there’s a wide variety of textures and flavors to play with. There are an endless variety of Bulgogi recipes, and this one is mine. It’s fast and streamlined without sacrificing one drop of the addictive flavor.

bulgogi ingredients

Bulgogi Marinade

A bulgogi marinade is a perfect balance of sweet and salty. And I’ve seen so many “secret” ingredients used to achieve this; all different kinds of fruits, and even Coca-Cola.  I use pear because it’s readily available. Asian pear is great if you can find it. Pineapple and kiwi is also frequently used. The enzymes in the fruit help to make the beef really tender.

pear bulgogi

blend bulgogi

Bulgogi Beef

Koreans marinate lots of meats for the grill like chicken or pork, but beef is king. And for Bulgogi, ribeye is commonly used because it’s so tender and flavorful, but tenderloin and sirloin make good choices too. The meat is shaved or sliced very thinly. This allows it to both absorb the marinade and cook very quickly. I usually buy beef that has already been sliced to save time. If you are slicing it yourself, freeze the meat for about a half hour. That will make it easier to get very thin slices.

The beef only needs to marinate for a half hour. You can use that time to prepare some banchans. Some really quick ones you could include are:

Of course no Bulgogi spread would be complete without kimchi and rice. Now that you have some delicious sides ready, it’s time to cook the beef. Bulgogi actually means ‘fire meat’, and grilling it is traditional. But a grill or sauté pan works well too.

The beef will cook really quickly. We like it on the rarer side, so it’s done in just a couple minutes. Serve it with your sides and also some lettuce leaves to make little rice/kimchi/bulgogi tacos!

 

Try this beloved dish this weekend, and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe below and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

 

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recipe card bulgogi

Bulgogi

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus marinating time)
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3-4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Korean

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound thin sliced or shaved rib eye, sirloin, or tenderloin
  • 1 scallion minced
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Marinade:

  • 1 small pear*
  • ¼ large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon peeled minced ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Quarter and core the pear. Add it to a blender cup. Add the garlic, ginger, onion, soy sauce, salt, and brown sugar. Blend until smooth.
  2. Place the beef in a bowl and pour the marinade over it. Add the sesame oil, scallion, and black pepper. Using clean hands, mix to combine and evenly coat the beef with the marinade.
  3. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a pan over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the beef and leave for 1 minute and then stir. Cook, stirring occasionally for 1-3 mins until the meat is cooked to your liking. (If cooking at the table, you can do this in batches rather than cooking it all at once.)
  5. Eat it either directly from the pan if cooking at the table or transfer the meat to a plate and serve.

Notes

*you can use regular bartlett or bosc pear in addition to an asian pear. I’ve also used fresh pineapple and kiwi with good results. 

*you can make bulgogi either in a grill pan, in a regular saute pan, or on a korean bbq grill. If you plan on cooking it outside on a grill, use a perforated pan to keep the meat from falling through the grate.

Keywords: bulgogi, beef bulgogi, korean, korean bbq, banchan