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Chef's Corner: Stir-Fried Udon With Pork and Scallions

Pretty quick. Tasty. Why say more? Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

Use this recipe as a guide. Noodles, cabbage, ginger, soy, mirin and pepper flakes are the base. After that whatever you like and have on hand. If you don't have instant udon noodles, you might find dried (that's what we used) or even fresh. If you can't find it at all, you could try whole wheat spaghetti. We had several Chinese eggplants lying around, so we cut them in strips, coated them with a little oil and roasted them till browned and added them to the recipe when the noodles are mixed with oil. Think about adding shiitake mushrooms or use them in place of the pork to make it vegetarian. No pork? Try substituting ground beef, turkey or chicken. Or, perhaps shrimp!


Stir-Fried Udon With Pork and Scallions

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 4 cups green cabbage cut into strips (from about ¼ medium head)

  • 2 7-ounce packages instant udon noodles, flavor packets discarded

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 8 ounces ground pork

  • 5 scallions, white and pale-green parts coarsely chopped, dark-green parts thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (from a 1-inch knob)

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/3 cup mirin

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving

  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts (optional and use even more if you like)

Heat 1 TB vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add cabbage and cook, tossing often, until some of the edges are browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, tossing often, until thickest parts of cabbage leaves are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Remove from heat and set skillet aside.

If using instant udon noodles, place in a large heat proof bowl (or pot if you don’t have one) and cover with 6 cups boiling water. Let sit 1 minute, stirring to break up noodles, then drain in a colander. If using fresh or dried udon, prepare according to package directions.

Transfer noodles back to bowl and toss with sesame oil. Transfer cabbage to bowl with noodles. Wipe out skillet.

Heat the remaining 1 TB vegetable oil in same skillet over medium-high and add pork, breaking up and spreading across surface of pan with a spatula or tongs. Cook pork, undisturbed, until underside is brown, about 3 minutes. Do not keep checking the pork as it is cooking. It won't get a nice crispy browning if you push it around.

When the pork is browned break it up iinto small bits. Cook, tossing, just until there’s no more pink, about 1 minute.

You may find a lot of liquid fat has been produced. Feel free to carefully drain it off, if you prefer.

Add chopped scallions (the white and pale parts), ginger, and red pepper. Continue to cook, tossing often, until the scallions are softened and the bottom of the skillet has started to brown, about 1 minute. Add udon mixture, mirin, soy sauce and vinegar and cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are coated in sauce (be sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to dissoslve any browned bits), about 45 seconds. Remove from heat and fold in 1 TB sesame seeds. Top with more sesame seeds, the remaining dark-green parts of scallion, and peanuts (if using) before serving.

Serves 4 and can easily be halved.

WINE SUGGESTION: Consider Gewurztraminer or Rosé.

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