Growing up eating instant top ramen noodles was a staple in our house. Similar to boxed mac and cheese, ramen noodles were inexpensive and quick to prepare costing only $0.10 a package. Now days I prefer a more satisfying noodle dish which is quite popular in Japan and in Japanese restaurants in Seattle.
Japanese udon is a traditional noodle dish served in a hot broth made of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin, with thinly sliced scallions topping it off. In our home this is comfort food at its best. Plain noodles and broth, its simplest form, is made in less than 10 minutes. But typically I will look inside my refrigerator to see what vegetables I have on hand and add them to the broth. I love to eat udon with a fried egg on top.
Today I would like to share my most favorite way to eat udon. With shrimp, kale, tofu, mushrooms, scallions, and a fried egg, this dish gets my vote for the best fast food you can make at home. It can also be served to guests as an impressive meal. Enjoy!
Recipe: Shrimp and Kale Udon
A Japanese inspired comfort food noodle dish.
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup tsuyu concentrate (Japanese noodle broth base found in Asian grocery stores)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil plus a little more for optional drizzle
- 3/4-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into three ¼-inch coins
- 2 packages frozen udon noodles (found in the freezer section of Asian grocery stores)
- ¼ pound uncooked medium shrimp, veins removed
- 1 cup chopped kale
- ¼ cup cubed medium firm tofu
- ¼ cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 sunny-side up fried eggs
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- Optional: 2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce (found in Asian grocery stores)
- Optional: sesame oil
- To make the broth, bring the water, tsuyu, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger to a low simmer for 3 minutes.
- To cook the noodles, prepare the udon according to the package instructions (typically a couple minutes).
- Drain the noodles and divide them evenly between two bowls.
- Add the shrimp, kale, tofu, and mushrooms to the broth and cook until the shrimp turns pink, approximately one minute.
- Pour the broth over each bowl and divide the cooked ingredients among them as well.
- Top each bowl of udon off with a fried egg, scallions, and sesame seeds. You can also drizzle a teaspoon of sesame oil over the egg and a little bit of garlic chili sauce for added spiciness.