If you have been to Japanese izakaya (居酒屋), you most likely might have seen or tried yaki udon. A simple dish that once could easily make at home. Despite being simple, it is mouthwatering good.
Today we are going to show you how to make yaki udon. A izakaya’s dish that me and the missus would often ordered when we visited our favourite izakaya restaurant known as Kushimasa (串政). Sadly, they went out of business years ago but fortunately for us, we have seen how they made yaki udon. One of the perks of eating at izakaya with open kitchen.
If you prefer your udon swimming in a bowl of warm and tasty broth, you could check out our kitsune udon recipe. Another simple udon recipe.
To make a decent yaki udon, we would need to make the sauce. A premix sauce that would be added in during cooking. We seen the chef mixing sake, mirin, shoyu, shiro dashi, and a bit of water to make the sauce. We knew these are critical ingredients and we just have to figure out the quantity. With some efforts, we managed to recreate the taste that we want.
Next would be the ingredients needed. There were pork belly, onion, carrot, and spring onion in the kushimasa’s yaki udon. All these are a must for a nice yaki udon but we decided to add shiitake mushroom in. We also replace the water that used to make the sauce with the water that used to hydrate the shiitake mushroom to further increase the umaminess of our yaki udon.
Finally, the udon. We went with frozen udon as it is widely available in stores and markets. If you wish to make your own udon from scratch, yes by all means. However, we decided to leave the udon to the pro for now. After all, it is easy to source.
With some efforts, tries and errors, we manage to recreate the yaki udon that we love. Here is our izakaya’s yaki udon recipe. Try it!
Yaki Udon Izakaya Style
- Wok or Frying pan with lid.
- 1 Frozen udon
- 50-100 g sliced pork belly (beef would also do)
- 1/4 Onion
- 1/2 Carrot
- 2-3 Shiitake mushroom
- 1 stalk Spring onion
- 1-2 g Katsuobushi
- 1 tbsp Cooking oil
- Dash of grated black pepper
- 50 ml shiitake water
- 2 tbsp Sake
- 1 tbsp Mirin
- 1 tbsp Soy sauce (shoyu)
- 2 tsp Shiro Dashi
- Start by finely chop the onion, julienne the carrot, and cut the spring onion as shown below.
- Hydrate the shiitake mushrooms. Dispose the stem and thinly slice them. Keep the shiitake water for later
- Cut the pork belly into thin bite size slices.
- Now for the sauce. Mix 50ml shiitake mushroom water with sake, mirin, shoyu, and shiro dashi. Stir and mix them well.
- When the sauce is readied, it is time for frying. In a frying pan, heat about a tablespoon of cooking oil on medium high heat.
- Add the pork belly in and stir fry until they are no longer pink.
- Add the onion, carrot, shiitake mushroom, and spring onion in. Continue stir frying until the onion is translucent.
- Season with pepper and add the frozen udon in straight from the pack.
- Add the sauce in and cover the pan with lid.
- Give it 2-3 minutes and the sauce would cooked the udon with the lid on. Check it every minute to make sure the sauce does not dry out and burn the udon.
- After 2-3 minutes, the sauce would dry out or absorb by the udon. Give it a few stir or toss.
- Bring your yaki udon to a nice plate and top it with katsuobushi. We are done! Enjoy your yaki udon.