I’ve recently gotten sucked into a manga series called Oishinbo, which is all about Japanese cooking and food. As a result, I have been craving all sorts of Japanese food lately, including things I’d never even heard of until I read about it. In any case, this inspired me to check out the Pacific Mercantile Company in downtown Denver. It’s a decently sized Asian grocery store, and their focus is on Japanese products. I would love to go back there with an extra $100 or so to blow, because everything looked so tasty.
Among other things, I picked up some dry udon. I’ve always eaten the precooked udon, where all you have to do is heat it up and dump in the seasoning packet. So, in the interest of being cheaper and such, I thought the dried udon would be fun to try. So I boiled the noodles, rinsed them when they looked like they were done, and then immediately dumped the noodles back in the pan to boil some more. Silly me, forgetting that the fatter the noodles are, the longer they need to boil! Anyhow, after that, I rinsed them in some cold water and let them sit as I prepared everything else.
So I got out the ole wok, and let it get nice and hot. I’m still familiarizing myself with using an electric stove (I sure do miss having a gas stove!), but I got the temperature more or less right for the wok – a bit above medium, as if the dial were a clock and it was 4:00. I dumped in some sesame oil, along with some chopped cabbage, carrot, green onion, seaweed, and chopped fresh ginger. Incidentally, chopped fresh ginger is now the Best Thing Ever. How can I ever go back to the crappy powdered stuff? Oh, and while I originally planned on this being vegetarian, there was a piece of tilapia in the fridge that was just screaming out to be chopped into little teeny pieces and hang out with the vegetables, so I tossed that in as well.
After a few minutes, I added in the noodles, along with some soy sauce plus ground peppercorns. Pushed it around for awhile until it looked appropriately edible, then dumped it on a plate.
It was super good. Plus, it wasn’t hard at all to make. Next up, I’ve got a pack of buckwheat soba noodles to try this out with.