Nov 18

Braised Udon Noodles in Soy Sauce

Braised Udon Noodles






Thoughts of home and of home cooking are never far away from my mind. Notice how I have been featuring lots of Malaysian and South East Asian flavoured dishes lately? Yeah, I’ve been in that sort of a mood since October. This week I was missing Hokkien Mee, a delicious braised noodle dish popular in Kuala Lumpur and in Penang. To make Hokkien mee one must consider two key components : the proper noodle type and the proper braising sauce.



I have searched high and low here in Amsterdam for proper noodles but so far they have eluded  me. None seems to exist, not even in Chinatown. Unable to live it down, I decided to fake it by using Japanese udon noodles instead. Purists look away now. Hopeful people who live overseas and are in a similar situation as I am, stay tuned. I don’t pretend





  • 200 g pork belly lardons
  • 8 – 10 large prawns
  • 1 cup bok choy or Nappa cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp dark soy
  • 1 tbsp light soy
  • ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 cups unsalted chicken or pork broth
  • 2 pkts udon noodles



I am employing Hokkien mee principals to make this dish, but I cannot call this ‘Hokkien mee’ because the udon noodles definitely makes this dish taste noticeably different. Still nice … just not authentic.



For a nice and flavourful braising sauce you will need pork fat, so start off by cutting strips of pork belly into lardons and gently fry them in oil over low heat to render the fat and to crisp them up. Coincidentally, I also found a packet of pork scratching at the local store and these go quite well crumbled over the top of the noodles.




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Transfer the lardons to a plate lined with kitchen towels and leave about three tablespoons worth of fat in the frying pan. Fry the garlic, bok choy, fishcake and prawns in the hot oil and toss frequently so as to not burn the garlic. After about a minute add all the sauces + sugar, and toss to coat.




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Meanwhile, have a saucepan of boiling water on the side and soften the noodles in the water. Also mix the cornstarch with cold unsalted chicken broth to create a slurry. Add the noodles to the wok together with the sauce and toss again. Just before you turn off the heat, add the slurry to thicken the sauce. Adjust seasoning and serve. Don’t forget to crumble some of that pork scratching over the top, along with some fried shallots.




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~ Enjoy ~


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