Mar 23

Udon Beef Bowl + Red Peppers



Beef Udon1


I love a good stir fry just as much as the next person. It’s a shame I don’t do it more often these days. As a student I lived on stir fries coz it was quick and easy, and it sure was a hell of a lot better than eating burgers and instant noodles. My default recipe was a chicken + celery stir fry, something I learnt from my mother before I left home. Actually, it was the ONLY stir fry recipe I knew, so it wasn’t like I had much choice. However, from this one recipe my repertoire quickly expanded as I experimented with different meats and veggies; tofu even. The basic principles of cooking remained the same, so as long as I stuck to that then I could do no wrong.



I was never really good at making noodle stir fries tho. For years I simply had meat and veggies served on top of white rice. Whenever I attempted to cook noodles in a wok they would stick to the bottom, or get burnt, or over cook and become too soggy. If I wanted fried noodles I’d go buy ’em down the road from the old “uncle” who’s been frying noodles in the very same spot for the past 35 years, and they come out perfect every single time. Being away from home makes me think of all the food I’m missing. I don’t necessarily want to eat them; I just miss having the option and the opportunity to eat them if I so wished.



If I had to make a top-3  favourite list, I would say right now I would most want to eat hokkien mee … both kinds; the KL version and the Singapore version. The char mee is the KL version, made with thick yellow noodles and fried with pork crackling and lots of thick dark soy sauce. The second, known as hae mee, is sold mainly in Singapore, and it is a white version cooked with egg noodles and seafood.



Hokkien mee

Picture source : http://khkl.blogspot.nl and http://is.asia-city.com




Next on the list would have to be Maggi mee goreng, mamak-style. My Malaysian readers would find this all too familiar, and nod approvingly, but for the benefit of my western readers, this is what I am talking about ~~ fried instant noodles. HA! It might sound silly that one would pay up to 3x more to have someone else cook you instant noodles at a stall, but in Malaysia no one bats an eyelid over it. Maggi mee goreng mamak-style does come with extras tho, not just plain noodles out of a packet. Usually there is some vegetables, fish cake and tofu added, plus kalamansi lime on the side and a fried egg on top. Best eaten at 2 a.m on a Friday night after a night out drinking.




Maggi mee goreng (800x534)



Third on the list is char kwei teow, wok fried flat rice noodles with egg, prawns, chillies, bean sprouts and cockles. This dish has got to be Malaysia’s No.1 all time favourite fried noodle dish. You can find this pretty much anywhere ~ at Chinese restaurants, street stalls, food courts and at local food markets. There is no mistaking the aroma of char kwei teow … I can smell it a mile away … and it is the best food EVER (minus the bloody cockles, please)!




Online picture source : http://jeroxie.com




All this talk of fried noodles has got me hungry again. Sigh. Fortunately for me I have a quick fix ready and raring to go. In my pantry I have a couple of packets of udon noodles, and in the fridge I have beef tenderloin; left over from yesterdays Spicy Beef & Basil Stir Fry. I use udon noodles because they seem to be the only noodles I can find here in the Netherlands not in a hard, dehydrated state. Also, they feel like the fat Chinese noodles we get back home, and they are pretty much fat-free. Hurrah!





Beef Udon6 (800x581)




The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard …

  • 150g  beef tenderloin
  • 1 small green or red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sambal
  • dash of ground ginger



Onions and the peppers go in the pan first. Sautée them off for a couple of minutes, then add the minced garlic.


The beef is to be sliced thinly and marinated in the sauces : oyster, soy, dark soy, sambal & ground ginger.



Beef Udon9



Add the beef to the hot pan and keep it moving. Allow the meat to cook for 4 – 5 mins, then add a splash of water. Stir to combine.


Add the udon noodles, stir to loosen then cover with the lid. The steam within will soften the noodles and cook them thru. After another 5 mins, uncover and toss everything one last time.


Serve immediately, topped with fried shallots, toasted sesame seeds and coriander leaves.




Beef Udon2



Beef Udon5




These noodles were pretty amazing. I think they needed a touch more chilli on the side, but otherwise they really hit the spot. The beef was very tender and the soy complimented the noodles like a marriage made in heaven. Not quite the Malaysian noodles I was craving for but they came in a close second … my tummy wasn’t complaining. *burp*


If you are not  fan of beef (like, seriously??) … then chicken or prawns will do just as well. Steamed baby broccoli also compliment this dish.




~ Enjoy! ~


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