Vegetarian Japanese Pan Noodles
Vegetarian Japanese pan noodles are the perfect Meatless Monday recipe that the whole family will be clamoring for. Udon noodles are cooked in a sauce that coats and caramelizes the noodles and goes perfectly with shiitake mushrooms, broccoli and carrots for the most delicious bite after bite!
Do you ever have order envy at a restaurant?
Your food comes to the table, and just seeing what the other person ordered gives you a sinking feeling that your food just won’t measure up.
Then you have a bite of the other person’s food, and you know you’ve made a mistake. You should have ordered what the other person did.
Well, that is the story behind this Japanese pan noodles recipe.
Every time my husband and I went to a fast-casual restaurant called Noodles and Company, I’d order some random pasta dish and he would order Japanese pan noodles.
I’d sit there and make big eyes at him until he’d ask “would you like a bite?” and then I’d ask “are you sure?” … but deep down I’m thinking “omg I need to have some of those noodles!”
They’re so good!
The Japanese udon noodles (and other Nasoya Asian-style noodles) can be found in the grocery store next to Nasoya tofu (usually on the above shelf, I’ve found) and cook up in minutes, so they’re great when you need a super quick, easy, vegetarian dinner recipe.
I used a wok pan to make this dish, but really any pan will work. To make the Japanese pan noodles, you simply chop your veggies and make the sauce ahead of time (because cook time is so quick, you want to have everything ready to go.) Then all you do is cook the veggies and then add the noodles in. Everything cooks together and oh-my-goodness, the end result is amazing!
I like making crispy tofu as a protein with this dish. To make crispy tofu, all you do is toss extra firm tofu in a little corn starch, and then sear it in a pan in a little bit of oil and a little bit of the sauce you’ve made for the noodles.
After trying this recipe, my hubby totally approved it and said this one is definitely one he wants me to make regularly. I hope you enjoy!
- For the Japanese pan noodles:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup broccoli, cut into small florets
- ¼ cup shredded carrots (about ½ of a large carrot)
- 1 (9 oz.) package fresh Japanese udon noodles
- ½ cup Asian bean sprouts for topping, optional
- 1 green onion, finely sliced for topping, optional
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds for topping, optional
- For the crispy tofu:
- ⅓ block of extra firm tofu (about 5 oz) cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- In a bowl mix together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, water and ginger and whisk to combine. Remove one tablespoon sauce for cooking with the tofu.
- In a wok or large or pan over high heat add oil and let warm for 1-2 minutes, or until oil is very hot. Add in mushrooms, broccoli and carrots and let cook for 3 minutes, then add in ⅓ of the sauce and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add in the Japanese udon noodles and another ⅓ of the sauce, cook for 5 minutes, stirring/tossing until the noodles are coated in sauce, pour remaining ⅓ of the sauce and turn heat off. If the noodles and vegetables are sticking to the side of the pan, add a few tablespoons water to make the dish more saucy.
- While the noodles are cooking, make the tofu.
- Pat tofu cubes dry with a paper towel. Toss tofu cubes with corn starch in a bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Over high heat, heat oil, then add tofu cubes and 1 tablespoon sauce. Let cubes cook for 1-2 minutes per side so that a nice brown crust forms. Remove from heat when all sides are browned. Add tofu to the noodles in the wok and toss everything so that everything is combined.
- To assemble the Japanese noodle bowls divide the contents of the wok into 4 bowls and top with bean sprouts, green onions and black sesame seeds (if using), then enjoy!