Udon Noodles on my Mind

Is there anyone who hasn't thought of noodles this month? I know I have been rather obsessed.

My body went through contortions to capture images of noodles. I told myself that some of the positions were actually yoga. I was too lazy to set up my tripod and the light was failing fast so I set the exposure to 1/20s, put the camera on a 10 second timer, composed the shot and told those overstretched twisted muscles to be still, inhaled, pressed the shutter and held my breath, and slowly exhaled and relaxed but only after the camera had captured this...

and this...

Not bad for tripodless work, eh?! Of course, I used neither - actually there were hundreds I didn't use - as my entry for CLICK. Some of you might remember, of course, but for the benefit of those who don't, I sent this in.

I have had this packet of Udon noodles for quite a while now. I've been going back and forth on trying to figure out what to do with them. Do I try and deconstruct Siamese Plate's delicately spiced udon noodles in a white sauce? Or do I try Tao's udon noodles in ginger sauce? And then there was Nupur's udon noodle curry soup. And, Tea's Zaru Soba.

I decided not to think about it and as soon as I did that, I knew exactly what I wanted to make as the Friday night special chez Manisha. There was one catch though: I had to use what I had in the house since I have sworn to finish all the fresh produce in the house before I allow myself to go grocery shopping again.

Udon Noodle Curry

I used Nupur's recipe for reference and adapted it to the ingredients at hand.

  • Organic Udon noodles, 1 packet (3 x 3oz)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Thai green curry paste
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced at an angle
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 portabella mushroom cap, diced
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup roasted peanuts, lightly crushed
  • cilantro for those who wanted it

  1. Cook the udon noodles according to the instructions on the package, but don't cook them completely as they will cook further when added to the soup. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion starts turning brown.
  3. Add the green curry paste and fry for a few minutes until your kitchen smells like heaven.
  4. Add all the chopped veggies and stir fry for a few minutes on high heat.
  5. Add the coconut milk, water, tamari sauce and sugar and stir well. Add salt if desired and simmer for 10 minutes or so.
  6. Add udon noodles and cook until they are done.
  7. Turn off the stove, add lemon juice, garnish with peanuts and cilantro and serve immediately.
This was a complete meal by itself! We slurped on the soup and sucked in the noodles. These noodles have quickly taken the slot of my favorite noodles. They are smooth and firm and absorb the flavors of the sauce they are in.

This made enough for two meals for the three of us. And I am quite thrilled because I get to eat it again soon!

  • I used what is labeled as tamari sauce - thanks Bee! - and was pleasantly surprised at how different the flavor is from regular soy sauce. But upon reading further, I think what I have is improperly labeled shoyu sauce as one of the ingredients is wheat. Tamari does not contain wheat. But it was not a problem as the flavor was mild and not in the least overpowering. Unlike soy sauce. Which is why I used 3 tablespoons of it! If you use soy sauce, use less of it than I did tamari sauce.
  • I used Thai Kitchen's Green Curry paste but only after sending my apologies to Pel. One of my conditions was to use whatever I had on hand! And I wanted to make this a vegan dish.
  • Medha is not yet a fan of Thai food. She danced all around the kitchen saying tikhat! tikhat! when I gave her some soup to taste. Once she had calmed down, she asked me if I had added the same stuff that is there in the Thai Green Curry her father and I love so much. I can't quite put my finger on it but I think she does not like the combined flavors of kaffir lime, galangal and lemon grass. She finds it too sharp. It's not the green chillies because she's been doing rather well with spicy Indian food. She drowned her noodles in Sweet and Sour sauce. Yes, that orange colored thing that no-one should keep in their homes.
  • To make this richer, one could add more coconut milk.
  • Most of the soupy part was absorbed by the noodles by the time we were done with dinner. So I might just add some more coconut milk and water and adjust the seasoning when I serve it again.
  • Plating food in an enticing way is not my forté. Nor do I have a variety of dishes and bowls to dress them up on. I guess what I am leading to is: please ignore the peanut skin that made its way to the bowl in the previous two pictures. It's not supposed to be there!

If you haven't yet voted for CLICK! Reader's Choice, please head on over and do so before voting closes on November 26, 2007. And don't forget to come back here and be nice to me, I'm a judge for the event!

Update: I am sending this to Suganya for her Vegan Venture event.


Anita said...

Manisha, you are the greatest! What fantastic pictures! And the recipe is to die for! Will surely make this weekend itself - maybe right away, in fact! You are so inspiring...{You give brownie points na?]

Kidding, aside, I truly might make this recipe for lunch right away! I have been aching to use those noodles - and luckily I have most of the ingredients at hand - leftover green chilli paste (Pel's) in the freezer, some coconut milk I saved last time...veggies in the crseper...

Kitt said...

If you didn't point out the peanut skin, I never would've noticed it! Too busy drooling over the yummy dish.

On my camera, if I push the self-timer button twice, it gives me a 2-second delay instead of 10, which is a lot easier to hold your breath for. Maybe yours has the same feature?

sunita said...

Those are beautiful pictures...we too love our share of noodles, especially in soup..your's looks d-lish!

Nupur said...

Gorgeous, slurpable pictures, Manisha! Love the combination of veggies in your soup. Udon noodles are so fascinating- with their geometric perfection.

Finla said...

Yummy the udon noodle dish looks delicious.
And thepic of the dry noddles is wonderful

Bindiya said...

These look great, I liked the last pic the best.

Anita said...

Made these for lunch - and soy sauce is no tamari and I overcooked the veggies a tad and all the leftover is for me alone :-( But I loved the texture of the noodles - so slurpable - best eaten with chopsticks!

bee said...

i swear by pel's green curry paste. i've tried some other versions, but his is the best.

Shammi said...

What peanut skin? I didntnotice any peanut skin until you mentioned it! :) and even then I had to get my magnifying glass out :D

Indian Food Rocks said...

Anita, that's the way to do it!

Kitt and Shyam, once I have seen it, I don't see anything else. So when I look at the two pictures, that's all I see! And, yes, I do have a 2 second timer but I find that it's too short for me cos I am still fidgeting. I like the slow beeps that become fast in the last 2 seconds!

Sunita, Happy Cook, Bindiya, thanks! The noodles curry was really good!

Nupur, thank you! Really! Thank you for the great recipe! I am so glad I went with it. It's a great one pot meal! And I think this kind of a soupy dish works with both Udon and soba noodles because of their texture.

Anita, too bad you didn't enjoy it as much as we did!Try the vegan version of the paste next time maybe? Or maybe your family just does not like noodles in wet slurpy sauce and prefer them dry? Ties in with your feelings about dal dhokli, I think!

Bee, I will make Pel's green sauce soon but I think I will skip the shrimp paste. While I love what it adds to the sauce, the rest of my family does not. :-(

musical said...

I LOVE these pictures! Who cares about that moongphali ka chilka (which is so hard to find)when the dish is looking soooooooooooo good!

This stuff rocks!

Indian Food Rocks said...

Musy, I guess I'm eccentric like that!

I think this recipe totally rocks! You can add any of the veggies you would to a stir-fry, really. And for some reason, I think I would always prefer this without meat. Cooking and clean up would be simpler, too!

Siri said...

Rocking noodles manisha! never tried Udon Noodles. Will try to get some this time around..:)

~ Siri

amna said...

that's a lovely shot u sent click. even the cooked version looks yummy!

Kribha said...

I donno how I missed this post. When I saw your pic I was wondering if you sent it for the click event or not. Later, when I reached the end of the post I realized that you were one of the judges. The pic proves it that you are a pro and an apt person to judge this. Hey...the results are out already. So, don't think that I'm buttering you. I really mean it. Loved your pic.

Suganya said...

Am yet to try green curry paste yet. Pel is the right way to go, it seems :). Thank you for this lovely entry, Manisha.