Boston is cold, and there’s finally snow, which I mostly like to enjoy from inside. People wonder how I have been managing the frigid weather. Well, I don’t really have to manage it too much. This past week I think I spent a cumulative of 20 minutes outside, and that’s because I wait outside for 2 minutes for my bus to come.
This weather induces my craving for my comfort food. Noodles. They soft and glutenous, so they match my criteria for the perfect food to a T. I am so excited to share this recipe with you all because it’s a noodle recipe! I’m practically typing at the edge of my seat.
Aside from Karl, puppies, and clean sheets, there’s nothing I love more than udon. What is udon you ask? It is a delicious round, thick Japanese noodle. It’s made from wheat flour, so how can it not be good?
In this recipe, I mix together many simple flavors and lots of different textures. Udon, shiitake mushrooms, and baby spinach are coated in a delicious and flavorful broth, then that’s topped with crispy tofu and the whole shebang is garnished with sliced green onions. This dish is not a soup, and the small amount of broth there is gives it all the flavor it needs. The end result is a big bowl of everything I love, well minus Karl, puppies, and clean sheets.
- 22 oz udon noodles
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 16 oz firm tofu, diced into ½ inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 11 oz baby spinach
- 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- Cook the udon noodles as the label directs (do not overcook!). Drain, and rinse with cold water so they don't stick.
- Pat the tofu dry with paper towels (the tofu won't brown nicely if it is too moist), then place in a small mixing bowl. Add in ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, gently toss to combine. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu to the skillet and fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Plate the tofu and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the skillet, then add the minced garlic. Cook until the garlic turns slightly brown, about 1 minute, then add the shiitake mushrooms. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir and cook until they're soft, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and sugar. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the broth and spinach, then bring to a boil. Cook until spinach is wilted, then remove from heat.
- Add the noodles to the skillet and stir so that they are covered in the broth, then top with tofu and garnish with the sliced green onions. Serve warm.