It was 15 minutes to dinner, and I needed something to go with two salmon filets. The salmon was marinated in a sesame-soy concoction, generally Asian inspired, so I was excited when I spotted some udon noodles in the cupboard. I literally threw the noodles together with a simple veggie saute, and it turned out to be the star of the meal. We both agreed that the Veggie Udon had a Ramen-esque flavor, taking us back to the MSG-rich days of our childhoods.
After the success of that throw together dish, my cravings lingered on … so much so that I had to attempt a re-creation just two nights later. Only this time, it was a giant bowl of Easy Veggie Udon that served as the main dish. Obviously, I used a fair dose of sodium, between the wee bit of soy sauce and those few dashes of salt, but I dare say the dish was pretty healthy overall. If you want to add some protein, tofu, meat, eggs, sliced almonds would all pair well with this veggie udon!
Special Diet Notes: Easy Veggie Udon
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free: Sub tamari in place of soy sauce and use buckwheat or rice noodles.
- 8 ounces udon noodles (may substitute other noodles in a pinch; for gluten-free I recommend Eden’s all buckwheat soba noodles or rice noodles)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 3 carrots, peeled into large shreds using a vegetable peeler
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 12 ounces mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 5-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce or wheat-free tamari, divided
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt to taste (I used around ¼ to ½ teaspoon)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste or a few pinches of crushed red pepper
- Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
- While those are boiling, heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil over medium-low heat (I do a lower heat to protect the flavor of the oil, but you can up it to medium if you are really hungry).
- Add the carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute just until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the spinach and ½ tablespoon of soy sauce, and saute for just a couple of minutes, until those leavese start to wilt.
- Turn off the heat, and stir in the noodles, garlic powder, remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and any add-ins (see below), tossing well to ensure everything is coated with those flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in big bowls.
- Add-ins: I steamed 12 oz of broccoli florets (about 7 minutes; until crisp tender) and tossed them in along with the noodles. The second time I made it, I also added about ½ lb of steamed baby carrots, merely because I didn’t have any whole carrots to shred. I recommend the peeled or shredded carrots (in the recipe) over the steamed chunks, but personal preference.