Udon noodles with pork and chilli


  • Serves 2 - 4 people

Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the shiitake mushrooms.

  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked overnight in water, drained
  • 400 gm (2 packets) udon noodles
  • 100 gm silken tofu
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 300 gm coarsely minced lean pork
  • 2 tbsp Korean chilli paste (gochujang)
  • 2 tsp julienned ginger
  • 50 ml cooking sake
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 1½ tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 4-5 drops sesame oil
  • To serve: sesame seeds and thinly sliced spring onions
01   Place mushrooms in a small saucepan with enough water to cover and simmer over low heat until tender (1-2 hours, topping up with extra water if necessary). Drain (discard water), cool, thinly slice and set aside.
02   Loosen noodles in a colander under cold running water to separate and set aside.
03   Process tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth then transfer to a squeezy bottle or piping bag without the nozzle and refrigerate until required.
04   Heat a wok over high heat, add vegetable oil and when it starts smoking, add mince and stir until starting to caramelise (2-3 minutes). Add chilli paste, ginger and shiitake, stir to combine (1 minute), then deglaze with sake (1 minute). Add stock, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil, bring to the boil and cook until a thick sauce consistency (1-2 minutes). Add udon and heat through, tossing continuously to coat well and prevent sticking to the wok (1 minute). Serve with tofu piped over in dots, and with sesame seeds and spring onions scattered on top.
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