Japanese cooking is often perceived as super tricky, but a lot of the time it is just balancing the various flavours to achieve something really delicious. This mackerel udon noodle is no exception. Becky has been trying to recreate various dishes from Japan since her trip last year. This dish is inspired by yakisoba and, of course, our love of seafood.
The dish below is very easy and although a few of the ingredients may be new to you, we can assure you your cupboard will be better off for containing them.
Dashi, for example, is on Becky’s kitchen ingredients she can’t live without. Dashi is a Japanese stock that can be made from kombu (dried kelp), katsuobushi (dried and smoked bonito/skipjack tuna that is shaved into thin flakes), iriko or niboshi (anchovies/sardine), or a combination of all or two of them. The one she uses is a mix of kelp and bonito and can be picked up at most Japanese supermarkets. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge and just a few tbsp will add a great umami flavour to your soup stocks.
This is a delicious, simple Japanese inspired recipe that is a great, quick weeknight dinner full of flavour. Make sure you buy a lightly smoked mackerel and try before you cook to make sure the dish doesn’t become too salty. We’re big fans of Veasey & Sons fishmonger in Brockley, but a pack (MSC certified) from your local supermarket should do the trick.
Ingredients (serves 1):
- 1 packet pre-cooked udon noodles
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 1 pak choi, leaves separated
- Handful beansprouts
- ½ carrot cut into batons
- 2 tsp mirin sweet cooking sake
- 1 tsp dashi stock
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ smoked mackerel fillet cut into chunks
- pinch of pepper
- Optional: bonito flakes, seaweed and sesame seeds to top
- First, check if your udon noodles need to be boiled first or if they can go straight into the wok. If you do need to cook the udon noodles, add them to boiling water for 2 or 3 minutes in a saucepan. No need to stir them or to put some oil in the saucepan beforehand, they will separate by themselves. Drain them and rinse well with cold water in a colander.
- Add a little oil to a frying pan or wok and start to cook the vegetables and mackerel on a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes. You want the vegetables to retain a crunch.
- You can now add the udon, and then the soy sauce, mirin and dashi to your pan. Continue to mix everything together so all the ingredients are well combined. Cook for a further 2 minutes until everything is nice and hot.
- Serve with the optional toppings.