U is for udon (and that’s good enough for me)

Another month, another letter forward in Cooking Through the Alphabet. The CTtA gang continues to grow. Just last month I joined Shanna, Amanda, and Sofia in their quest to cook up all things Tofu. Today we’re also joined by Anna of Anna’s Cuisine and Ngan of ngan made it. Be sure to circle back to their takes on udon when you finish up here.

I’m certain these ladies can out-cook me any day of the week, so I approached this ingredient with caution. No way would my noodle dishes stack up to theirs, so I had to think outside of the (pasta) box. A quick google search brought me to brilliance: fried udon.

Though instead of Food & Wine’s finish of nori salt, I sprinkled the just-fried noodle bundles with cinnamon-sugar and darned if they didn’t taste like churros. These crunchy gems are perfect party fare: Fun to display, easy to eat, innovative, and flat-out tasty.

fried cinnamon-sugar udon

fried cinnamon-sugar udon

Here’s the how-to:

wpid-2014-04-23-10.49.10.jpg.jpegCook udon per package direction just to al dente, then drain well.

wpid-2014-04-23-10.48.18.jpg.jpegSeparate into single strands on work surface.

wpid-2014-04-23-10.47.06.jpg.jpegTie loosely on one end into 4-noodle bundles.

(Not a critical step, but it makes for easier serving and eating.)

wpid-2014-04-23-10.45.53.jpg.jpegFry in about 1/2 inch of 360ΒΊF oil, tuning with tongs to cook both sides, 2ish minutes or until lightly golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

and once again...U is for udon

and once again…U is for udon

Cinnamon-sugar was my take, but your options are only as limited as the seasonings in your cupboard. Go savory (Mexican, Italian, Greek, Asian), go sweet (chocolate noodles anyone?). Just be sure to go udon, then report back here as I’d love to hear what other variations folks come up with.

Now be sure to check out these other amazing udon stories:

Anna’s Cuisine

Curls and Carrots

ngan made this

Papaya Pieces

Happy noodling!

Thanks also to Dana @ I’ve Got Cake for hosting Our Growing Edge‘s April shindig, where posters are invited to share new food experiences. This was new to me for sure!

72 thoughts on “U is for udon (and that’s good enough for me)

    • Oh, a noodle pun πŸ™‚ Very nice, Mimi. Was thinking they’d be good dipped in chocolate, too, but so fragile they’d break. But as is, I’d call them breakfast. Thanks for coming by!

  1. Oh my goodness, indeed your fried udon is brilliant, so artistic and looks like so much fun to eat. I can just imagine us sitting around chatting and nibbling on them! So they are sweet, with cinnamon and sugar, I just try making them. Hey, maybe they taste sort of like churros! xxx

    • Exactly churros–totally reminded me of them, though nothing about these noodles was chewy. It’s definitely a good way to look “arty” without having any real artistic talent. Yep, great party nibbles. Let me know if you do make them.

      Owing this all to you and Shanna for getting me on board. Never would have thought to push the udon envelope otherwise.

  2. First, I don’t believe I can out cook you, Liz, Secondly, this is awesome! I’m so excited to see these fried little sticks of udon. It’s like the Japanese version of breadsticks. Completely delightful!

    • Oh, I beg to differ about the “out-cook” thing, but will circle back to your blog to chat about that πŸ˜‰ You’re right about the Japanese version of breadsticks–good call. Thanks much for you kind words. Am glad to have met you!

  3. Brilliant, Liz. I knew you would do something sweet. UDON CHURROS?!?! You better copyright this page. Such a smart and tasty recipe. Off to buy more UDON. πŸ™‚ So, you know I love cinnamon and sugar. I even made a sweet cinnamon loaf of bread today. You and I have similar tastes, for sure. Great post!!! So glad you and Ngan joined us this month!!!

    • Thanks, Shanna. I copyright my blog posts, so assuming that counts here. Though Food & Wine had the concept first–I just sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar. Oh, how I look forward to the day when we’re dipping fried udon noodle bundles in wine, nibbling chocolates, and chatting face to face πŸ™‚

      Saw that bread on facebook and am hoping it makes and appearance at Curls and Carrots, too.

    • At first read your comment as “funniest idea” and wondered if I maybe hadn’t relayed my thoughts well enough, haha. Glad you thought fun, too. That seems to be what I do best. You’ll whip these up in no, time. Thinking powdered sugar would be lovely, too. If they were sturdier, they’d be great dippers, but am thinking they’d break 😦

      Thanks for your thoughts as always!

    • If only I could take credit, Beth! Alas, Food & Wine thought of it first. Mine is but a riff πŸ˜‰ Appreciate your kind words and your visits always.

    • Thanks, Seana. It’s a cool concept, for sure, and can be as fancy-pants as nori salt or as simple and homespun as cinnamon-sugar. What’s not to love here? Copyright, huh? OK, then, I’ll call dibs πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks, Michelle! Thinking you had made a kind offer to serve as Kentucky ambassador with dining suggestions when my husband and I make our trek this summer. Couldn’t find that comment, so with the assumption that you did make that offer, I’ll say THANKS and will totally take you up on any advice you have when we start making plans. πŸ˜€ (and p.s. if I’m putting words in your mouth and I’m only imagining you made that offer, then lol never mind)

    • thanks, Ada. I had not thought of such a thing before, either, but that’s what google is all about–expanding our horizons! Thanks so much πŸ™‚

  4. I love the way you tied them! It makes me want to weave them into a lattice, and then fry them…it would be like…chips! Yeah, that probably wouldn’t hold up very well in the deep-fryer, but oh well.

  5. Pingback: Spiced Udon Stir-fry (U is for Udon) « Anna's Cuisine

  6. Oh, wow! Udon for dessert or a snack. What a great idea! This is so creative, Liz. And so easy to make too! I can’t wait to try this for my children. They will love it for sure. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Anna. I’m heading over to capture your link now to include. I had it in when this first went live, but saw the popcorn chicken so wondered if I had missed a memo πŸ˜‰ Glad you’re up and hope your son is well!

      • Hi, Liz! I didn’t mean to miss this message. Thank you for linking up my post. I appreciate it. Thank you for your concern about my son. He is well now. The antibiotic helped. πŸ™‚

  7. What are the odds – I was looking at that Food and Wine recipe for fried noodles a couple of weeks ago, when I was looking for ideas for a wine tasting evening at work! I didn’t end up making it, but I may just need to try out your udon-churros!

    • Thanks, Carrie. You clearly won’t be running out of new nibble ideas anytime soon with all of the rock star flavor combos you’re coming up with over at your place!

  8. Liz, this is the bees knees! I never would have thought to deep fry udon noodles (or any noodles, for that matter) but you had me at cinnamon sugar πŸ˜€ These look delicious !!! πŸ™‚

    • Amb! You’re here you’re here you’re here πŸ™‚ Glad to have amb sightings as you spin on that hamster wheel. Just be sure to keep those choc-peanut butter egg wrapper clear of the spokes–don’t need an accident going down.

      Glad if you liked the fired udon idea, though note they’re not necessarily deep-fried. Only 1/2 inch of oil, so maybe more shallow frying? Like if you were making a smaller batch of tortilla chips. Just the same, it’s all about hot oil.

    • Thanks, Andi. That’s the gift of google–opening doors we wouldn’t have even known were there. Good to see your smiling face πŸ˜€

  9. U is for udon? That’s good enough for me. Look at you, getting all Japanese meets Spanish! Or Portuguese, depending on which theory you choose. I personally prefer the theory that churros came from the Portuguese, who introduced a star design because they did not learn the Chinese skill of “pulling” the dough (the Chinese Emperor made it a capital crime to share knowledge with foreigners). It’s always fun when doughnut skills lead to felonies.

    I’m sorry I have to say it: oops, u-don it again. Okay, I had to get that out. I possibly may have eaten udon in soup or Asian Cuisine, but frying plus cinnamon and sugar can only make it mo better. Your presentation is lovely, though at first, they looked like angry bean sprouts. Of course, you are setting yourself up for dumbed-down college recipes, with students substituting udon for Ramen. That’s not klassy at all.

    • um, thanks? I think. Never my intention to give college students a chance to de-klass. Though if anyone has done research on college students and the lives they led, it is you. Perhaps I should add a disclaimer to this post that ramen should not be used to replace the udon. Never and under no circumstances. Ever.

      An impressed with your pastry knowledge. Is that true, or are you fabricating stories? I’d lean toward believing you.

      I think these fried udon noodles are indeed mo better and that is what I am going to call them. Mo Better Fried Udon. haha angry bean sprouts–that’s awesome.

      • Everything I know is from wikipedia, so no, I wasn’t fabricating stories. I was plagiarizing; duh. πŸ™‚ There are two churro theories. And I like Mo Better Fried Udon. It makes it seem less uppity.

  10. OMG Liz! I never would have thought to go sweet with Udon. Don’t sell yourself short. You are an amazingly creative cook! I love pan seared udon more than almost anything when I go for dim sum. This is a sweet version of my favorite dish! I really am totally surprised. I’d been looking forward to see what all of you ladies would make and this completely took me by surprise. Thanks for the well-wishes btw. The cold is history!

    • haha, thanks Amanda. Don’t mean to sell myself short, as I’m all over thinking outside of the box. But I’m not so much all over cooking fancy or exotic dishes with lots of ingredients and steps. But I so admire those who do. Appreciate you coming over and also your kind words.

      So glad the cold is gone. Onward πŸ™‚ Ready for V?

  11. Liz–this is brilliant. I would never have thought to fry Udon. To bad they don’t hold up well for dip.

    I must confess, your title sent me down the lane to Sesame Street with the Cookie Monster. I’ve been singing “C is for Cookie,” all afternoon. I couldn’t find my bucket to carry the tune. The cats are now hiding. πŸ˜‰

  12. Wow, I’ve never tried udon with a sugary finish. It’s hard for me to imagine loving an udon variant more than the original salty stuff, but churro-like is a pretty enticing description!

    • it was good, Dave–surprisingly. That’s my job, though, to push culinary boundaries. Sort of a Star Trek of the kitchen. Thanks for the visit!

  13. Pingback: Our Growing Edge: April 2014 Roundup | I've Got Cake

    • thanks, Kaela πŸ™‚ They were easy, yes. Udon worked especially well as they’re a heartier noodle. Wondering what other noodles could be fried. Let’s say we fry lasagna noodles and coat with chocolate sauce and whipped cream? Mark my words, that’s going to show up on a fancy pants dessert menu someday.

      You’re not going to need any sugar today OR tomorrow after hanging here. That’s not a bad plan: come on over to fill up on virtual sugar!

  14. Pingback: v, vanilla bean | food for fun

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