Spicy Udon Noodles with Salmon

Like most foodies, I subscribe to a number of cooking magazines.  As I read through them each month, I’ve gotten into the habit of ripping out pages with recipes I want to try.  Into a folder they go, but only the lucky ones make it back out.   The really appealing recipes are usually stuck on my refrigerator until I can get to the store to buy the necessary ingredients, and I often make them within the week.  If they are a hit, into the recipe box they go.  A miss goes into the trash. 

Occasionally, I hit up the “to try” folder for a little inspiration…and that is how this recipe came to be.  By the looks of it, this was a recipe my mother ripped out of a Sunday supplement and passed along to me. ” Udon Noodles with Shrimp”.  It had been kicking its way to the front and back of my folder for at least a year, and finally sounded like something I was in the mood to make.  The only problem was that  I didn’t have shrimp, and I didn’t feel like making a trip to the grocery store.  The shrimp became salmon, which I had stashed in my freezer, and the stir fry sauce took on a life of its own when I realized I was out of a few other ingredients too.  In the end, it turned out really well….it was healthy, colorful, and had a nice kick.  I removed a few portions of it before adding the spicy sauce, since I knew my small kids wouldn’t tolerate the heat, and they gobbled up the noodles, veggies, and salmon (or “pink chicken” as I call it) before I picked up my chop sticks! 

Spicy Udon Noodle Bowl with Salmon

Serves 4

¼ cup orange juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons Asian chile paste (available at specialty markets or in the Asian aisle of the grocery store)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 carrots, sliced

1 bell pepper, chopped (red, orange, or yellow)

½ medium red onion, chopped

1 cup broccoli florets

1 ¼  lb salmon, skin removed and cut into ¾” cubes

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

8 oz Udon noodles

In a measuring cup, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, chile paste, sugar, rice vinegar and sesame oil.  Set aside.

Fill a large, wide pan with water and bring to a boil (such as a chef’s pan or everyday pan).  Add Udon noodles, cook until tender (about 5 minutes), drain and rinse quickly with water.  Set aside.

Return the pan to the stovetop and heat canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute.  Add vegetables and stir fry for about 5 minutes, until crisp-tender.  Remove to a bowl, return pan to heat and add salmon cubes.

Cook for 5-7 minutes, until salmon is cooked through and firm to the touch.  Return veggies to pan, add udon noodles, orange juice mixture, and stir quickly over high heat.  Add fresh herbs and serve immediately.




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