A delicious fusion of cuisines, pan-fried udon noodles are served with flavorful garlic and rapini, or broccoli rabe.
By Patricia Conte
Things started out like many Sunday meals in my life: pasta would be served. I had rapini (also known as broccoli rabe) to use – and I can’t make rapini without garlic – so mealtime was clearly leaning toward Italian.
Then I remembered that I had udon noodles on hand. Udon noodles are thick and chewy, and cook so quickly. Yea, they’re pretty much my favorite type of noodle. (Please keep that nugget of info to yourself. I mean, what would my Italian mom think if she found out about my love for udon noodles above all others?) This is when things turned toward a Japanese-inspired meal.
You’ll love this noodle dish! The sauce turns the noodles sticky, with some bits that get a little crispy from cooking them in the skillet. The slightly bitter rapini and the zesty garlic mix well with the oyster sauce for a quick and fabulous dish.
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce (use a vegetarian oyster sauce to keep the recipe vegetarian)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 large bunch rapini (about a pound), ends trimmed, stems cut into small pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) package Udon noodles (prepared according to package directions)
- Toasted sesame seeds as garnish
- In a small bowl, whisk together the water, oyster sauce, and brown sugar. Set aside.
- Add the sesame oil to a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the rapini stems and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining rapini and cook for a few additional minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add about half the liquid to the skillet, season with the black pepper, and toss to combine.
- Add the noodles to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining liquid to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes, or until the liquid cooks down and the noodles become sticky and coated in the sauce.
- Toss and serve immediately garnished with sesame seeds.