A dish like this at your average Oriental (Asian) restaurant would be glistening from the excess oil they use. On the very rare occasion that I do go to these restaurants, the amount of oil that they use is so great, that it makes the dish so heavy that I can’t finish it. Now, boys and girls – that’s saying something, because I eat a lot! The heavily-oiled dishes make me feel bloated, sits in my stomach like a lead-brick and takes forever to digest – ugh!
There are two reasons for so much oil. Firstly, it ensures that the ingredients do not stick together. Secondly, it gives a decent base in which to fry ingredients. It must also be noted that restaurant/commercial kitchens have the capability of creating high heat in their pans. This makes it possible to stir fry their ingredients without steaming or making them soggy. In a typical domestic kitchen, it’s practically impossible to create the same heat on an average hob (stove top).
I have created this recipe so that you can enjoy restaurant style cooked noodles at home, without the oil laden after effects. I have used only 1 t of oil in this recipe, however, the sauces do contain some oil. These noodles aren’t exactly stir-fried, but they are delicious nonetheless.
If serving two people, the following recipe contains 650 calories, with 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each. Now that’s got to be a far better deal that those restaurant dishes, right?
UDON NOODLES WITH PRAWNS AND VEGETABLES IN BLACK PEPPER SAUCE
Inspired by S. a.k.a Eugene Krabs
Serves 2-4 very decent servings
- 227 g (½ lb) courgettes (zucchini), chopped into strips
- 227 g (½ lb) peeled carrots, chopped into strips
- 227 g (½ lb) bell pepper, deseeded and chopped into strips
- 115 g (¼ lb) mushrooms, sliced
- 2 x ½ tsp oil
- 227 g (½ lb) de-shelled raw prawns/shrimp, deveined
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 T Lee Kum Kee* Hoisin sauce
- 2 T Lee Kum Kee* Black pepper sauce
- 240 ml (1 c) just boiled water
- 2 x 250 g (8.8 oz) udon noodles (I use the frozen Shirakiku Udon noodles), thawed
* Lee Kum Kee is a brand of Chinese sauces made in Hong Kong, which is well respected amongst the Chinese community. Lee Kum Kee’s sauces can be found at most Chinese/Asian stores around the World.
1. In a small frying pan (skillet), heat ½ t oil until hot. Fry the prawns (shrimp) under halfway cooked (around 2-3 minutes depending on the size). Place into a bowl and set aside.
2. On medium heat, heat a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) or wok. Place the courgettes (zucchini), carrots, bell peppers and mushrooms into the dry pan and stir. Allow to cook on medium for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally^. Place the cooked vegetables into a large bowl and set aside.
3. On medium heat, add ½ t oil to the large frying pan (skillet) until hot. Fry the crushed garlic until fragrant, 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the hoisin sauce, black pepper sauce and the water and then stir until well incorporated.
4. Add the udon noodles to the pan, stir and allow to warm through for about 2-3 minutes. The sauce should just coat the noodles. Add the cooked vegetables and prawns (shrimp) and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to warm through and finish the cooking process. Dish up and enjoy!
^ No oil is needed – the vegetables will cook in their own steam.
UPDATE – After having Lee Kum Kee products in my house all of my life, I have never thought to check the ingredients label. Today, 20th April 2010, I discovered that quite a few of them had either modified cornstarch and/or high-fructose corn syrup – two ingredients that I choose not to eat. I will therefore post alternative recipes that do not contain these ingredients.