My dear friend, blogging guru, and besti, Mandy, sent me her favorite kimchi udon noodle recipe and challenged me to make a veggie version to test against my husband’s taste buds. She runs two blogs My Sassy Starfish, a lifestyle blog focused on mindful living from a southern perspective; and Milk Tea with Mandy where she spills the tea (pun intended) about her favorite Asian dramas. She is neck deep in Asian culture and has introduced me to many of my favorite Asian dishes.
While she and I both love wandering around our local Asian markets I understand that it can be intimidating for some. I’ve made sure to include easy to access ingredients and I’ll spill the tea Mandy shared with me on how to find the best Udon noodles for this dish!
What’s the Tea on Kimchi?
Kimchi is a Korean spicy fermented vegetable, usually cabbage. It’s similar to sauerkraut with a few other ingredients like chili paste, garlic, ginger, and green onion. If you’re a fan of sauerkraut or other pickled ingredients you will really enjoy this! Like many fermented dishes, it has many health benefits. Kimchi often includes some kind of fish sauce, dried shrimp, or anchovy paste, which are common flavor enhancers in asian cuisine. Moreover, if you’re vegan or vegetarian there are many options that do not include the fish sauce. Just check the list of ingredients.
Where can I find it?
I get mine from our local asian market, which has many different types of kimchi. But, if you don’t have an asian market you can easily find it at large grocery chains like Walmart, Kroger, and even Target. Look in the refrigerated section by the vegetables or lunch meat, usually close to tofu and other vegetarian options.
How to Serve:
We made this noodle dish two nights in a row. The OG recipe can be found here. I’ve only tweaked it a bit to make it more sustainable and veggie friendly. The first night I kept everything the same as the original but of course I left out the bacon. I kept the egg for my husband’s version and replaced it with tofu for mine. The second night I altered it a bit more to our taste. I added more kimchi, more veggies, and a little less honey than the OG recipe. If you keep the bacon I’m sure the extra honey is needed for balance.
Pin the Original recipe here
What the Husband thinks:
Each Monday I post meatless recipes that I’ve tried out on my husband, David. He rates them using the Missing the Meat rating system we came up with.
Missing the Meat Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!
I love kimchi, I love udon, and I love this recipe. Leah whipped this up with the quickness, too! Usually, I don’t like thick noodles but there’s something about the pillowy softness of the udon noodle that’s pure heaven. That softness mixed with the little bit of crunch from the kimchi adds some nice layers of texture to this dish. The second night Leah made this she used a little more kimchi and a little less honey making the sweet and spicy flavors more balanced. I give this recipe 4 stars because the bacon left out would absolutely make this better.
Although, I honestly didn’t miss the meat all that much. It also helped that I had a fried egg on top. Again, I honestly don’t think I need the egg to enjoy this either. In fact I think the dish is missing a few more vegetables (hmmm maybe she’s starting to change me). Some roasted or sauteed mushrooms, broccoli, or bok choy would go amazing in this. Overall this dish is awesome and will definitely stay in our rotation. It’s hard to find meals this good that are this quick to make.
Comforting Kimchi UdonCourse: Meatless Monday’s, Weeknight dinnersCuisine: Korean, vegetarian, veganDifficulty: Easy
Comforting kimchi udon noodles with veggies, a fried egg, or tofu
2 packets of fresh or frozen Udon noodles
2 cloves garlic
1 ¼ cup kimchi chopped
1 cup of chopped veggies of your choice (optional)
1 tbsp. Cooking oil (any will work)
1 tbsp. Sriracha
Almost 1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 fried egg
⅓ block of tofu
Sliced green onions
- Make the Sauce and set aside.
- If you’re making tofu, cook it first. Drain, slice, and add a little oil to a pan on medium heat. Sear tofu on each side for about 2-3 minutes. I continually turn mine over lol. Season with garlic, salt and pepper, and any other seasonings you like. I used mushroom seasoning from Trader Joes. Press down on the tofu with a spatula while cooking to get the sides a little crispier. It’s done when all sides are a little brown and crispy. Remove from the pan onto a plate covered with a kitchen towel or some paper towels to drain.
- Boil water for Udon and follow cooking instructions. The frozen udon I used only took 1 minute in the boiling water. Drain and set aside. If you time it right you can just add it directly to the pan!
- While the water is boiling add some oil to a pan on medium heat. Add chopped garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes.
- If you’re adding extra veggies add those to the pan now and stir. Cook until soft. Then add kimchi and stir for 2-3 minutes more.
- Add sauce and udon to the pan and mix until combined.
- Turn the heat down and fry your egg.
- Plate and serve noodles with tofu, egg, and green onions on top.
- I highly suggest mushrooms, broccoli, onion, or bok choy for the added veggies.
- If you can’t find fresh or frozen Udon noodles at your grocery store look for dried udon in the asian section. You can use any noodle from there in a pinch. Ramen or soba noodles would work great as well! Just follow the directions on the package to make them.
- If you can’t find Kimchi then use chopped napa cabbage with an extra tbsp. of sriracha hot sauce or tbsp, of gochujang in the pan.
- Disclaimer: The egg yolk in the picture should be runnier. Don’t make fun of it, lol. It stuck to the pan and I spent too long trying to flip it nicely for the pic and it overcooked! Plus I never cook eggs because I don’t eat them.
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