Like it's sister dish yakisoba, yaki udon is an every man's stir fried noodle concoction, where besides the noodles, it's anything goes in terms of what you can add. I actually prefer yaki udon to yakisoba because the soft, thick noodles seem to absorb the sauce better and serve as a nice counterpoint to the veggies. The core of the dish is cooking everything more or less by itself, them combining it all together with the sauce at the end. Oh, and it's good to have a nice large, hot wok to fry it all up in.
2 servings pre-cooked udon noodles (usually in the refrigerated section at your grocer)
a few cabbage leaves, sliced roughly into squares
1/2 lb pork, thinly sliced, in small pieces
a few cabbage leaves, chopped roughly
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin wedges
1/2 carrot, sliced into thin strips
pour of sake
pour of soy sauce
salt to taste
crushed, roasted seaweed - for topping
dried fish flakes -- large or small - for topping
you can also serve pickled things on the side
Bring a pot of water to boil, then dunk the udon noodles for a few minutes. Rinse under cool water and make sure the noodles are nice and separated. Drain and set aside.
Bring a large (non-stick) wok to high heat, then add some of the sesame oil. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat, then toss the noodles in, tossing rapidly to sear the noodles. After searing briefly, set the noodles aside on a plate.
Add more sesame oil if needed, wait for it to heat, then fry the pork strips, spreading them out so they're roughly flat. When browned, also set the pork aside. Repeat the process for onions, setting aside. Then add the carrot strips and the cabbage and wait until tender though do not overcook.
Add everything back into the wok, then pour a bit of sake and soy sauce over it all, flipping so everything's covered evenly with sauce. Salt, taste and add more salt or soy if needed.
This dish is best served piping hot, so get your toppings ready. I love when this dish comes piled high with dried fish flakes (which incidentally add a lot of flavor), so coil a serving of noodles on a plate, then crush the dried roasted seaweed over it with your hands. Lastly, sprinkle the flakes generously all over the top and watch the flakes "dance" from the heat and steam. Goes nicely with something pickled...