Saturday, April 16, 2011

Childhood Memories: Stir-fried Seafood Udon (Yaki-Don)

Something you might not know about me. I grew up in Hong Kong and I went to a Catholic Girls School from Grade 4 through to Grade 10. That's why I also use British words like "compulsory", the "lift" or the "cinema" from time to time when I don't catch myself quick enough. =D

find me? Hint: one of the taller ones in class

I remember those days as a Catholic schoolgirl (haha) fondly. I remember the mornings when we said our morning blessings and prayers and also the days when the teachers measured our skirts to make sure they're not to short. Lunch was always my favorite time of the day. I remember opening my little pink thermal lunchbox that our Philipino helper helped prepare in the morning with anticipation. There was always one dish that I hoped she made for us that day --- Stir-Fried Seafood Udon, Japanese- style. 

 The chewiness of the udon, the crunchiness of the shrimp and the sweet-saltiness of the soy-mirin based sauce makes this a simple but yummy meal, whether it's lunch or dinner. (I've even had it for breakfast on some days, hell ya :D). I was hoping to measure out the exact measurements for the sauce this time but alas, I improvised. The recipe below is a good estimate of what the amounts of the sauce. Adjust as needed!

Recipe for Stir-Fried Seafood Udon:

Serve: 2 people (4-5 servings)
200g fresh shanghai style udon (1 packet) - already cooked and available at most asian markets. 
~15 shrimps, peeled and devined
1 bag of frozen tiny scallops, rinsed and dried.
1 carrot, julienned 
5 bak choy, cleaned and separated into leaves.
1/2 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic (minced)
ginger, minced 
1 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese cooking rice wine (shao xing hua tiao)
1 tsp of Japanese Mirin
½ tsp sugar
Dash of black pepper
80ml water
2tsp of cornstarch
1 tsp of sesame oil
Seasonings for prawns:
Dash of salt, sugar and cornflour
  1. For prawns, peel, devein and rinse under a running water. I used frozen shrimps by Artica, devined and EZ peel. Pat dry. Season with prawn seasoning, cover with clingwrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.
  2. Blanch (烫一烫) udon lightly over boiling water ~3 min and drain. Set aside.
  3. Heat up some oil under high heat. Layout all the prawns and let them fry untouched until they turn pink. Flip over the other side and continue frying until they turn pink and curl up. Add scallops, cook for another 2 min and set aside.
  4. Heat up some oil again. Stir-fry half of the ginger/garlic, onions, carrots and bak choy. set aside.
  5. Heat up some oil again. Sautee remaining garlic/ginger and pour in seasonings. Stir till it boils. Add in blanched udon. Stir fry for 2-3 min until al-dante.
  6. Add in ingredients from (3) and (4). Toss all the ingredients until well combined. Turn heat off. Add pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Note: Other ingredient substitutions include fishballs, fish, baby corn, snow peas, shitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, chicken, beef, egg, or just plain vegetarian :D

We also paired the meal with this 2009 German Riesling from Wholefoods for $6.99. It was sweet and tangy and according to the bottle, " an ideal match for Asian cuisine". I'm going to try to include a wine pairing with my posts now when available. Any thoughts about that?

P.S. Stay tune for tomorrow's brunch post on The Rachel (Turkey Reuben) Sandwich! 
P.P.S. Did you find me in the photo? Second on the left, last row. =P

Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite childhood recipes?