Pan-Fried Udon Noodles with Garlic and Rapini is the perfect quick-cook meal with great flavor and texture. I like to think of this dish as an international delight, with components from Italian, Japanese, and Chinese cooking.
A recent Sunday meal started out like many in my life: pasta would be on the menu. There was a bunch of rapini (also known as broccoli rabe) sitting in my fridge – and I can’t make rapini without garlic – so mealtime was clearly leaning toward Italian.
Then I remembered that I had udon noodles in the cupboard. Udon noodles are thick and chewy, and cook so quickly. Yea, they’re pretty much my favorite noodle. (Please keep that nugget of info to yourself. I mean, what would my Italian mom think if she found out?) This is when things took a turn toward a Japanese-inspired meal.
So what sort of sauce would I add to these noodles? I wanted something that was easy to make and that would come together quickly, since the only thing I had gorged on eaten so far on this particular Sunday was leftover Halloween candy.
I had Chinese oyster sauce in the fridge? Okay then! I grabbed it and used it to make the sauce for what would become Pan-Fried Udon Noodles with Garlic and Rapini – a perfect combo of Italian, Japanese, and Chinese influences.
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.
Pan-Fried Udon Noodles with Garlic and Rapini is an amazing, filling, and flavorful dish. Make it soon – you’ll love it! And it makes a much better meal than leftover Halloween candy!
This is a flavorful and filling dish with inspiration from Italian, Japanese, and Chinese cooking. It's so easy to make, and you'll also love how quickly it comes together.
- 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
- 1/2 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.
This is a meatless dish, but to keep it vegetarian, please use a vegetarian oyster sauce.