4lightly packed cups stemmed, chopped (bite-size pieces) curly kale
1 ½cupstrimmed, halved snow peas
2poundsfresh or frozen precooked udon noodles
2cupsstemmed, thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
8scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2cupsmixed raw seafood (about 1 pound total), such as sliced squid, halved shrimp, and shucked mussels
Combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, sugar, sesame oil, and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix well.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots, kale, and snow peas and cook for 2 minutes. Use a strainer to remove them from the water (keep the water boiling) and rinse well under cold water. Gently squeeze the kale to remove excess water. Cook the udon noodles in the boiling water, stirring occasoinally, just until the noodle clumps separate, about 2 minutes for fresh and 4 minutes for frozen. Drain well.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wide shallow pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the mushrooms and scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, kale, snow peas, and seafood and cook, stirring occasionally, until the seafood is almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the sauce, and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly and the noodles are well coated, about 2 minutes.
Divide among 4 plates and serve right away.
Technically, there is no recipe for yaki udon, because the components of this dish of stir-fried noodles depend on what’s in your fridge. The mixture of vegetables and seafood, then is up to you. Just follow my instructions for the sauce and make the effort to find the fat, slippery udon noodles that make this stir-fry such a pleasure to slurp. If using homemade udon noodles, boil, shock in ice water, and drain well, as instructed below. Toss them with a splash of vegetable oil if you boil them for more than 5 minutes before stir-frying.