Hearty udon noodles are an appealing backdrop for colorful vegetables. Full of veggies that need only a little prep but no cooking, this dish of cold udon noodles with crisp Asian vegetables is delicious, simple fare for lunch or dinner, served at room temperature.
This cold dish is equally good flavored hoisin, teriyaki, or Korean BBQ sauce. Look for these sauces in the Asian foods section of supermarkets. You might find udon noodles there too, but if not, you’ll surely find them in natural foods stores, Asian market, and online sources.
A bit about udon noodles
Udon are long, thick wheat noodles traditional to Japan and other Asian countries. The shape and size of dried udon noodles are similar to fettuccine, though they cook up to a plumper texture.
These thick noodles with a lovely mouth feel most often sold in cellophane-wrapped 8-ounce packages. They cook as you would any kind of pasta — in plenty of rapidly simmering water, until al dente. They take about 5 to 7 minutes to cook; it’s best to follow package directions for specific recommendations.
Learn more about udon noodles, including additional recipes, in our Guide to Udon Noodles.
Udon noodle substitutes: Though udon have a luscious mouth feel in this room temperature dish, feel free to to swap in wide Chinese wheat noodles, soba, or ordinary linguine. Asian rice noodles are a good gluten-free option.
What to serve with cold udon noodles
Recipe adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons agave or natural granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup hoisin, teriyaki, or Korean BBQ sauce or more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 8 ounces udon noodles, Chinese wheat noodles, other Asian noodles, or linguine
- 1 baby bok choy or 3 large stalks bok choy, sliced on the diagonal
- 15-ounce can baby corn, drained, a little liquid reserved
- 8 to 10 baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
- 2 cups or so snow peas or snap peas, trimmed
- 2 to 3 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts or toasted cashews for topping, optional
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and stir together. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients except the nuts in a large serving bowl. Add the cooked noodles and dressing, and toss well. If the mixture needs a bit more moisture, drizzle in a small amount of the reserved liquid from the baby corn.
- Taste to add more of the sauce you’ve used. Serve at once, at room temperature. Pass around chopped nuts for topping individual portions, if you’d like.
If you like this cold noodle dish, you might also enjoy …
Find more in our roundup of Asian-Inspired Cold Noodle Dishes