Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Amai Udon – Japanese version of pad thai

on February 27, 2011

I have been in a noodle mood recently – as I’m sure you can tell! But they’re quick and easy and filling – so what’s not to love?! I was flicking through my wagamama cookbook looking for something quick and simple that I could do with the contents of my fridge and found Amai Udon. From the ingredients it seems very much like Pad Thai, but the cooking of it produces a very different flavour.

I don’t know whether I’d necessarily cook it the way the recipe said, again, although it did taste nice. But you lost the scrambled egg effect which I like, so I think it would do it a bit differently. But this is the original recipe, which is what I made – if I make it again but differently I can always post that too!  Despite wanting to cook it differently next time, I did really enjoy this. It’s very tasty and very quick to make – great for when you come back starving from the gym.

I used to be a bit scared of the wagamama cookbook – all the different strange ingredients, all the different sauces you had to make from scratch, but really, it’s not hard at all.  Don’t be scared like I was.  This is such a simple recipe.  The sauce is easy to make (you can even use something like worcester sauce instead of tamarind if you don’t have any), takes about 5 mins max.  And then basically you mix everything together for the dish and flash fry it in hot oil for a few mins – chuck it in bowls, sprinkle over some peanuts – and voila – dinner in minutes.

This is perfect for a quick tasty, healthy, mid week dinner (or even lunch!). I used the udon noodles as this is what I had, but I think it would probably work just as well with normal egg noodles. I put prawns in mine, but I left out the tofu as I didn’t have any. But if you wanted a vege toption you could add the tofu, or just have with veges.

The original is from the Wagamama cookbook by Hugo Arnold. You can get a copy on amazon, here

This recipe also uses leeks, which I left out. But you could put in, instead of the onions, or use spring onions instead as well. If you’re using tofu – cut into cubes and fry first before adding the rest of the ingredients.

The key to this dish is the sauce, which is Amai sauce. I don’t know if you can buy it in supermarkets – but if you’re adverse to making it yourself, I’d have a look as a lot of the larger supermarkets stock many of the wagamama sauces. I made it myself as the recipe was also in the cook book and it was pretty simple. And you’ll see from the ingredients why it seems similar to Pad Thai – with the soys and the tamarind. Plus you chuck in beansprouts, peanuts and lime juice! But trust me, it does taste different!

This recipe also doesn’t have any chilli in it. I actually made it without, for once, but if you’re in a spicy mood, just chuck in 1-2 fresh ones, chopped, with all the rest of the stuff.

Amai sauce
makes about 75-100ml (I just put all the sauce I made in the dish)

  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  1. Gently heat the vinegar, soy sauces and sugar in a pan until the sugar has disolved. Remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and set aside to cool.

NB – for info on tamarind paste please see this blog post

Amai Udon
Serves 2

  • 400g udon noodles (I used frozen)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 75ml amai sauce
  • 1 onion, finely sliced, or 1 leek finely sliced, or handful of spring onions finely sliced
  • 12 raw king prawns (grey ones – you can use cooked but it will be more rubbery), shelled
  • handful of beansprouts or mangetout or sugar snap peas (or all of them!  I also added a finely sliced pepper)
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used sesame)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
  1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Put the egg and amai sauce in a large bowl and add the onion, prawns, beansprouts (or other vege) and noodles. Mix well to combine.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan until smoking hot (add tofu here, if using). Add the contents of the bowl and cook until the egg is cooked and the onions   are softened (and the prawns turn pink) – about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve in large bowls with the peanuts scattered on top and with a squeeze of lime juice.
  5. Enjoy the slippery slurpiness!

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