Udon with carrots and tofu skin knots in a mildly spicy sauce

Udon with carrots and tofu skin knots in a mildly spicy sauce

Although this is an udon (Japanese noodle) recipe, it is definitely not typically Japanese. I wanted to create a thick, chunky sauce full of umami and the main ingredient I used was dried tomatoes.

There are a few ingredients in this recipe that may be a bit harder to find, but it is really worth the effort! I bought these at a Chinese supermarket.

  • Fermented broad bean paste (called doubanjiang in Chinese) is essential. Make sure to check the ingredients as there are many types of chilli bean paste and a lot of them are not vegetarian. The Chinese characters are 豆瓣酱. If it says 辛豆瓣酱 then it will be very spicy. The brand I got is Pearl River Bridge Chilli Bean Paste.
  • For the topping I used dried beancurd twists (called yuba in Japanese, bai ye jie in Chinese), you can of course use another topping. The brand I got is Yilin Dried Beancurd Twists.

All the other ingredients can be found in ordinary supermarkets.

   • 750 kcal per person  


For two people:

  • Main ingredients

    • 400 g carrots
    • 200 g udon noodles
    • 10 dried tofu skin knots
  • For the sauce

    • 6 dried tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
    • a handful of dried shiitake
    • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, crushed in a mortar
    • 1 cm ginger, finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon miso
    • 1/2 teaspoon black bean paste
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon garlic oil


Three of the ingredients need soaking: the dried tomatoes, shiitake and the tofu knots (yuba).

  • Soak each of these in a separate pot or bowl in freshly boiled water for at least 30 minutes.
  • After soaking:
    • Squeeze the liquid out of the tomatoes. Keep the soaking liquid.
    • Wash the shiitake, then squeeze the liquid out of them and cut the in strips. Keep the soaking liquid.
    • Drain the water from the tofu knots
  • Bring water to the boil for the noodles and cook the noodles for 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, wash, peel and dice the carrots and cook the in the microwave for 4 minutes at full power (900W).
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil and fry the ginger for a minute or so.
  • Add the pumkin seeds, the tomatoes and shiitake and fry over low heat for a few minutes.
  • Add the miso, black bean paste and tomato puree and two tablespoons each of the soaking liquid of the tomatoes and shiitake.
  • Cook further for a few minutes over low heat, stirring well.

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