Udon noodle bowl is topped with a cheesy cashew sauce & browned Brussels sprouts. It’s a comforting bowl of goodness with an Asian flair. The creamy sauce is filled with the flavors of miso, sriracha, and tamari. Ready in just 25 minutes! Vegan.
I could swear it was summer just a few days ago. And yet, now the wind is biting, and my winter coat is back into regular rotation.
You know what that means.
Comfort food is calling.
It would be rude not to answer.
I’ve been warming up from the inside out with this cheesy udon noodle bowl.
Do you love udon noodles as much as I do?
For a while udon noodles perplexed me. I couldn’t figure them out.
At restaurants, I adored them. The noodles were thick with great chew & bite.
But then I’d buy a package of dried udon noodles at the grocery store. And I would be seriously underwhelmed.
The noodles were thinner, and more delicate. They were reminiscent of the noodles you might find in a dried packet of noodle soup, like you’d bring along when you go camping.
Then I found frozen udon noodles in the freezer section of my favorite local Korean grocery store. The udon noodles come in a big package with 5 individual packets of noodles inside.
The noodles have already been fully cooked. So it’s just a matter of removing them from their packaging, and re-heating in boiling water for a minute.
There are also microwave instructions on the package as well, but I haven’t used those.
(This is how the frozen udon noodles look removed from their packaging.)
Even though I buy the noodles at a Korean grocery store, udon noodles are a Japanese product. The specific noodles I buy are sanuki style udon noodles made by Shirakiku.
But the brand doesn’t matter so much. When I purchase them, I just look at the ingredient lists of the frozen udon noodles in the case and find the one with the fewest ingredients.
The udon noodle ingredients are: water, wheat flour, tapioca starch, and salt.
Because they only need to warm, they’re an awesome convenience item to have on hand. I use them for lunches regularly.
Udon noodles are great in soup, of course.
(I have an udon noodle soup recipe that I’m still perfecting. Hopefully it will be ready to share soon!)
I also use them in noodle stir-fries with vegetables and/or vegan kimchi. (Some brands of kimchi include brined shrimp and/or fish sauce.)
Lately I’ve been using udon noodles for an Asian-fusion spin on mac and cheese.
Note: If you don’t have access to frozen udon noodles, no problem.
I do not recommend using dried udon noodles. They are too thin and light for a heavy sauce.
In total, you’ll need 3 cups of cooked pasta for this recipe. For more information, check out the notes section of the recipe box below.
Cheesy udon noodle bowl with Brussels sprouts
The noodles are tossed in a cashew cheese sauce that’s flavored with sautéed onions and garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, miso paste, tamari, and sriracha.
(What is nutritional yeast? <— Find out here.)
I top my cheesy udon noodle bowls with browned Brussels sprouts. The slight bitterness of the charred sprouts works beautifully with a flavorful, cheesy sauce.
I am a huge Brussels sprouts fan. But if you’re not into them, broccoli would be delicious here instead.
How to make a cheesy udon noodle bowl
Start by cooking udon noodles according to package directions. Remove the noodles from their packaging, and place into boiling water.
It takes just a minute for them to heat. Give the noodles a stir. Then drain and set aside.
Sauté onions and garlic in a skillet with oil. Once they are translucent and fragrant, move them to a blender.
Now you can re-use that skillet to cook the Brussels sprouts.
Add a little more oil to the skillet, as well as the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and a pinch of salt. Cook until the Brussels are nicely browned and fully cooked.
Remember that they will brown better if they are evenly spread across the pan and moved infrequently. If you stir them too often, they won’t get that lovely brown finish on them.
Back to the blender!
Place the remaining ingredients into the blender – water, tamari, sriracha, miso paste, nutritional yeast flakes, and raw cashew pieces.
If you have a high speed blender, you don’t need to soak the raw cashews ahead of time. However, if you have a standard blender, it will need some help in breaking down the cashews into a smooth, beautifully creamy sauce.
If you have a standard blender, you can soak the raw cashews in water ahead of time for several hours. Then drain them and put them into the blender.
Or you can grind the dry raw cashews in a clean coffee grinder. Grind the cashews into a flour. Then add them to the blender, along with the other ingredients.
Once the cashew sauce is completely smooth, move it to a medium sized soup pot.
(I like to use the same pot I used for the udon noodles. Fewer dishes that way!)
Bring the pot to a medium heat with the cashew sauce. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
You want to heat the sauce and thicken it as well. If it gets too hot and starts to splatter, lower the heat.
Once the sauce is thick like a gravy, it’s ready to go.
Add the cooked udon noodles to the pot and fully combine with the cashew cheese sauce. Taste for salt, and add a pinch more if necessary.
Evenly distribute the noodles between two bowls. Top the udon noodle bowl with Brussels sprouts and a drizzling of sriracha.
It’s the kind of lunch that takes the sting out of the winter air. Plus, it’s ready in just 25 minutes. Can’t beat that!