I have a thing for fried noodles. They are and always will be one of my favorite things to eat. In fact, I kinda sort of dream about going to Japan in the summertime just so I can eat yakisoba at a summer festival. I mean, I’ve been to Japan and I’ve had yakisoba there, but not at a summer festival, which is supposed to be one of the ultimate Japanese experiences. Mike totally wants to go to Japan in the summer as well, but I keep hearing about giant summer bugs and mega humidity, so I’m hesitant to visit.
Since we’re not in Japan, I thought I’d bring a bit of Japan, via noodles, to camp. And speaking about Japan and camp, did you know that there’s a big Japanese camp culture? Apparently people in Japan camp just to go camping, not as a means to an end for other outdoor activities. They really go all out with their set ups and cooking. Mike stumbled across a couple of Japanese camp insta accounts (here and here) and after he showed me, I went through a Japanese camp hashtag wormhole (this account is so fun!)
I have so many questions for Japanese campers. Like why do they all have wooden speakers with their names on them and how do they cook all the amazing food they cook? The Japanese know how to do camp cooking. I’m not nearly as hardcore as them so instead of a full on Japanese spread I went with yakiudon.
Who doesn’t love a big steaming pan of noodles after a long hike? Yaki udon is quick and easy to cook up, even when you’re dead tired from hiking (or lazing about camp) all day. All you have to do is a bit of preplanning and this dish comes together in one pan, in under 10 minutes. Do it, even if you’re not camping, because noodles!
PS – Instead of an entire bottle of soy sauce, I brought along those takeout packets of soy sauce that they give you when you get sushi takeout – except I didn’t actually get them from takeout, I made Mike take some from the free condiment section of the store >_<
One Pan Pork Yaki Udon Recipe
- oil, for the pan
- 2 pork chops, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 small shallot, sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 shelf stable package nama udon**
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dashi powder**
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 green onion, or chives, sliced
- dried bonito flakes, to garnish, optional
Heat up a small bit of oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the sliced pork chops. Cook until the pork is seared and cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, shallots and shredded carrot and cook until soft, but not overly brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the udon noodles as well as the soy sauce, dashi powder, and sugar. Toss to coat the noodles and turn the heat to medium-high to slightly reduce the sauce, about 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off, taste and season with freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with sliced chives/green onions and bonito flakes. Enjoy hot.
**If you haven’t heard of dashi powder, it’s basically instant soup stock. You can find it in Asian grocery stores in the Japanese section. It definitely adds so I don’t recommend skipping it – but of course cooking is all about being flexible, especially when camping! I brought along a tiny prepackaged pouch of dashi, sugar packet, tiny soy sauce packet, and this tiny packet of bonito flakes. I also went the route of buying pre-shredded carrots. You can definitely prep all of the ingredients before hand and bring them in little containers in your cooler for ease of cooking.