While we have all been cooking more at home since March, I have been seeking out shortcuts to help make meals come together quickly at the end of the day. This has meant finding some pre-cooked or fresh noodles at the store, or using leftover rice as the base for many dishes. Tonight it was a package of pre-cooked udon noodles.
On my last trip to Costco, I found a case of Easy Udon that I thought would be a new option. They only require a minute of heat in water or broth to be “done”, so I checked the pantry and found a box of beef broth. Then I looked in the refrigerator and found a boneless short rib, a red bell pepper, some mushrooms and some Brussels sprouts. Finally, I found a red onion and a couple of jalapeño peppers from our collection of fresh veggies on the counter.
To prepare everything I seasoned the beef with salt and pepper. Then I thinly sliced half of the onion, four mushrooms, half a dozen Brussels sprouts, half of the red bell pepper, and two of the jalapeños.
I preheated a cast iron skillet on one burner and added a cup and a half of the beef broth to a second pan and started the burner under it.
I cooked the beef quickly in the skillet for about 90 seconds on each side. As soon as I took it out to rest, I put the onion in the skillet to get it cooked through. As soon as the onion was cooked, I moved it to the pan with the beef broth and added the Brussels sprouts. Then I sautéed the mushrooms in the skillet before returning them to the cutting board.
By this point, the broth was boiling away and the Brussels sprouts were almost done. I opened the package of udon noodles and added them to the pot with the broth and veggies. After almost a minute, I added the red bell pepper to the pot.
At this point I cut the beef into thin slices. It was perfectly rare, just as I like it.
I ladled the noodles, broth and veggies into my bowl and layered the jalapeños, mushrooms and beef on top. I splashed a bit of soy sauce over the beef, added a couple of grinds of black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
From start to finish, it took about 20 minutes. It had plenty of flavor, a good amount of vegetables and the udon noodles were better than I expected. I have had better at a noodle shop, but for pre-cooked out of a plastic pouch, they had pretty good texture. I will definitely make something like this again.