This year has been the year of stir fries for me. With trying to get our house ready to sell and move out of state, homeschooling my older daughter, trying to keep up with a toddler, general tidiness, and attempting to find time for myself, I have a new found love for quick meals.
I love stir fries for this reason. I take any moment during the day to prep different parts of the dish, then put the ingredients in the fridge until right before dinner. They come together so quickly in this way–it truly is brilliant, I can’t believe it took me so long to get on board the stir fry train!
We have made this dish a number of times, and love it. Prepping the squash is the hardest part of it, but once that is done, it comes together in no time. The kids love it, just make sure to check the squash with a fork as you are cooking it, to ensure it is nice and tender.
- 1 10 oz. package udon noodles
- 2 tablespoons oil, to cook
- 1 medium butternut squash, about 1.5 pounds
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Black and/or white sesame seeds, toasted
- Chopped cilantro
- Sliced green onions
- Cook udon noodles according to package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- Mix sauce ingredients, excluding the cornstarch, together in a bowl or mason jar. In another small bowl add cornstarch, slowly add a tablespoon or two at a time of the sauce mix, stirring to incorporate. Once cornstarch is thoroughly mixed in, add cornstarch back to the remaining sauce mix. Set aside.
- Prep vegetables. Quarter the butternut squash. I like to chop off the stem and bottom, cut it in half right past the bulbous part, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Seed, peel, and slice as thinly as you can (if you have a mandolin slicer this is a great time to use it!).
- Heat a wok or large pan over medium high heat (see notes). Have all ingredients set out ready to add to pan before you begin.
- Once pan is nice and hot add oil and squash, stirring frequently. Depending on how thin you sliced your squash it should take between 5 and 10 minutes to cook, many pieces will be lightly browned, and the thickest pieces should be easily pierced by a fork. Add red bell peppers, cook stirring for another 3-4 minutes (longer if you prefer more tender peppers). Add garlic and ginger. Stir until the ginger and garlic become very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Give a quick shake or stir to your sauce, and pour it over the vegetables, giving it a few stirs before mixing in the udon noodles. Cook for a minute or two, before removing the pan from heat.
- Plate and garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro, green onions, and sriracha, if you like it spicy!
- You want the pan to be very hot. I have a cast iron wok, which I let heat for at least 10 minutes before I cook, a thinner pan may not take so long to heat.
- Be sure to have all of the vegetables, noodles, and sauce ready to go before you start cooking.
- On busy days I like to get all of the components of the stir fry done in the morning, and have them in the fridge ready to cook right before dinner. The sauce can be made in a mason jar, then shaken up right before pouring into the pan.