Noodles are popular all over Asia, so it’s no surprise that noodle is a staple of many Malaysians. Walk down any streets where there are street vendors or hawkers, you will see that most of the foods sold are noodle dishes. Everyone loves and could always use a noodle dish, regardless of our ethnicity: Chinese, Malays, Indians, or Eurasians. Even the foreign expatriates who live in Malaysia fall in love with local noodles dishes.
One of the differences of noodle dishes in Malaysia is the condiment that comes with the noodles. The noodles can be soupy and comes in a broth or soup, or dry as in stir-fried noodles, or in between, such as char hor fun (fried flat rice noodles in a thick gravy), but the condiment is usually a small saucer of cut fresh chilies or pickled green chilies in soy sauce. The fresh chilies are always red chilies, and sometimes bird’s eye chilies, or a combination of both. This condiment is really very simple, but to us Malaysian, it’s indispensable and what makes our noodle dishes so incendiary delicious—the spicy kick that accompanies every mouthful of the noodles, with an extra dash of very good tasting soy sauce. By the way, Malaysia produces some of the best soy sauce, but that will be another post.
Anyway, I disgress.
So back to my Malaysian-style fried udon. Udon is Japanese, but the Malaysian-style udon can be found at restaurants in Malaysia. In my recipe, I used fish cakes, which is a popular ingredient in many Malaysian noodle dishes. With some shredded cabbage, shrimp, mushroom, carrot, and the generous use of sweet soy sauce, this humble Malaysian-style fried udon takes me back to Malaysia. And the condiment of cut bird’s eye chilies gave me just the right amount of heat and extra flavors. It was extremely delicious and absolutely satisfactory. I love Japanese-style fried udon, which is cleaner in taste. But give me a choice, I’d always opt for this sinful version.
Udon noodles are widely available in the US and everywhere now. Try my Malaysian-style fried udon recipe and I bet you will instantly fall in love with it.