Julian Metcalfe, founder of U.K.-based fast-casual superstar Pret a Manger, has a new cookbook out featuring recipes from his new fast-Asian concept, Itsu. Think high-protein, low-carb salads, brown rice, sushi, soups and noodles — fresh food that tastes as good as it looks. Here’s hoping it opens Stateside, and in the meantime, try out one of its most popular dishes.
Time-saving tip: Steam the vegetables over the saucepan you are cooking the noodles in so they cook at the same time.
- 3 1/2 ounces dried udon noodles or 5 1/2 ounces ready-cooked udon noodles
- 5 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 head white or red cabbage, sliced
- 1 yellow or red pepper, cored, deseeded and sliced
- 3 1/2 ounces sugar snap peas
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, preferably toasted, to serve
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 1/2 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Spicy Udon Sauce
- 4 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce or other hot red chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
For the spicy udon sauce
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together well.
For the udon and tofu
Cook the udon (if using dried) in a saucepan of the measured boiling water with the salt added for 6 minutes.
While the noodles are cooking, steam the cabbage and peppers for 4-6 minutes, adding the sugar snap peas for the final 2 minutes of the cooking time. (If you are using ready-cooked udon, cook the vegetables for 3 minutes in the salted boiling water and add the udon for the final minute.)
For the tofu, heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan until it is smoking. Pat the tofu slices dry with kitchen paper, add to the pan and fry over a high heat for about 30 seconds on each side until they are crisp and brown. Remove to a plate.
When cooked, drain the noodles (and vegetables if cooking together) well and put them into a large bowl. Add the steamed vegetables and crisp tofu and dress with the sauce.
Serve while hot, with the sesame seeds sprinkled over the top.