This easy vegan kale tahini udon is so easy to make but doesn’t lack in flavor or heat! It’s a great Meatless Monday recipe to add to the rotation.
This recipe is so rich and flavorful but completely vegan. The key to this dinner? A simple tahini sauce in addition to flavorful, smoky pickled mushrooms.
How to make this vegan kale tahini udon:
To make this recipe, you’ll want to prepare the pickled mushrooms first. Normally, you’d want them to chill in the refrigerator for about one hour prior to serving, but you can put them in the fridge while you prepare the rest of your meal.
The best part about the pickled mushrooms? They last about a month in the refrigerator. You can use them on anything, including rice bowls, noodle bowls, or on salads!
First, gather your ingredients. For the mushrooms, you will need:
- Rice vinegar
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Smoked shoyu (or use liquid smoke or omit!)
- A hot pepper or two or crushed red pepper
Put all of the ingredients in a pot and transfer them to the stovetop over high heat. Bring to a boil and once the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. From there, simply transfer to a heatproof glass mason jar. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator as you prepare the udon.
To prepare the vegan tahini udon, simply blanch the kale first and transfer it to an ice bath. Once the kale is completely cooled, drain and squeeze out the excess water.
How to prepare the tahini sauce:
Next, prepare the sauce. While you cook the sauce, bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the udon.
To make the sauce, start by sautéing shallots in a sauté pan. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the tahini and chili oil. Whisk until emulsified and then turn off the heat. If the tahini separates, you can simply whisk vigorously right before adding the noodles to help emulsify it once more.
Once the udon is done, use tongs to transfer it directly to the pot. No need to drain! Start by adding half the noodles and toss to coat in the sauce. Add the remaining half and toss once more. From there, add the blanched kale and toss to coat. Turn the heat to low and toss regularly until the kale is warmed through.
To serve, divide the cooked noodles between bowls and pile the pickled mushrooms on top.
Looking for more vegan recipes? Check my archives!
If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!
Easy Vegan Kale Tahini Udon
- Large pot
- Heat-proof glass jar
- Sauté pan
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems discarded, and caps thinly sliced
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon smoked shoyu optional
- 2 Thai chili peppers halved or use crushed red pepper to taste
- ¼ cup water
- 1 bunch curly kale ribs removed, and leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 16 ounces fresh frozen, or dry udon noodles
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 2 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked shoyu optional
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon chili oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the pickled mushrooms:
- Place all of the ingredients for the pickled mushrooms in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and stand for 5 minutes. Then, carefully pour into a heat-proof glass mason jar. Cover and transfer to the refrigerator as you prepare the rest of the meal.
Prepare the kale:
- Wash out the pot used for the mushrooms and fill it back up with water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the kale leaves for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately transfer the leaves to an ice bath until completely cooled. Set aside.
Prepare the noodles:
- Wash out the pot used for the kale and fill it back up with water. Bring to a boil.
Prepare the sauce:
- In a large sauté pan, heat the neutral oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shallot and cook, stirring often, for 5–7 minutes until the shallots brown around the edges. Be careful not to burn them! Sprinkle the shallots with sugar and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and shoyu if using. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
- Add the tahini and chili oil and whisk to incorporate. Continue whisking until completely emulsified and smooth. Turn off the heat.
Cook the udon:
- To the pot of boiling water, add the udon. Cook according to package instructions.
Finish the udon:
- If the tahini separated, whisk vigorously to emulsify it once more. Then, using tongs, add half the udon straight from the pot of boiling water to the tahini sauce. Toss gently to coat with the sauce. It should be very glossy! Add the remaining udon from the pot with tongs and toss to coat in the sauce.
- Drain the kale from the ice bath and squeeze to remove excess water. Add the kale to the noodles and turn the heat on the sauté pan to low. Cook for 1–3 minutes to warm the kale through. Taste and season to your preferences. Turn off the heat.
- Serve the udon in bowls. Add pickled mushrooms to each dish and enjoy!