Sesame Orange Udon
with Asparagus and Gingered Cashews
Place a large pot of salted water on to boil for the udon noodles. Trim about 1 inch from the bottom of the asparagus and slice the stalks into 2 inch pieces. Peel and mince the ginger. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Zest the oranges, then cut half into wedges. Destem the kale, and roughly chop the leaves. Thinly slice the Thai chile into the rounds.
Place a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast, tossing frequently, until the seeds are lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a medium bowl and add just 2 tbsp orange juice, brown sugar, sesame oil, tamari, rice vinegar.
Return the large skillet to medium high heat with 2 tsp vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced garlic, as many sliced chiles as you’d like, and minced ginger, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the udon noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sliced asparagus and cashews to the skillet with the aromatics, and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 to 4 minutes. Season asparagus with salt, and toss to coat. Turn off the heat.
Drain the udon noodles and immediately add to the now empty skillet along with the chopped kale and the sesame orange sauce. Increase heat to medium-high and cook the sesame orange udon until the sauce thickens slightly and the sugar dissolves. Add the orange zest, taste and adjust seasoning with salt if necessary.
Divide the sesame orange udon with asparagus and gingered cashews between large shallow bowls and serve with orange wedges. Enjoy!