Street Style Stir-Fried Cabbage and Udon Noodles

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups very coarsely chopped green cabbage (from about ¾ medium head)
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 7-ounce package dried udon noodles
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 8 ounces ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 5 scallions, white and pale-green parts coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (from a 1-inch knob)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes for medium spice
  • ⅓ cup mirin
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving
  • Boil water in a large pot for the noodles.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add cabbage and carrot and cook, tossing often, until edges are browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, tossing often, until thickest parts of cabbage leaves are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer cabbage to bowl.
  • When water in pot boils rigorously, add noodles slowly to water, stirring constantly and then cook according to package instructions.
  • In same skillet cabbage was cooked in, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high and add meat, breaking up and spreading across surface of pan with a spatula or tongs until no pink remains, breaking up meat into small bits.
  • When noodles are done, train noodles and add sesame oil and toss. Add noodles to cabbage mixture and toss well.
  • To skillet with meat, add chopped scallions, ginger, and red pepper. Continue to cook, tossing often, until scallions are softened and bottom of skillet has started to brown, about 1 minute.
  • Add udon/cabbage mixture, mirin, and soy sauce and cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are coated in sauce (be sure to scrape bottom of skillet to dissolve any browned bits), about 45 seconds. Remove from heat and fold in 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds. Top with more sesame seeds before serving.