This easy kimchi udon is loaded with kimchi, onion, pork belly, and udon noodles, all coated in an intensely flavorful sauce to pamper your tastebuds. This one-pan meal is quick to make and calls for simple ingredients from your fridge to make the best stir fried udon noodles in just 15 minutes.
What is Kimchi Udon?
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may be aware that I am hopelessly in love with quick & easy noodle recipes – especially pan fried udon.
Udon noodles are most often my go-to choice for my stir fry dishes, as their thick and plump texture is truly optimal for soaking up all the flavors in a quick stir fry session.
I’ve previously shared my recipes for Yaki Udon, Creamy Mushroom Miso Udon, and Bulgogi Udon, which are all easy udon stir fry recipes that can be made in just a few minutes from start to finish, with the most satisfying results.
This kimchi udon recipe though is by far my favorite combination to date, as the rich & intense flavors of kimchi are truly the perfect pairing for thick udon noodles, and it is truly one of the most flavorful ways to cook up your udon for a busy weekday.
Best of all, it calls for simple ingredients that are commonly found in your kitchen, which makes it the perfect meal to whip up when you are in a hurry, or on days you simply want to pamper yourself, all without the extra hassle.
Moreover, this pan fried udon is made with a base of two things that I always have in the fridge – frozen udon noodles and aged kimchi, which is ideal for stir-fries.
Although these stir fried udon noodles are made with a handful of simple components, it is insanely addictive and flavorful, making it one of my favorite stir fry dishes of all time.
What do I need to make Kimchi Udon Stir Fry?
As mentioned earlier, one of the best parts about this dish as well as my other easy udon noodle recipes is that it comes together in minutes using just a handful of ingredients. Here is a list of all the ingredients you’ll need:
- Udon noodles: fresh or frozen. I prefer using the frozen kind (aka “Sanuki-style”) as they store for months in the freezer, and I found that the frozen kind is actually more ideal for stir-fries.
- Frozen udon noodles often have a nice chewy texture, and are less prone to getting mushy and overcooked when stir-frying.
- To prepare the noodles, simply soak them in a bowl of hot water for about a minute, and carefully loosen the noodles with a pair of chopsticks. Once the noodles are separated, rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside.
- Onion + green onion: for the aromatics.
- Kimchi + juice: I recommend using aged kimchi (stored in the fridge for at least 2 weeks) as it is much more rich and flavorful when cooked, as opposed to the fresh alternative (more details in the following section!)
- Pork belly: or any protein of your choice. Popular options include bacon, spam, and fish cake, but you can add tofu or more vegetables (cabbage is a great option) if you prefer to make this dish vegetarian.
- Gochugaru, sugar, oyster sauce, and sesame oil: to season the noodles.
- Toasted sesame seeds, sunny side up egg, egg yolk, seaweed flakes, green onions, and/or furikake: for garnish.
And that’s it! All the ingredients you’ll need to make to make your own batch of kimchi udon in the comfort of your home, just like your favorite Izakaya.
What is the best kind of kimchi to use?
As mentioned earlier, for any recipes where the kimchi is cooked including kimchi stew or kimchi fried rice, using aged kimchi (stored in the fridge for at least 2 weeks) is recommended as it is much more flavorful when cooked, as opposed to the fresh alternative.
If you want to expedite this process, you can also leave out a container of kimchi at room temperature overnight for quick fermentation.
Since kimchi has already been fermented, leaving it out at room temperature overnight is food-safe and helps to heighten the flavors. Simply transfer it back into the fridge the next day to use in your dishes or to serve.
When buying store-bought kimchi, I often set aside a portion in a fermentation jar and leave it out overnight, to use as a cooking ingredient.
This ensures that the rest of the kimchi follows a natural fermentation process, with having different types of kimchi to work with for both cooking and serving purposes.
Nothing beats a fresh & steamy bowl of pan-fried udon noodles, and this is truly my ultimate comfort food for the busy weekdays.
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious udon stir fry recipe, and please leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram if you have any questions! 💛
Other easy Dinner recipes you may like:
- 10-Minute Garlic Chili Oil Noodles
- 15-Minute Yaki Udon Noodles
- Creamy Mushroom Miso Udon
- 15-Minute Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)
- Stir-Fried Bulgogi Udon Noodles
15-Minute Kimchi Udon Stir Fry
- 2 servings (17-oz/500g) udon noodles preferably frozen (see notes below)
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion sliced
- 2 green onion divided
- 100 g pork belly sliced, or your choice of protein or extra veggies
- 1 cup (200g) aged kimchi diced
- 2 tbsp kimchi juice from the container of kimchi
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) or to taste
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce or soy sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil to finish
- toasted sesame seeds, sunny side up egg, egg yolk, seaweed flakes,and/or green onions optional, for garnish
- To prepare your noodles from frozen, soak them in hot water for about a minute, and use a pair of chopsticks to carefully loosen the noodles. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, and add pork belly. Fry both sides until golden brown, add onion and green onion, and cook until aromatic.
- Add kimchi and sugar and cook until the kimchi is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add gochugaru, oyster sauce, kimchi juice, and water, mix to combine, and cook for an additional minute until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Add udon noodles and toss together until the noodles are evenly coated. Season with salt if needed, and add sesame oil to finish. Garnish and enjoy!
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