Yaki Udon is an easy & delicious one-pan meal loaded with vegetables, mushrooms, and your choice of protein, all coated in an incredibly flavorful sauce that will have you craving for more. This recipe calls for a handful of ingredients to make the best stir-fried udon noodles in just 15 minutes!
Stir-fried udon noodles are, without a doubt, one of my favorite meals to make during the week due to their ease of preparation and scrumptious taste.
The thick, chewy texture of Japanese udon noodles often makes them my go-to choice for a quick stir-fry, as they are truly the best at soaking up all the flavors of the sauce, and I always have packs of udon noodles ready to go in my freezer.
What is Yaki Udon?
Yaki Udon (焼きうどん) is a Japanese stir-fried udon noodle dish, traditionally made with an assortment of vegetables and meat coated in a slightly sweet and incredibly savory soy and mirin based sauce.
The name of the dish translates to “fried udon” (“Yaki” meaning fry or grill), which also indicates the type of noodles being used. A similar rendition of this dish is Yakisoba, which is another well-known Japanese noodle dish.
Yaki Udon is also an incredibly popular street food item in Japan that can be often found at festivals (omatsuri) across the country, which has also claimed massive popularity at Izakayas (Japanese pubs) around the world.
What do I need to make Yaki Udon?
The best part about this dish is that it only requires a few basic ingredients from your pantry, and the choice of vegetables and protein can be easily altered to your liking. Here is a list of items you will need for this recipe:
- Udon noodles: fresh or frozen. I prefer using the frozen kind 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 less prone to getting mushy and overcooked when stir-frying.
- Shrimp: or any choice of protein. Other popular additions include chicken, beef, and pork. Some vegetarian options include tofu, extra vegetables, and/or mushrooms.
- Onion, cabbage, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, and green onions. Feel free to be creative with this! Stir-fries are a great opportunity to use up leftover vegetables from your fridge.
- Dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, honey, diluted with a bit of water to make the sauce. You can optionally add a small amount of Gochugaru or red pepper flakes if you like a hint of spice.
- Green onions and sesame seeds for garnish.
Helpful tips & tricks
Although this recipe is so easy to follow, there are definitely a few tips that will help ease your cooking process. Here are some helpful tips to make the best Yaki Udon:
- Prepare your ingredients in advance including the sauce, prior to heating up the wok. Stir fry dishes are meant to be quick and seamless and preparing all components in advance will make your process a lot easier!
- Quickly thaw your frozen noodles by using hot tap water.
- To thaw your frozen noodles, run hot water (at the highest temperature setting) over the frozen noodles prepared in a large bowl, and let rest for about a few seconds, or up to a minute depending on the temperature of your noodles.
- Once the noodles have softened, use a pair of chopsticks to loosen them, being careful not to break the noodles. Rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside to be used in your stir fry.
- You can also do the boiling water method, but I found that preparing them this way is a lot more convenient, saves time, and yields amazing texture in the noodles.
- I highly recommend using a wok to ease your cooking process.
- This is essential cookware to use for any stir-fry dishes, including this one. A wok distributes heat quickly & evenly on the entire surface, and the curvature allows the food to be tossed around without causing a mess.
- This will also help in caramelizing the noodles as the high heat will create a delicious charred flavor as the sauce hits the wok.
And there you have it! One of the best features of this dish lies in its simplicity, as it calls for ingredients that are most likely already in your kitchen.
Best of all, this stir fry dish is prepared in a single wok or large pan, which makes cleanup a breeze! Let’s be honest, we are all struggling with an endless amount of dishes, and simple recipes like this are truly a breath of fresh air. 🍃
For visual instructions, please refer to the video tutorial above (you will need to disable AdBlock if you are on your computer!).
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe, and please feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Instagram for any questions!
Other easy Dinner recipes you may like:
- 10-Minute Garlic Chili Oil Noodles
- Easy Shrimp Fried Rice
- 15-Minute Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)
- Chinese Tomato Egg Stir Fry
- 15-Minute Creamy Shrimp Pasta
15-Minute Yaki Udon (Stir-Fried Udon Noodles)
- 2 packs (17-oz./500g) udon noodles fresh or frozen (see notes below)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil divided, add more if needed
- 1/2 lb shrimp or your choice of meat, seafood, tofu, or extra vegetables
- 1/2 yellow onion sliced
- 1 cup cabbage shredded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup carrot cut in matchsticks
- 3-4 mushrooms sliced, I used shiitake for this recipe
- 2 green onions chopped, some reserved for garnish
- sesame seeds, green onions, and/or bonito flakes for garnish, optional
- Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- To prepare frozen udon noodles, run hot water over them for a few seconds, using a pair of chopsticks to carefully loosen the noodles. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.
- Heat a wok or a large pan over medium heat and add vegetable oil and shrimp. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until pink. Remove and set aside.
- In the same wok, add vegetable oil, onion, and cabbage, and sauté for a few minutes until the edges are golden brown, for about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, carrot, and mushrooms, and continue to cook for about 1 minute.
- Add the cooked shrimp, udon noodles, and sauce, and toss them together until the noodles are evenly coated and caramelized. Add green onions and mix to combine. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and enjoy!