Yaki Udon is a delicious and easy recipe that can be made in just 15-minutes when you need dinner on the table fast. You’ll love how simple it is to make these udon noodles right at home, no take-out needed!

A bowl of yaki udon noodles topped with sesame seeds

What is Yaki Udon?

If you’re a fan of noodles then you are going to LOVE this Yaki Udon Stir-Fry! This dish is made with Udon noodles which are thick and have a silky smooth texture that is very “slurpable” and the entire recipe comes together in just 15 minutes.

So what exactly is Yaki Udon? Put simply, it’s just a Japanese Stir-fried noodle dish made with udon noodles, a soy-based stir fry sauce and vegetables “Yaki” translates to “Fry” so this recipe translated is Stir-Fried Udon noodles.  If you ever go out to an Izakaya (Japanese pubs) you’ll often see Yaki Udon on the menu. 

Some recipes will have meat (often ground pork, shrimp, chicken or beef) and vegetables like cabbage, carrots and pepper. Since this recipe is vegetarian we’re sticking with just vegetables. I like using bok choy (which is in the cabbage family) and shitake mushrooms. But you can really use any type of vegetables you love.

Why you’ll love this Udon recipe

  • Perfect for busy weeknights. Spend just 15 minutes to make this recipe with minimal clean-up!
  • Customizable. You can add any type of vegetables or protein you love to this udon recipe! Try adding some tofu for extra protein.
  • Better than take-out. Goodbye take-out, hello cheaper, easier, healthier and wayyyyy more delicious noodles!

Types of Udon noodles to buy

Udon noodles can be found at your local Asian grocery store and at most large grocery stores in the Asian section. (You’ll find them near the ramen noodles and rice noodles.)

Udon noodles are sold in a few different ways, so depending on what you can find you have a few options:

  • Frozen udon noodles: these will be in the freezer section at most Asian grocery stores and will usually be precooked, so you will just need to boil them in water for a minute or so to defrost them. (You can add them directly to the water frozen.)
  • Packaged udon noodles: this is what you’ll probably find if you go to a large Grocery store. These packaged Udon noodles are usually pre-cooked and can be added directly into soups or stir-fries. Though I find it best to add them to a pot of boiling water for just a minute to help the noodles separate.
  • Fresh udon noodles. These will be in the refridgerator section at your local Asian grocery store. Fresh udon noodles will be uncooked and be lightly coated in flour or corn starch to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Dry udon noodles. You’ll see these sometimes packaged in grocery stores. This type of udon noodle needs to be cooked before adding to a stir fry.

Which is the best type of udon noodles to use?

All of these different varieties of Udon noodles will work great in this stir fry. If you can get your hands on them, fresh udon noodles are the absolute best. Otherwise, I’d say frozen udon noodles are the next best thing since they are often fresh udon noodles that have been frozen. But if you can only find packaged vacuum-sealed udon noodles that’s totally cool-they’re also great!

Ingredients for these stir fried udon noodles

Ingredients for yaki udon

  • Udon noodles: you can use fresh, packaged or frozen udon noodles. All will work for this recipe! (pictured above are packaged udon noodles)
  • Scallions: I absolutely love the taste of sauted scallions in a stir-fry! You can substitute a regular onion, but you won’t get the same delicious flavour.
  • Garlic: an absolute must for stir fry noodles!
  • Shitake mushrooms: I love the taste of shitake mushrooms in this Yaki Udon to give it an earthy umami falvour.
  • Baby bok choy: You can also use regular bok choy, chinese broccoli or any other leafy green vegetable you love.
  • Stir fry sauce: the sauce is made with a combiantion of light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, (I use vegetarian), mirin, honey and sriracha

How to make Yaki Udon (step by step instructions)

Step 1

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan on medium-high heat then add the scallions and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then add in the shitake mushrooms and bok choy

Step 2

Saute the shitake and bok choy for 3-4 minutes. The bok choy will shrink a lot once it’s cooked. Boil the udon noodles for one minute to separate them, drain them, then add the udon noodles to the pan.

Step 3

Add the stir-fry sauce to the pan and toss everything together until the noodles are evenly coated. Taste and adjust any seasoning if needed. Garnish with sesame seeds or chopped scallions. Serve immediately. (noodles are always best enjoyed fresh!)

Tip: let the noodles sit in the pan for 30-60 seconds without touching them to let them get a slight char (a bit crispy) on the bottom. This makes for an extra delicious Yaki Udon!

How to store and reheat Udon

Store: store any leftover Yaki Udon in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. This recipe does not freeze well and I don’t recommend freezing the noodles once they’re made.

Reheat: to reheat your noodles add them to a pan and stir-fry them on medium heat, or warm them up in the microwave. If you find the noodles are sticking together after being in the fridge try adding a splash of water to the noodles when heating them up. This will help them break apart more easily.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Prepare the stir fry sauce in advance. This will make it easier when it’s time to add the sauce to the udon noodles so you won’t have to individually add all the sauces.
  • Separate the noodles before adding them to the stir fry. Packaged noodles can often be clumped together, so it’s best to separate them before adding them to your stir fry. Adding the noodles to a pot of hot water is the easiest way to separate your noodles.
  • If you have a Wok, use it! This is the best for making stir-fry noodles and will give you an even heat and help you get that crispy char on your stir fried noodles.
  • Serve immediately. Noodles are always best enjoyed fresh. Prep this stir fry right before serving.

Udon Noodles FAQ

Where can I find udon noodles?

You can find udon noodles at your local Asian grocery store in the fridge or freezer section. You can also find packaged udon noodles at most large grocery stores in the Asian section.

What are udon noodles made of?

Udon noodles are made of wheat flour and are thick and chewy. This gives them a delicious texture in stir-fries.

Are udon noodles gluten-free?

Traditional udon noodles are not gluten-free, however, you can find some gluten-free versions of udon noodles at specialty stores. You can also substitute the noodles in this recipe for your favourite gluten-free noodles if needed.

What’s the difference between Yaki Udon and Yakisoba?

Udon noodles and yakisoba noodles are two different types of noodles. They are both made with wheat flour, but yakisoba noodles are thinner and similar to Chinese Lo Mein noodles.

What is Yaki Udon sauce made of?

You’ll see a few different variations of Yaki Udon sauce. This recipe uses light and dark soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, mirin, honey and sriracha.

Is udon better than ramen?

Both are delicious! I personally prefer udon noodles because I love the thick and chewy texture of them. But if you prefer ramen noodles you can use them in this recipe.

What can I substitute for mirin?

If you don’t have any mirin, you can substitute for dry sherry, white wine or rice vinegar. If using rice vinegar make sure to only use 1 tsp in the recipe.

Yaki udon in a speckled ceramic bowl with wood chopsticks in it

More delicious noodle recipes to try

If you tried this Yaki Udon Stir Fry or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on PinterestInstagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

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Yaki udon in a speckled ceramic bowl with wood chopsticks in it

Quick and Easy Yaki Udon

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Yaki Udon comes together in just 15-minutes for a quick and easy dinner!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Stir fry

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 3 cups chopped baby bok choy
  • 500 grams udon noodles, cooked according to package directions

Stir fry sauce


Instructions

  1. Mix the stir fry sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add the scallions and garlic and let cook for 1 minute.
  3. Next add the shitake mushrooms and bok choy and mix together, letting cook for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender. (The bok choy will shrink down a lot as it cooks.
  4. Next add the udon noodles and stir fry sauce and mix evenly together to evenly coat the noodles. Let cook for at least 30 seconds without touching to let the noodles brown slightly on the bottom.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Notes

Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 4 days

Prepare the stir fry sauce in advance. This will make it easier when it’s time to add the sauce to the udon noodles so you won’t have to individually add all the sauces.

Separate the noodles before adding them to the stir fry. Packaged noodles can often be clumped together, so it’s best to separate them before adding them to your stir fry. Adding the noodles to a pot of hot water is the easiest way to separate your noodles.

If you have a Wok, use it! This is the best for making stir-fry noodles and will give you an even heat and help you get that crispy char on your stir fried noodles.

Serve immediately. Noodles are always best enjoyed fresh. Prep this stir fry right before serving.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 500mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Protein: 5g

Keywords: Yaki Udon, udon noodles, stir fry udon noodles, vegetarian udon noodles