This yaki udon is so delicious you may not want to share it! Though if you do, it makes enough servings for four people. It’s spicy, sweet, savoury and comforting, making it the perfect dish for weekdays or weekends. Keep this dish in mind when you’re craving Japanese flavours.
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I love creating this yaki udon when I’m in a time crunch during the week. The ingredients are relatively easy to find in the local store in the Asian aisle. However, if you make Asian-inspired dishes often, you probably already have soy sauce, chilli oil, and chilli flakes.
This udon noodle stir fry is delicious and satiating due to the various veg in the dish. It has sweet peppers and pak choi to help provide an Asian flavour. I’ve also included aromatics like garlic and spring onions for a fresh taste.
Yaki udon is a Japanese stir fry dish that features udon noodles and vegetables tossed with a delicious soy sauce-based seasoning. This udon noodle recipe can be made with various veg and protein, catering to nearly anyone.
I love using pak choi in this dish since it has quite a few nutrients and vitamins. Try other greens like spinach or baby kale if you don’t enjoy the flavour. Ensure you add spinach later to the dish, as it wilts quickly.
You can use either fresh udon noodles or dry udon noodles for this yaki udon dish. Ramen and soba noodles also work well and add a similar chewy texture. Gluten-free udon noodles can also be used in this dish.
Sweet Soy Sauce
Sweet soy sauce helps create a complex sweet, savoury, umami taste in this udon noodle dish. If you can’t find any at your local grocery store, double the regular soy sauce and add sugar for sweetness.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
Since this yaki udon dish is already meat-free and dairy-free, it’s vegetarian and vegan. You can increase the protein by adding pan-fried tofu or edamame to keep it vegan-friendly.
A few swaps will turn this yaki udon recipe into a gluten-friendly dish. If you’ve tried my other recipes which use soy sauce, you’ll know you can replace it with tamari or coconut aminos, which are naturally gluten-free. Since this stir-fry udon dish also uses sweet soy sauce, you must swap that out for a gluten-free alternative.
I like using the Kikkoman Gluten-Free Sweet Soy Sauce for rice as a gluten-free swap. Finally, use a gluten-free udon noodle alternative or buckwheat-based noodles (like soba).
3. Add the noodles to a large bowl and toss with the chilli oil and minced garlic (Image 3).
4. Once the veggies have softened but still have a bit of a crunch, stir the noodles into the pan and reduce the heat. Add the sweet soy sauce & soy sauce and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy (Image 4).
To serve your vegetable udon noodles, garnish with spring onion and some additional chilli flakes if you like it extra hot!
Use a wok or a large/flat bottom pan.
The key to an excellent yaki udon is using a pan that evenly distributes heat, like a wok or a large flat bottom pan. Making stir-fried udon noodles in these pans helps keep the ingredients off the stove while cooking. Plus, with a larger surface area, it’s easier to caramelize the noodles and veg for a slightly charred flavour.
Prep the veg and sauce ingredients.
Cooking stir fry udon noodles moves quickly, making it easy to burn the ingredients if you’re not prepared. Avoid burnt stir-fried udon by chopping your veg and measuring the ingredients before heating your pan.
Cook the protein first.
If you add protein to this udon stir fry recipe, cook it first for a few minutes to avoid undercooked/raw protein. Chicken is a great option for protein, turning this dish into chicken yaki udon.
Adjust the flavours to your preference.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the sauces to get the flavour to your liking. You can also use dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, or stir-fry sauce for this recipe. If you’re short on time, store-bought yaki udon sauce also works well.
If you’re enjoying this yaki udon dish, you can create a few additional Asian-inspired recipes to tide you through the week, like Chicken Satay Ramen, Creamy Gochujang Pasta or Creamy Pork Thai Noodles.
There’s one primary difference between yaki udon and udon, yaki udon is a stir-fry dish, and udon is a type of noodle. So, udon recipes can include various ingredients as long as they include Japanese udon noodles.
Yaki udon noodles recipes can be healthier than soba, especially if they’re packed with veggies. However, soba noodles are also a great source of protein and fibre. Ultimately, it comes down to what ingredients you add to soba. For example, if you make soba noodles with veg, it creates a pretty healthy dish.
Each dish uses different noodles – yaki udon uses udon noodles, while yakisoba uses thinner wheat noodles. Also, the sauces are different, so yakisoba has a tangier flavour.
There are a few differences between yaki udon and ramen. Udon noodles are thicker and made from milled flour, while ramen noodles are made with egg and wheat flour. Ramen can also describe various dishes, as long as they use ramen noodles, while yaki udon specifically refers to a stir-fried veggie noodle recipe.
Turn yaki udon into a more filling dish by adding a few sides like Satay Chicken, a Tzatziki Mezze Salad, or Spicy Tuna with Crispy Rice.
If you tried this Quick Yaki Udon recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x