Asian Recipes/ Dinner/ Japanese/ Lunch/ Pasta & Noodles/ Recipes

Yaki Udon – Japanese Stir Fried Udon Noodles

18/09/2023 (Last Updated: 19/09/2023)

Yaki udon is the ultimate quick and easy dinner – filling, delicious and FAST! Tossed with pork, veggies and a delicious yaki udon sauce, these easy Japanese stir-fried udon noodles are ready in just 20 minutes.

A bowl of yaki udon noodles topped with green onion and red pickled ginger.

Why We Love This

Yaki udon recipe is super quick to prepare. We love the chewy texture of stir fried udon noodles with the caramelised umami flavour from the homemade sweet and savoury sauce.

This easy fried noodle dish is satisfying for dinner with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. It’s also easy to adapt with your favourite protein or use up leftover veggies in the fridge.

Related: Miso Udon Soup / Tteokbokki Rice Cake Stir Fry

Save This Recipe Form

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get more great recipes and tips from us each week!

A bowl of yaki udon with some of the noodles held up by chopsticks.

What is Yaki Udon? 

Yaki udon (焼きうどん or yakiduon) is a dish of stir fried udon noodles with veggies and protein. It’s most often served with thinly sliced pork belly, but can also be made with beef, chicken, seafood or tofu. 

Yaki means grilled, and udon refers to a style of thick and chewy Japanese noodles. 

Yaki udon is very similar to yakisoba (焼きそば), and both are popular street food dishes which you can also find on the menu at Japanese pubs (known as izakaya).

Where yakisoba is usually cooked with yakisoba sauce, yaki udon is cooked with a simple seasoning of soy sauce, sake and mirin (similar to lots of other Japanese sauces, but different ratios to suit the individual dish!). With the addition of dashi stock and katsuobushi for extra umami flavour.

What You’ll Need

  • Udon Noodles – This recipe works with all types of udon noodles – fresh, shelf-stable or frozen udon noodles – depending on what’s available in your area. Sub with soba noodles, ramen noodles, Chinese style egg noodles, or even spaghetti in a real pinch.
  • Pork – Thinly sliced pork (such as pork belly) works best because it cooks quickly and absorbs all the delicious flavours in the stir fry. If you’re in Australia, Coles now sells this fresh, otherwise try your local Asian grocery store to see if they sell the slices fresh or frozen. Sub with thinly sliced beef, chicken, seafood such as fish or shrimp / prawns, or tofu if you prefer.
  • Veggies – This dish is most commonly cooked with cabbage, carrot and onion, but you can use any veggies you have on hand. It’s great with spring onions / green onions, bok choy or gai lan, spinach, broccoli or broccolini, capsicum / bell pepper, enoki or shiitake mushrooms, renkon (lotus root) or even gobo (burdock root). 
  • Soy Sauce – For the best flavour and quality, use a Japanese soy sauce such as Kikkoman which has the perfect balance of flavour and salt. Sub with mentsuyu for a little extra umami. 
  • Cooking Sake – This is a type of rice wine made for cooking. It’s lighter and more delicate in flavour than Chinese cooking wine, but you can use either in this recipe. Look for it at Asian grocery stores or online. Sub with sherry or a blend of 50:50 vodka and water in a pinch.
  • Mirin – This is a sweet rice wine for cooking. You can sometimes find it in regular supermarkets, otherwise head to your nearest Asian grocer or online. If you don’t have it, just leave it out and add in a 1 tsp of sugar and an extra 1 tbsp water instead. It adds sweetness and glossy shine to the sauce.
  • Dashi – Use dashi stock powder or a splash of homemade dashi stock if you have some prepared.
Ingredients laid out to make Japanese stir fried udon noodles.

How to make Yaki Udon:

  1. To make the yaki udon sauce, add the soy saucemirincooking sakedashi powder and water and mix until combined.
  2. In a frying pan, wok or large skillet, heat half the vegetable oil over a medium high heat, then add your garlic and fry for a minute before adding the pork belly. Optional: Add a pinch of salt and pepper over the pork. Cook for a few minutes until browned and remove from the pan.
  3. Pour the remaining vegetable oil into the frying pan and throw in the onion and carrot over medium heat. Cook until the onion is translucent and the carrot has softened (around 3 minutes). Add the cabbage pieces and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  1. Add the pork and garlic back into the frying pan.
  2. Pour over the seasoning mix and the bonito flakes, then add your udon noodles on top. Pop a lid on the frying pan for a minute or two to allow the udon noodles to steam slightly and soften. Stir carefully to loosen without breaking the noodles. If they’re still holding together, you can add an extra tbsp of water over each block and steam again for a minute or two. Once loosened, mix them through your meat and vegetables. Tip: If you’re using other types of noodles, cook them according to packet directions and drain well before adding to the pan.
  3. Once your sauce has completely cooked down and started to stick to the udon noodles (around 2-3 minutes), switch off the heat and serve!
  4. Garnish with all your Japanese favourites – kewpie mayobeni shoga pickled ginger, katsuobushi, aonori, and shichimi togarashi.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Udon Noodles – If frozen, allow to thaw on the bench for an hour before cooking, or steam them for a few more minutes with the lid before mixing through the meat and vegetables. If using fresh udon noodles, cook them according to recipe directions then add them into the pan and skip the steaming step with the lid.
  • Ingredients – Thinly slice the carrots so they cook quickly. For Japanese style presentation, cut the cabbage into neat squares and the onion into thin slices. Otherwise, if you don’t mind too much about appearance, just chop them however you like!
  • Frying – Sweat the onions on low heat first to stop them burning. Keep ingredients spread out in the pan as you fry to help them cook evenly.
  • Storage – Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for around 2-3 months. You can reheat leftovers in the microwave.
  • Leftovers? Stuff them in a hot dog bun, yakisoba pan style!

FAQs

Why is my udon overcooked or sticking together?

The udon noodles may have been cooked too long, making them go mushy. You may have also not steamed them long enough, if using the “ready to eat” or frozen packet udon.

What’s best to serve alongside yaki udon?

We love this with a small bowl of sushi rice, a bowl of miso soup to start and a little side dish of Japanese potato salad or takuan pickles.

Are udon noodles gluten free?

Traditional udon noodles are made with wheat flour and so aren’t suitable for gluten free diets. Look for gluten free udon noodles or sub with other kinds of gluten free noodles if you need.

Variations

Yaki udon noodles in a bowl showing the fried pork and assorted garnishes.

Love noodles? Try these epic noodle recipes next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

A pair of chopsticks holding several udon noodles above a bowl of yaki udon.

Yaki Udon – Japanese Stir Fried Udon Noodles

Yaki udon is the ultimate quick and easy dinner – filling, delicious and FAST! Tossed with pork, veggies and a delicious yaki udon sauce, these easy Japanese stir-fried udon noodles are ready in just 20 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 Serves
Calories: 2607kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $8

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 400 g udon noodles ready to eat noodles, sub with homemade, frozen or 280 g / 10 oz dried
  • 200 g pork belly thinly sliced and chopped, sub bacon, chicken thigh, beef, prawn or tofu
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 onion thinly sliced into strips
  • 4 cabbage leaves roughly cut into small square chunks, 150 g / 5.3 oz, sub bok choy
  • 2 garlic chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp cooking sake
  • 1 tsp dashi powder
  • 1 tbsp bonito flakes / katsuobushi
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  • To make the yaki udon savory sauce, add the soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake, dashi powder and water and mix until combined.
    2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp cooking sake, 1 tsp dashi powder, 2 tbsp water
  • In a large frying pan, heat half the vegetable oil over a medium high heat, then add your garlic and fry for a minute before adding the pork belly. Optional: Add a pinch of salt and pepper over the pork. Cook for a few minutes until browned and remove from the pan.
    2 garlic, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 200 g pork belly
  • Pour the remaining vegetable oil into the frying pan and throw in the onion and carrot over medium heat. Cook until the onion is translucent and the carrot has softened (around 3 minutes).
    1 onion, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 carrot
  • Add the cabbage pieces and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the pork and garlic back into the frying pan.
    4 cabbage leaves
  • Pour over the seasoning mix and the bonito flakes, then add your udon noodles on top. Pop a lid on the frying pan for a minute or two to allow the udon noodles to steam slightly and soften. Stir carefully to loosen without breaking the noodles. If they’re still holding together, you can add an extra tbsp of water over each block and steam again for a minute or two. Once loosened, mix them through your meat and vegetables.
    400 g udon noodles, 1 tbsp bonito flakes / katsuobushi
  • Once your sauce has completely cooked down and started to stick to the udon noodles (around 2-3 minutes), switch off the heat and serve!
  • Garnish with all your Japanese favourites – kewpie mayonnaise, katsuobushi, egg yolk and shichimi togarashi.
    kewpie mayonnaise, bonito flakes / katsuobushi, seaweed flakes / aonori, shichimi togarashi, beni shoga / red pickled ginger

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Udon Noodles – This recipe works with all types of udon noodles – fresh, shelf-stable or frozen udon noodles – depending on what’s available in your area. Sub with soba noodles, ramen noodles, Chinese style egg noodles, or even spaghetti in a real pinch.
  • Pork – Thinly sliced pork (such as pork belly) works best because it cooks quickly and absorbs all the delicious flavours in the stir fry. If you’re in Australia, Coles now sells this fresh, otherwise try your local Asian grocery store to see if they sell the slices fresh or frozen. Sub with thinly sliced beef, chicken, seafood such as fish or = shrimp / prawns, or tofu if you prefer.
  • Veggies – This dish is most commonly cooked with cabbage, carrot and onion, but you can use any veggies you have on hand. It’s great with spring onions / green onions, bok choy or gai lan, spinach, broccoli or broccolini, capsicum / bell pepper, enoki or shiitake mushrooms, renkon (lotus root) or even gobo (burdock root). 
  • Soy Sauce – For the best flavour and quality, use a Japanese soy sauce such as Kikkoman which has the perfect balance of flavour and salt. Sub with mentsuyu for a little extra umami. 
  • Cooking Sake – This is a type of rice wine made for cooking. It’s lighter and more delicate in flavour than Chinese cooking wine, but you can use either in this recipe. Look for it at Asian grocery stores or online. Sub with sherry or a blend of 50:50 vodka and water in a pinch.
  • Mirin – This is a sweet rice wine for cooking. You can sometimes find it in regular supermarkets, otherwise head to your nearest Asian grocer or online. If you don’t have it, just leave it out and add in a 1 tsp of sugar and an extra 1 tbsp water instead. It adds sweetness and glossy shine to the sauce.
  • Dashi – Use dashi stock powder or a splash of homemade dashi stock if you have some prepared.
  • Frying – Sweat the onions on low heat first to stop them burning. Keep ingredients spread out in the pan as you fry to help them cook evenly.
  • Storage – Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for around 2-3 months. You can reheat leftovers in the microwave.
 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Yaki Udon – Japanese Stir Fried Udon Noodles
Amount per Serving
Calories
2607
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
117
g
180
%
Saturated Fat
 
39
g
244
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
12
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
49
g
Cholesterol
 
145
mg
48
%
Sodium
 
7212
mg
314
%
Potassium
 
1107
mg
32
%
Carbohydrates
 
308
g
103
%
Fiber
 
27
g
113
%
Sugar
 
54
g
60
%
Protein
 
87
g
174
%
Vitamin A
 
10570
IU
211
%
Vitamin C
 
44
mg
53
%
Calcium
 
163
mg
16
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks

Yaki Udon - Japanese Stir Fried Udon Noodles
292 Shares

Browse all our most popular Japanese recipes

Japanese mochi, matcha green tea ice-cream. okonomiyaki, gyoza and chicken katsu dishes, with the words "Click here for Japanese recipes" overlayed.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.