Yaki Udon 焼きうどん

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Yaki Udon | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

One of the most popular recipe category on Just One Cookbook is quick and easy meals.  Within this category, Yaki Udon (焼きうどん) has been one of readers’ favorite dishes.

Since this dish was originally published in the first month of my blog (in 2011), now looking back the picture doesn’t do the recipe justice!  I also didn’t include step-by-step pictures or video tutorial back then.  Now I’m happy to share this recipe again with helpful tips, updated pictures and new video!

What’s Yaki Udon?

Yaki Udon (焼きうどん) is stirred fried udon noodles with meat and vegetables, very similar to another Japanese stir fried noodle dish called Yakisoba (焼きそば) as they uses almost same ingredients besides noodles.  Here are the difference between Yaki udon and Yakisoba:

Yaki Udon: Yaki udon always uses udon noodles.  Udon are thick and chewy white noodles made with wheat flour and water.  Udon is very versatile and you can use it in a number of ways.  In hot soup like Kitsune Udon and Nabeyaki Udon, or in cold dishes like Tanuki Udon, and lastly they taste great in stir fried dishes as well.

Yakisoba: Yakisoba uses chukamen, yellowish Chinese style noodles made with wheat flour and kansui (alkaline solution).  These same noodles are used for Ramen, Yakisoba, Tsukemen (dipping noodles), etc.

Yaki Udon | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Ingredients for Yaki Udon

The best part about this dish is that you can pretty much use any protein and vegetables from your refrigerator to make this dish.  Of course you can totally make this a vegan/vegetarian dish as well.

For Yakisoba and Yaki Udon, pork is most often used in Japan.  I usually like to use thinly sliced pork belly for more flavors.  You can also use chicken or beef if that’s your preference.   Don’t forget the seafood options as well; shrimp and squid are some of my favorite choices for yaki udon as well.

I LOVE using this particular frozen udon noodles because they are chewy and delicious.  The texture is great for stir fried noodles.  Most refrigerated udon noodles found in the Asian or American supermarkets break very easily, and taste a bit strange to me (there are plenty of good brands in Japan).  I highly recommend to grab one (or two) of this particular package if you can find these frozen udon noodle packages.  If you can’t find refrigerated noodles, the other option is dried udon noodles.  These noodles are usually flat and the texture is less chewy, but the good news is that they won’t break into pieces like some of udon brands you find in refrigerated section.

Yaki Udon | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Perfect Weeknight Meal

Yaki Udon is a quick and easy home cooking dish to make for your family or for yourself, with typical ingredients you probably already have in the fridge.

So here is my last tip before you go.  Always have frozen or dried udon packages in your kitchen, then you can make this dish instead of getting takeout or eating out!  My daughter absolutely loves udon so I always keep some in my freezer.

Here’s the video on How To Make Yaki Udon on my YouTube Channel! Enjoy!

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Yaki Udon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 2 packages udon noodles (I like frozen sanuki udon) (Note 1)
  • ½ large onion
  • 2-3 cabbage leaves
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 scallions/green onions
  • ½ lb. (227 g) sliced pork belly, or your choice of meat, seafood and vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
Seasonings
Toppings
Instructions
  1. If the udon noodles are frozen, boil them until loosen. Drain and rinse off the starch. Drain well and set aside.
    Yaki Udon 1
  2. Slice onion and cut cabbage into 1” (2.5 cm) square pieces. Julienne the carrot (cut into 2” (5 cm matchsticks).
    Yaki Udon 2
  3. Discard the tough shitake stems and slice the mushroom tops. Thinly slice the top 2” (5 cm) green part of scallions and set aside (for garnisih). Cut the rest of scallion into 2” (5 cm) pieces.
    Yaki Udon 3
  4. Cut the pork belly slices into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces.
    Yaki Udon 4
  5. In a frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the pork and cook until almost cooked through. Then add onion and cook until translucent and soft.
    Yaki Udon 5
  6. Add cabbage and carrots and stir fry until coated with oil. Then add shiitake mushrooms and scallion. Stir fry until vegetables are lightly wilted.
    Yaki Udon 6
  7. Add udon noodles and using tongs, combine well with all the ingredients.
    Yaki Udon 7
  8. Add seasonings (Freshly ground black pepper, 3 Tbsp. Mentsuyu, and 1 tsp. soy sauce) and mix all together. Please adjust the amount of Mentsuyu based on the amount of the ingredients you have added.
    Yaki Udon 8
  9. Serve on a plate and sprinkle bonito flakes and green onions on top. Garnish with red pickled ginger on the side if you like.
Notes
1: If you use refrigerated udon noodles, loosen them under running water. If you use dried udon noodles, boil them according to the package instructions.

2: Mentsuyu I use is 3-times concentrated. If you use “straight” Mentsuyu (= not concentrated), you might need to add more to achieve the same flavor.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January, 2011.

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  1. Usually I fried udon with light soya sauce & mirin. My elder girl love it so much! I shall try your recipe the next time if she request to have it again! 😀
    She’s the only one who eats udon besides me that’s why I seldom cook udon at home… :)

    3
    • Hi Lyn! My 3-year old daughter is into Udon lately. She seems to enjoy the texture. My 5-year old son prefers Pho over any types of noodles. Mentsuyu is quite addicting. We usually use Mentsuyu for Somen and Soba. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

      4
      • Hi Nami, actually it’s a bit difficult to get some of the sauces that you mentioned. They are either all in Japanese wordings or can’t find them at all :(
        Hopefully I’m able to find this Mentsuyu that you use for your udon. :)

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        • I know I get lost in Chinese condiments section since there are tons of bottles! :-) I hope my image of Mentsuyu in Pantry helps. That’s a major brand, so I’m hoping you can find. :-)

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  2. Megan H

    HI Nami, I made this for dinner yesterday. I love this quick and easy recipe. It was delicious, I will definitely make this again!

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  3. enrique

    Hi! Ma’am Nami,
    aside from yaki udon for lunch what is other accompaniment side dish for yaki udon to complete lunch meal? thanks and more power!

    Enrique..

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    • Hi Melss! We’ve talked about this already, but for those who have same question, yes, we can use Yakisoba sauce for this recipe, just like yakisoba but using udon. :)

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  4. bb

    finally i did a good job for this recipe… unfortunately no pictures lol next time i will send u some pics thx for excellent recipe

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  5. Hedena

    I always wanted to know how to prepare Yaki Udo, because it’s one of my favorite dishes… and just like magic I found your webpage. I have to tell you that you recipe it’s just amaizing!!!! I love my Yaki Udo. Thanks you very much !!!

    17
    • Hi Hadena! I’m glad to hear you enjoy eatieng Yaki Udon! It’s my daughter’s favorite dish as well. :) I hope you enjoy cooking and eating at home! :)

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  6. Kathens.Matsuzaki

    Hi there Nami!

    It’s my first time cooking Udon, I only have chicken meat and Oyster sauce. Do you think this will work? I’m scared to mess this up for my husband. =_= Thanks!

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    • Hi Kathens! I appologize for my late response due to my travel. Yes, you can make yaki udon with chicken and oyster sauce (but I’d also add soy sauce and a little bit of sugar). It will probably taste more like Chinese noodles (it’s oyster sauce after all) but it’ll be delicious! Or you can use just soy sauce. You won’t mess it up. :) When you season, make sure you add slowly, because when you put a lot of sauce, you can’t undo. :) Good luck!

      20
    • Asia

      Same here–definite problem with the print function. Prints: Prep time, Cook time, Total Time, the subheadings-Ingredients, Instructions, and a wonderful picture—that’s it. No ingredients, no instructions.

      29
      • Hi Asia! Yes, I’m aware of this print issue. I’m having with this print issue on some of my recipes and the developer is working to fix this problem. Meanwhile, please cop and paste the recipe to Word doc to print out. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I’ll send update on this issue via my email newsletter as soon as it’s fixed. Thank you!

        32
    • Hi Carol! I’m having a print problem on some of my recipes, and the developer for this recipe plugin is working on this issue. Please copy and paste the recipe to word to print out. I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience.

      31
    • Hi Besia! Thank you so much for trying this recipe already! I’m so happy to hear you liked it! Thank you for your kind feedback! 😀 xo

      33
  7. You’re right – this is a great weeknight meal idea! I have to remember this because my son loves udon, ramen, and all kinds of noodles like we do! Need to get my hands on some bonito flakes!

    36
  8. Vanessa

    Hi Nami, I’ve made this for my family so many times and we all love it! I use bacon that isn’t too fatty and it’s awesome! I’ve stopped making this because the Mentsuyu sauce I use has MSG and I find that it makes me jittery. If I were to use your recipe for homemade Mentsuyu would I need to add more to the dish? I wish our local Japan Foods store would carry Mentsuyu without MSG.

    37
    • Hi Vanessa! Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad to hear you and your family enjoy this dish! It’s hard to find mentsuyu without MSG, so you will need to make your own. You will most likely use the same amount of mentsuyu. Don’t forget to taste the flavor when you cook – when you have more ingredients you will need more seasonings (or vice versa). :)

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  9. Great tips on how to choose the right type of udon! I often use the refrigerated ones, but they only stat a few days in the fridge. Didn’t know the frozen one has better texture, and definitely want to check out next time. Yaki udon is the super comforting dish I cook all the time. Love this recipe :)

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  10. I looove udon for its chewiness and thickness, but I’ve never tried frying it. What a fabulous idea! The bonito flakes make this dish look utterly irresistible! Thank you once more for inspiration! (Now I only need to make udon noodles. I have decided to stop buying them and try homemade ones).

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  11. I love knowing that frozen udon works so well in stir-fry. I buy them often (including one of the brands you showed) but always make soup noodles out of it. And we used to go to Mitsuwa in NJ for lunch and they had a great little Japanese coffee shop/restaurant that we’d eat at that had a great yaki udon. For ages, I never knew that was dried bonito flakes floating on top. I just knew it was delicious. I must make this for my family…they’ll love it.

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