Yaki Udon 焼きうどん

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  • Japanese udon noodles stir fried with vegetables and your choice of protein, Yaki Udon is definitely a keeper when comes to easy weeknight dinner! It’s a great meal to use up your leftover too.

    Yaki Udon on a plate.

    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!

    Watch How To Make Yaki Udon (Stir Fried Udon Noodles) 焼きうどんの作り方

    Delicious Japanese stir fried udon noodles with cabbage, onion, pork, shiitake mushrooms, flavored with mentsuyu and soy sauce.

    What’s Yaki Udon?

    Yaki Udon (焼きうどん) is stir 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 with red ginger pickles on a plate.

    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.

    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.

    Yaki Udon with red ginger pickles on a plate.

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    5 from 2 votes
    Yaki Udon | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    Yaki Udon
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    25 mins
     
    Course: Main Course
    Servings: 3
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • 2 Udon noodles (I like frozen sanuki udon) (See Notes 1)
    • ½ onion
    • 2-3 cabbage leaves
    • 1 carrot
    • 2 shiitake mushrooms
    • 2 green onions/scallions
    • ½ lb sliced pork belly (½ lb = 227 g) (or your choice of meat, seafood and vegetables)
    • 1 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
    Seasonings
    Toppings
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Yaki Udon Ingredients
    2. If the udon noodles are frozen, boil them until loosen. Drain and rinse off the starch. Drain well and set aside.
      Yaki Udon 1
    3. Slice onion and cut cabbage into 1” (2.5 cm) square pieces. Julienne the carrot (cut into 2” (5 cm matchsticks).
      Yaki Udon 2
    4. 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
    5. Cut the pork belly slices into 1” (2.5 cm) pieces.
      Yaki Udon 4
    6. 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
    7. 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
    8. Add udon noodles and using tongs, combine well with all the ingredients.
      Yaki Udon 7
    9. 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
    10. Serve on a plate and sprinkle bonito flakes and green onions on top. Garnish with red pickled ginger on the side if you like.
    Recipe 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.

    3: Homemade Mentsuyu recipe: click here.

    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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