Yaki Udon is a Japanese stir fry udon noodle dish. It is an easy and simple noodle stir-fry dish loaded with vegetables and / or protein of your choice. It can be made vegetarian just by swapping out the prawns with more mushroom or to add on more protein value, one can use more chicken or prawns.
Its flavourful, spicy and done in 15 minutes. The key to keeping stir-fry easy is to prep all the vegetables and ingredients before you start cooking. Udon noodles are thick and chewier compared to egg noodles or other Japanese noodles and it makes it easy to slurp with all the soaked up sweet and savoury flavours. Udon are versatile where it can be made into soup dishes or stir-fry and I always keep them in stock in my freezer or pantry.
The name of the dish Yaki Udon translates to fried udon (Yaki meaning fry or grill). A similar rendition of the dish would be yaki soba in which, soba noodle is used.
Typically you would already have these ingredients in your fridge and pantry if you are stocked up with Asian cooking sauces. Here are the list of items:
- Udon Noodles. Fresh or Frozen. I usually keep frozen udon noodles as it can be stored for months. Frozen udon noodles also have a slightly firmer texture so when you stir-fry, it doesn’t break easily.
- Prawns. Other proteins can be used, such as chicken, pork and beef. Some vegetarian options include tofu, more vegetables and mushroom
- Onion, Garlic, Mushroom, Carrot, Green Onions, Capsicum. Feel free to swap in or out any vegetables that you have, such as cabbage or any leftover vegetables.
- Light Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce, Mirin, Brown sugar and gochugaru (optional) diluted in some water to make the sauce. Gochugaru is Korean Chili Pepper flakes and if you prefer non-spicy version, you may omit that.
- Green onions for garnishing.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
Although this recipe is easy to follow and cook, here are some tips that will ease the cooking process.
- Prepare ingredients ahead, including sauce. Cut all vegetables into strips and mix the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl so you have it to go as you are cooking.
- Soften noodles in hot water if using frozen udon. I thawed frozen udon noodles in the refrigerator overnight so it softens. To make it ready to cook, cut udon noodles packet into a bowl. Add in hot water and stir with a chopstick to loosen the noodles. Drain water and rinse noodles. Set aside to be ready for stir fry.
- Use a wok or deep frying pan. A wok is an essential to all stir-fry dishes as it distributes heat evenly. The curvature of a wok also makes it easier to stir and toss the ingredients together without making a mess. I used a Le Creuset Marmite to cook.
Best of all, this is a 1-pan-dish which makes cleaning up a breeze. I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you make this dish, feel free to leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram with your creations!
- 2 packs Udon Noodles 200g each packet
- 1 tbsp cooking oil divided, add more if needed
- 150 g prawns deshelled and deveined
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 yellow onion sliced
- 1/4 capsicum (green or red) sliced
- 1 king oyster mushroom cut into matchstick
- 1 small carrot cut into matchstick
- 2 green onion chopped, reserve some for garnishing
Yaki Udon Sauce
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp gochugaru (korean pepper flakes) optional
- 2 tbsp water
- Season prawns with salt and pepper. Combined all sauce ingredients into a bowl.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add hot water into udon noodles and stir to loosen it with a chopstick. Once soften, drain noodles into a colander and set aside.
- Heat wok with some vegetable oil. Add prawns and cook for 2 minutes or until pink. Remove and set aside.
- In the same wok, add in remaining vegetable oil. Add in garlic and onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes till fragrant. Add in the rest of the vegetables and mushroom. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetable has softened.
- Add udon noodles, cooked prawns and sauce. Toss together and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until noodles are coated with sauce. Add in green onions and mix to combine.
- Portion out on 2 plates. Garnish with remaining green onions and serve hot.