Yaki udon is a Japanese noodle stir-fry dish which can be prepared very quickly, which makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner. “Yaki” means grilled, broiled, or pan-fried in Japanese. “Udon” is a thick chewy noodle which is commonly used in hot pot types of dishes. Similar to yakisoba, another type of popular stir-fry noodle dish, yaki udon can be customized to your liking.
There are many variations of yaki udon sauces as there is for recipes for spaghetti marinara. I personally believe a person should cook according to their palate or to the palates of those they are cooking for. This particular recipe uses common Asian ingredients easily found at an Asian grocery store or in the Asian section of your local grocery store.
Made with fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, yakisoba sauce, rice vinegar, and salt and pepper, this sauce is easily adaptable to your liking. If you prefer a more sweet sauce, you can either add more mirin or another type of sweetener of your choice. If you prefer a more garlic flavor, add a couple more cloves of garlic. If you’re not a ginger fan, omit the ginger entirely. The key to successfully stir-frying noodles, meat, or vegetables is to make sure you don’t over crowd the hot sizzling pan and to add the sauce slowly, just a little bit at a time. This makes it easier for the ingredients to absorb the sauce without drowning in it.
As for the vegetables, the choice is entirely up to you. Broccoli, kale, carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, onion, bean sprouts zucchini, and mushrooms are a few suggestions which work great in this recipe. If you use vegetables that take a long time to sauté until done, I always suggest that you partially cook the vegetables (such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, etc.) before adding it to the stir-fry.
As for protein chicken, beef, pork, or firm tofu work nicely in stir-fry, and compliment the noodles and vegetables beautifully.
Give this home version of a popular Japanese restaurant classic a try. Once you realize how simple it is to make, you’ll want to add it to your regular rotation of nightly dinners.
This yaki udon is a popular fast food dish in Japan. Sometimes called yakiudon, a cousin of yakisoba, this flavorful dish is quick and easy to prepare.
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons yakisoba sauce (found in Asian grocery stores - look for the bottles that are labeled, yakisoba sauce."
- 2 tablespoons Mirin
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
- Yaki Udon:
- 8 ounces uncooked cubed chicked breast or other protein cut into thin strips
- salt and pepper
- 2 - eight ounce bundles frozen udon noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cubed
- 2 cups partially cooked broccoli florets or other vegetables
- 2 green onions,slivered
- In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, mirin, yakisoba sauce, garlic, and ginger together.
- In another bowl, season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add one tablespoon of sauce to the chicken quickly massage the chicken with your hand for one minute. Set the chicken aside.
- In a medium pot, boil 10 cups of water. Add the noodles and cook the noodles for 2-3 minutes. Just long enough for the noodles not to be frozen.
- Strain the noodles and set aside.
- In a large frying pan or wok, add the oil and heat on medium high heat.
- Add the chicken and onions and cook for 3 minutes until almost the chicken is no longer pink on the outside and the onion is partially soft. Add the bell pepperand broccoli.
- Season the chicken and broccoli (and other vegetables) with additonal salt and pepper if necessary.
- Carefully add the cooked noodles to the pan and slowly add the sauce, stirring as you go. As the vegetables and chicken cook, continue to add more sauce until it is gone.
- Turn off the heat and add the scallions.
- Serve immediately.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings
Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, Forbes.com featured Alice as one of “Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers.” You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.