A recipe for Yaki Udon (焼きうどん, Japanese Stir-Fried Udon Noodles)! Thick udon noodles are tossed with stir-fried pork and vegetables for a quick and delicious meal.
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This Yaki Udon is such a wonderful use of leftover meat and vegetables. Everything comes together in about 30 minutes too!
In a large wok or pan, thinly sliced pork is cooked until browned, then tossed with a variety of vegetables until everything is tender. Thick and chewy udon noodles are added to the pan towards the end along with a soy-based sauce to coat.
Serve immediately with a generous topping of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and a little beni shoga (pickled red ginger).
A Few Tips
I paired the udon with thinly sliced pork (belly or shoulder). Other options include chicken, seafood, or simply vegetables. If using chicken or shrimp, remove from the pan once cooked through and set aside while you prepare the vegetables. Toss back in with the noodles at the end to avoid overcooking.
For easier prep, I often buy the pork already thinly sliced.
Have all the vegetables sliced and set aside before you heat the pan. They will cook quickly and it will help to have everything ready to go.
I used a combination of onion, garlic, cabbage, mushrooms, carrot, and green onion. They can easily be adjusted based on availability and personal tastes. Add the vegetables that take longer to cook first.
Boil the udon just until barely tender. They will soften further as the heat with the sauce.
Udon are long, thick noodles with a smooth and chewy texture. For this recipe, I prefer the frozen Sanuki Udon found in the freezer section of markets with Japanese items and some larger supermarkets. They hold up well to stir-frying and provide a nice contrast in texture. If not available, you can also make your own Homemade Udon Noodles.
Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking rice wine. I use hon-mirin (true mirin) in recipes calling for mirin. I have been able to find it in Japanese markets and larger grocery stores. Many grocery stores have aji-mirin, but be sure to check the ingredient list. Other types of mirin are shio-mirin (includes salt) and shin-mirin (very little alcohol).
Katsuobushi (鰹節) are dried bonito flakes often used to prepare Dashi or as a topping for a variety of dishes. I have been able to find it in markets with Japanese and East Asian ingredients. It can also be found on Amazon: 2 Pack Japanese Bonito Flakes.
Pickled ginger (beni shōga, 紅生姜) is made by pickling thin strips of ginger in a plum vinegar (赤梅酢). I have been able to locate it in small jars in the refrigerated section of my local market with Japanese and Korean ingredients. Many companies use artificial coloring to get that distinctive red color.
Looking for more Udon recipes?
Yaki Udon (Japanese Stir-Fried Udon Noodles) Recipe
Adapted from Japanese Soul Cooking
Yaki Udon (Japanese Stir-Fried Udon Noodles)
- 2 bricks (18 ounces, 510 grams) udon noodles
- 1/2 onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- 1 carrot peeled and julienned
- 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced, dark green reserved for garnish
- 4 ounces (113 grams) napa cabbage thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons (37 milliliters) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) sake
- 1/2 tablespoon (7 milliliters) mirin
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) sesame oil
- 8 ounces (227 grams) pork belly or shoulder thinly sliced
- Katsuobushi dried bonito flakes
- Beni Shoga pickled red ginger
- In a large pot, bring water to boil over high heat. Add the udon noodles and cook until barely tender. Drain and set aside.
- While the udon is cooking, thinly slice and set aside all the vegetables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sake, and mirin.
- Place a wok or large pan over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil.
- Once heated, add the thinly sliced pork and cook, stirring often until just browned.
- Add the onion, garlic, and carrot and cook (adding a little more sesame oil if needed), until starting to soften.
- Stir in the mushrooms, light parts of green onions, and cabbage.
- Once the cabbage has wilted and vegetables are tender, toss in the udon noodles and the soy sauce mixture until well coated.
- Heat everything through, adjust flavors with additional soy sauce or salt if needed, and serve immediately topped with dark green onion pieces, dried bonito flakes, and beni shoga.