The ExPat Returneth

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yakiudon, An Easy Noodle Stirfry

My family will eat noodles any way I can dream up serving them, but this particular expat recipe is one of our favorites. Yakiudon is a "stir fry" dish. Quick, easy, and nutritious as you want to make it, you'll find it's a great dish to use with whatever veggies and meat you have on hand.
Quick and Easy Stir Fry: Yakiudon

Udon noodles are a staple in Japanese winter soups and hotpots. The thick, white noodles made from wheat flour are becoming easier to find in American supermarkets. Much denser than your usual pasta and slightly viscous, udon provides the palate an interesting texture and mellow taste. 

The veggies & meat I had on hand that particular day:
spinach, mushrooms, pepper, onion and leftover chicken.

This brand of dry udon is sold in my local Kroger
You can buy preboiled (will look soft and fat) or dry (stick like). The preboiled udon can be added from its package in step three of the recipe below. Obviously, dried will need to be boiled first. In my local Kroger's tiny Asian section, I can find the dried udon. I have to go to an Asian supermarket to get the preboiled variety, but you might have better luck, depending on where you live. 

Yaki Udon

The Sauce: equal parts soy sauce and cooking sake
For one person, 1T each. 
Therefore, for my family of 4, I use 1/4 c sake & 1/4 c soy sauce

The Udon: the Japanese packaging can be tricky. Dry noodles usually come packaged with three sheaves of noodles (four being an unlucky number). Three sheaves is too much. Two not quite enough. Very frustrating for me. So for my family of 4 (2 of which are young girls), I make 2 to 2.25 sheaves.

The Meat: thinly sliced pork is traditional. As you can see in my latest yakiudon creation, I used leftover roast chicken. Beef is delicious, as is tofu. Whatever you have, cut it bite sized and thin enough to cook quickly with your veg. If you have pre-cooked meat, like I did, just add in at Step 3 to heat it through.

The Veg: (traditional) Green onion, cut on a diagonal.
Shimeji mushrooms (the long & skinny mushroom) are also traditional. Make sure you cut off the woody end and separate into smaller clumps. 

Other veggies: Carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts. In the above picture, I used spinach, button mushrooms, yellow onion, and bell pepper. I say use what you like & what you've got on hand. You really can't go wrong.

The Oil: I use canola, any vegetable oil works. You'll want at least 1 T to saute your meat & veg depending on your amount. Use another tablespoon to saute your noodles, if they start to stick add more oil.

The Salt & Pepper: of the shaking over the pan variety. Season to your taste.

1a. If you're using dry udon, boil the water and follow the package directions for boiling the udon. It's a thicker noodle, so it cooks longer, like linguini. Drain, rinse and separate with your fingers a bit to keep from sticking to make ready for Step 3.

1b. Slice veggies into bite size portions that will cook quickly. Same for the meat.

The sautéing of the veggies
2. Saute veggies and meat in oil and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan.

3. Add more oil to pan and saute udon, gently seperating strands. Stir in veggies and meat. Add soy sauce and sake mixture and heat through.
Adding sauce to the noodles

That's it? Yep, that's it. Enjoy!
Questions and comments?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Sofia. It is delicious and super easy. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Perfect for a meal or a late night (nutritious) snack. I'm a noodle fiend. Any kind. Any which way.

  3. Yum! I'm trying this this week. I'm desperate for something new.

  4. This food is my favorite. Thanks for sharing the recipe of this stir fry here. Now I can cook this on my own because before, I always order this in a fast food chain. I wish that I can cook it well.

    best stir fry recipe