Udon Noodles (Yaki Udon)
June 28th, 2011 36 Comments

Udon Noodles (Yaki Udon)

Shaved bonito flakes
Shaved bonito flakes pictures (5 of 6)

When it comes to Japanese noodles, there are the big three: ramen, soba, and udon. Udon (うどん) noodles are thick and white, made with wheat flour and salted water. Udon is very popular in and outside of Japan—dishes such as tempura udon and kitsune udon are widely eaten…

Udon noodles are available in Japanese/Asian supermarkets, or regular supermarkets with an Asian ingredients section. As with any noodles, you can find fresh, dried, or frozen udon. Fresh udon is ideal but dried or frozen udon noodles are quite good as long as you follow the cooking instructions. Udon is prized for its chewy texture yet totally smooth mouthfeel, so don’t overcook the udon noodles. When shopping for udon, avoid those udon packets with a seasoning pouch, as the quality of the udon is mostly compromised.

One of the most common recipes of udon noodles is yaki udon, which is stir-fried udon, a dish that constantly reminds me of my first trip to Tokyo, where I had a serving of authentic yaki udon at a mom-and-pop eatery right beside my train station. Topped with some shaved bonito flakes and freshly pickled beni-shoga (Japanese pickled ginger), the taste of the fried udon noodles still lingers in my mouth.

I cooked my udon noodles with some cabbage, carrot, onion, pork, and shrimp—some of the most common ingredients for yaki udon. For the seasonings, I used Mizkan (Bonito Flavored) Soup Base to replace soy sauce, and balance it off with Mizkan Mirin. The end result is delicious and utterly satisfying.

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36 comments... read them below or add one

  1. June says:

    Love udon. Love to try your recipe.

  2. Jason says:

    I had this for lunch today! (Sadly, went to a restaurant. I think your recipes are much better.)

  3. Rade says:

    This yaki udon looks so delicious. I want to a bowl now.

  4. NYMY says:

    I have to make this tonight. Just need to get the mirin sauce. Let’s hope the store on my way home has the Mizkan brand.

  5. david says:

    where do you find the bonito flakes? are they also available in mizkan brand? and what kind of udon brand do you recommend? i never see these ingredients at vons ethnic food section.

    • You can find the bonito flakes at Japanese or Asian markets. No, Mizkan makes Japanese condiments such as ponzu, rice vinegar, soup base, etc. They don’t make bonito flakes. For udon, I don’t have any particular brand that I like. You can just get the frozen udon or those udon packed in a plastic packet, but not those with a seasoning pouch.

  6. Lenny says:

    This udon recipe is great. I think you forgot your chili powder :)

  7. Kat says:

    I’ll be trying this when I get home tonight…but minus the pork and shrimp. Any suggestions for vegetarian substitute ingredients?

  8. LAiTGirl says:

    this looks healthier than a jenny craig diet!!

  9. Stacy says:

    I ran out and got everything to make this tonight, even my 2 year old loved it!

    • Hi Stacy, wow, you’re so fast! I just posted this recipe 8 hours ago. I am so happy that you love this yaki-udon recipe, and that your 2-year loved it, too. Thanks so much for trying the recipe! :)

  10. Cookie C. Choo Choo says:

    Yummy yum yum!! :) I’d love to try this recipe!

    P.S.: I am one of your lucky fans staying in Singapore, and I just got your cookbook last Sunday. I love it!!!! Especially the tips on how to cook great chinese food, and of course, the beautiful photographs.

    • Hi Cookie, thanks so much for picking up my cookbook. I really appreciate your support. I am so happy that you like the book. Thanks. XOXO. Oh yes, this udon recipe is great. :)

  11. okky says:

    Love noodles!! I am always torn at a Japanese restaurant between ramen or udon. Since I cannot make ramen at home, this udon recipe will be great for home cooked meals. Thank you for the Mizkan recommendations, too. They are the best additions to my kitchen.

  12. orange2 says:

    oh, I love udon. This recipe looks very simple. Definitely gonna try it out.

  13. sophia says:

    Bee, thanks for sharing. I’ll be spending this July 4th weekend in San Francisco. Do you know if I can still get all the ingredients in Japan town? Since I cannot get anything here in Marin County, I want to make sure I get all my shopping done while I am in the city.

    Thanks for any information.

    • Hi Sophia – yes, I am very sure that you will be able to get the ingredients in a Japanese food store there. Oh yes, I used to live in Marin county and it’s very hard to find Asian ingredients there, but what a lovely place you live in. :)

  14. Nothing better than a bowl of hot soup with udon on a Japanese winter day. I used to go fishing in the mountains outside of Tokyo with the Japan Fly Fishers (JFF) group and they would take me to these tiny towns with just one shop selling traditional udon. Beats hot chocolate any winter day…

  15. joseph says:

    This noodles was a big hit this past weekend with my family. I didn’t plan on it until I passed by the korean market. Went in and was so happpy to find Mizkan products. It was lots of work when it comes to making 1 bowl at a time for each family member but they all loved it once served. Thanks for sharing!!

  16. C.K. says:

    Hi Rasa,
    I just came across your site just browsing….Really nice site n pictures. Really excited in trying a few recipes i have been searching for. I was wondering, either i couldn’t find it or it’s not up was, recipe for Chinese Broccoli, just had it for dinner , yum……….
    Thank you,
    Keep up the great work :)

  17. rodney says:

    I tried this recipe it was really good but my udon turned out brown instead of white i used dry udon instead of instant, and my noodles were skinny. I will try again with instant.

  18. MARCEL says:

    Hello. I can only find bonito flavored seasoning in dry form. Can i make it with the powder?
    Then you can dilute it in 3 ways for miso, chige, or hot noodle wich one to use? Thank you.

  19. LACOOKS says:

    Wow! Thanks for the recipe. It calls for two tbsp of oil. Would that be vegetable oil?

  20. Julie says:

    We made this a few weeks ago and it was an instant favorite. My husband said it was in his to top ten. I didn’t even know he had a top ten! Anyway we had company over twice in the last three days and we made this dish both times and everyone enjoyed it greatly. A shortcut that we have employed is to use a bag of shredded cabbage with cabbage strips (coleslaw mix) and we throw in some frozen snow peas to add vegetables. A keeper! Thank you so much!

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