These Vegan Stir-Fried Udon Noodles will be your new favorite quick and easy dinner. Thick, chewy wheat noodles are tossed with sautéed vegetables and a sweet and salty sauce. It's customizable, easy to make, and incredibly satisfying!
You can enjoy this flavorful udon stir-fry in under 30 minutes!
Toss in any vegetables or protein you have on hand and you'll have a dinner on the table in no time.
I love serving these flavorful noodles topped with Marinated Baked Tofu but crispy tofu and tempeh would be delicious as well.
What is Yaki Udon?
Traditionally, Yaki Udon is a Japanese dish consisting of stir-fried udon noodles mixed with an assortment of vegetables and protein that is coated in a savory soy-based sauce.
This is not a traditional yaki udon recipe.
This stir-fried noodle dish is packed with flavor, easy to make, and customizable with any vegetables you have on hand.
You can even add tofu or tempeh for a boost of plant-based protein!
Stir-Fry Veggies: The wonderful part of this recipe is that you can use up whatever veggies you have on hand. I recommend and use Cabbage, Baby Bok Choy, Carrots, Red Onion, Garlic Cloves, Ginger, and Green Onions.
Udon Noodles: Udon noodles are thick and chewy noodles. I buy frozen udon noodles in the freezer section of H-Mart.
Types of Udon Noodles
For this udon noodle stir fry, there are four main types of noodles you can choose from:
Frozen Udon Noodles: I highly recommend using these for this udon stir fry. They can be found in the frozen foods section of Asian grocery stores like H-Mart. Since they're pre-cooked, you just need to boil them for 1-2 minutes as per the package instructions.
Shelf-Stable Udon Noodles: These pre-cooked noodles are usually found in the Asian section of most grocery stores. They come in vacuum-packed plastic packages and are easy to prepare.
Fresh Udon Noodles: If you live near an Asian grocery store, look for fresh udon noodles in the refrigerator section. Make sure to cook them according to the instructions provided.
Dry Udon Noodles: These noodles can sometimes be found in the Asian noodle section of grocery stores or Asian grocers, alongside other dry noodles like rice, lo mein, and ramen. You'll need to cook them separately before using them in the recipe, usually for around 8 minutes.
How to Make This Recipe
This vegan yaki udon dish is easy, delicious, and will become a family favorite!
Step 1: Start by chopping the vegetables, mincing the garlic, and grating the ginger.
Step 2: Cook the udon noodles according to the package instructions. Once they're done, strain and rinse them with cold water, then set them aside.
Step 3: To make the stir-fry sauce, whisk together the low-sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar, and chili sauce in a small bowl or jar.
Step 4: In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil. Once it's hot, add the chopped cabbage, white part of the baby bok choy (saving the tops for later), carrots, red onion, garlic, and ginger.
Step 5: Sauté for about 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened and are beginning to brown.
Step 6: Add in the bok choy tops, and green onion and toss everything together until the bok choy starts to wilt.
Step 7: Stir in the stir-fry sauce and the cooked udon noodles.
Step 8: Let the stir-fry continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and becomes sticky.
Step 9: Remove the stir-fry from the heat and garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Substitutions & Additions
Sesame Oil: You can use any oil you have on hand. I often use olive oil or avocado oil.
Vegetables: You can use any vegetables you have left to use up or enjoy. Shiitake mushrooms, snow peas, Chinese broccoli, baby corn, or napa cabbage would be a great addition! You want to make sure you are using veggies that cook fast.
Dark Soy Sauce: Add more low-sodium soy sauce to replace it or to cut the salt, add water or vegetable broth instead. This will affect the color of the noodles and adding water will affect the overall flavor.
Organic Cane Sugar: You can add maple syrup, agave syrup, or brown sugar instead.
Tips & Tricks
Cook the noodles according to the package: Make sure to cook them according to the package instructions and rinse them with cold water to prevent them from sticking together.
Prep ahead: Have the vegetables chopped, whisk together the sauce, and precook the noodles.
Cook in stages: You don't want to add the veggies, noodles, and sauce all at the same time. Cook the vegetables first, then add the noodles, then the sauce. Don't rush through each stage.
Allow the sauce to thicken: Don't add the sauce and immediately serve. You want to continue to cook for another few minutes so the noodles absorb the sauce and it becomes thickened and coats everything evenly.
Store: Allow to cool and transfer any leftovers to an airtight container. Store for up to 3 days- best served immediately.
Reheating: Simply reheat leftovers in a pan on medium-high heat until warmed through.
Freeze: I don't recommend freezing this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Udon noodles are a type of thick, chewy Japanese noodles that are made from wheat flour, salt, and water.
Udon noodles are typically vegan as they are made with just three simple ingredients: wheat flour, water, and salt. However, some brands of udon noodles may contain eggs or other animal-based ingredients, so it's always best to check the ingredient list before purchasing.
Udon noodles are thick, chewy noodles that soak up the sauce so they are an important part of the recipe but you can use this sauce and veggies with rice noodles, soba noodles, or ramen noodles.
Udon noodles are made with wheat and are not gluten-free.
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Vegan Stir-Fried Udon Noodles
Udon Noodle Stir-Fry
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 cup Chopped Cabbage
- 2 bunches Baby Bok Choy
- ½ cup Coined Carrots
- ¼ cup Red Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon Ginger grated
- 1-2 stalks Green Onions roughly chopped
- 500 grams Udon Noodles cooked according to package
- 2 ½ tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Mirin rice cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Organic Cane Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Chili Sauce or Sriracha more to taste
- Chop the vegetables, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger.
- Cook the udon noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, strain and rinse with cold water then set aside.
- Prepare the stir-fry sauce by whisking together the low-sodium soy sauce, dark soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sugar, and chili sauce in a small bowl or jar. Set aside.
- Add the sesame oil to a large frying pan and turn on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chopped cabbage, the white part of the baby bok choy (leave the tops for later), carrots, red onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown.
- Then, add in the top of the bok choy, green onion, and cooked udon noodles. Toss together until the bok choy starts to wilt.
- Pour in the stir-fry sauce and toss to combine. Allow the stir fry to continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and becomes sticky. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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