Yaki Udon (or Japanese stir fried noodles) are a quick and easy dish that comes together quickly but tastes so delicious! I love to swap in the ingredients I have on hand, which makes it a super versatile weeknight dinner!
I used chicken thighs in this recipe, as it has a higher fat content and has less of a chance of drying out during cooking. (It was also what I had on hand!) You can sub with chicken breast, if you prefer, but you should adjust the cooking time to prevent the chicken breast from drying out.
In this recipe, I used carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and cabbage! These are some of my favorite go-to vegetables for stir fries, as they have distinct flavors that work well together, and hold up well in high heat. I highly recommend you cut your vegetables to similar sizes to ensure they cook evenly.
I used frozen udon noodles from 99 Ranch (a Chinese grocery chain). However, I have seen frozen udon noodles at my local Ralph’s or Von’s store as well! I prefer using frozen udon noodles, as I find them to be chewier, bouncier, and less prone to overcooking (overcooked noodles = mushiness).
If you cannot find sake or prefer to not use it, you can sub with mirin or broth of your choice (chicken, beef, or vegetable all work great!)
- UNDERCOOK YOUR NOODLES: Don’t forget that the noodles will finish cooking in the pan! I always cook my noodles 1-2 min less than the package instructions call for. This way, they come to my preferred doneness by the time the dish is done in the pan!
- RINSE & TOSS IN OIL: After boiling, rinse the noodles immediately with cold water to stop the cooking. Shake them dry and then toss in a tablespoon of neutral oil to prevent the noodles from sticking while you prepare & cook the other ingredients.
I included the recipe for my homemade Teriyaki Sauce but if you prefer, you can also use store bought!
- 1 lb frozen udon noodles
- Cut chicken to 1/2" pieces and marinate for 15 minutes with light soy sauce, sake, white pepper, salt and sesame oil.
- SKIP THIS STEP IF YOU ARE USING STORE BOUGHT TERIYAKI SAUCE – Prepare your teriyaki sauce by combining light soy, mirin, sake, and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
- Cut carrot, scallions, mushrooms, and cabbage to similar size pieces along with garlic and ginger and set aside.
- In a pot of boiling water, cook udon noodles 2 minutes less than package directions and immediately drain and rinse with cold water.
- Over high heat, cook chicken in 1 tbsp oil until cooked through and set aside.
- Fry garlic and ginger for 15 seconds then add your vegetables and mix. Season with salt and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly wilted but still crisp.
- Add back your chicken, udon noodles, and add your sauce and white pepper to taste. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes over high heat until the sauce has thickened slightly. Top with sesame seeds and enjoy!