Yaki udon (焼きうどん, “fried udon”) is a Japanese stir fry dish consisting of thick, smooth, white udon noodles mixed with a soy based sauce, meat (usually pork), and vegetables. It is similar to yakisoba, which involves a similar stir fry technique using soba noodles. Yaki udon is relatively simple to make, and popular as a staple of Japan’s izakaya, or pubs, eaten frequently as a late night snack.
- Large Bowl
- 400 g pre-cooked udon noodles
- 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 400 g chicken breast fillets, about 2, roughly diced to 2-3cm pieces
- 1 large carrot, cut into fine matchsticks
- 3 baby bok choy, leaves removed and washed
- 2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and cut into 4 cm pieces
- toasted sesame seeds, to serve
- bonito flakes, to serve
- For the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix well. Set aside.
- Place the udon noodles in a bowl, add enough boiling water to cover generously then stand for 3 minutes or until softened, using chopsticks to carefully separate them. Drain well and set aside.
- Heat half the oil in a wok over high then add the chicken and stir fry for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken to a bowl, reserving the wok. Add the remaining oil to the wok with the carrot and bok choy and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the vegetables are just cooked but still a little crisp.
- Add the noodles to the wok with the chicken, spring onion and sauce mixture and cooking, tossing the wok often, for 3 minutes or until the noodles are coated well and everything is heated through. Divide the yaki udon among bowls and serve sprinkled with sesame seeds, to taste.
- Yakisoba sauce is a combination of Worcestershire, soy and oyster sauces, ketchup and sugar. You can buy commercially made Japanese yakisoba sauce from Asian, or Japanese, food stores.
Yaki Udon Origins
It originated in Kokura, Fukuoka Prefecture in southern Japan after the Pacific War. The widely accepted story of how the dish was created dates back to just after World War II, when food was scarce. The owner of the noodle restaurant Darumado used udon noodles in popular yakisoba preparations because the proper noodles were not available.