Teriyaki udon is a savory Japanese noodle dish made with thick and chewy udon noodles stir-fried with a flavorful teriyaki sauce. It's a sweet and tangy umami-packed meal everyone will love.Jump to Recipe
Noodles are my weakness, especially these chewy and delicious udon noodles. I love this recipe for many reasons but the biggest one is how quick and easy it is to pull together.
This teriyaki noodle stir fry is made with simple ingredients and it's completely vegetarian. Take this recipe to the next level by adding protein of your choice or more vegetables.
- Reasons You'll Love Teriyaki Udon Noodles
- Equipment Needed
- How It's Made
- How Teriyaki Udon Is Made with Dried or Frozen Noodles
- Tips for The Best Results
- Must Try Variations
- Delicious Pairings
- Storing and Reheating
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Recipes Like This One
- The Best 15 Minute Teriyaki Udon
Reasons You'll Love Teriyaki Udon Noodles
Flavorful and Savory: Teriyaki udon noodles are packed with savory and umami flavors. The combination of teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and other seasonings creates a delicious sauce that's packed with flavor.
Comforting and Filling: Udon noodles are total comfort food. They have a soft and chewy texture that will leave you feeling full and satisfied for hours.
Quick and Easy to Prepare: This recipe is made in only 15 minutes, which makes this recipe a great option for busy weeknights. Plus only simple ingredients are used so you won't have to go to any specialty stores.
Versatile and Customizable: Teriyaki udon noodles can be customized with various ingredients such as chicken, beef, tofu, or a medley of vegetables. This makes it easy to serve the noodles either as a side dish or as the main meal.
Popular Japanese Cuisine: Teriyaki udon noodles are a classic and popular dish in Japanese cuisine. Instead of paying money for someone else to make this at a restaurant, you can now make this in the comfort of your own home and get that same delicious flavor.
Sesame oil - an extremely flavorful oil which adds so much depth to the noodles and vegetables as they sauté. A regular cooking oil or olive oil can be substituted.
Red bell pepper - for color and added flavor, you can substitute for a yellow bell pepper or orange bell pepper instead
Shiitake mushrooms - these have a smoky, earthy flavor and are native to Asia. They're full of flavor and absorb the teriyaki sauce so well. You can substitute for portobello, white, crimini, oyster, or porcini mushrooms.
Pre-cooked Japanese udon noodles - most udon you'll find are imported from Japan and are commonly served as dried or frozen. Other times you can find udon noodles precooked and packaged at room temperature. I used pre-cooked udon in this recipe.
Simple Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Soy sauce - this ingredient provides the salty umami flavor of the teriyaki sauce
Water - to tone down the other ingredients and to make the sauce more plentiful, if you didn't add water the sauce would be way too rich
Brown sugar - for sweetness to balance the soy sauce. You can use granulated sugar, maple syrup, or honey as substitutes.
Rice wine vinegar - to add a touch of tanginess to the sauce
Garlic - fresh garlic is best and fills the sauce with rich flavor, garlic powder could be substituted but it's not going to give you the same results
Ginger - fresh ginger is going to take the sauce to a whole new level adding a spice flavor. You don't need very much.
Cornstarch - this ensures that the teriyaki sauce will thicken and stick to the noodles, we want saucy noodles not soup.
You don't need any specialized or complex equipment for the teriyaki stir fry udon. Below is a list of all the basic things you'll most likely end up using:
- Large Pot: For boiling the udon noodles, unless you purchased udon noodles that were already cooked.
- Strainer or Colander: To drain the cooked udon noodles once they are done boiling.
- Cutting Board and Knife: To chop and prepare the veggies, garlic, and ginger.
- Wok or Large Pan: A wok is ideal for stir-frying the vegetables and udon noodles together, but if you don't have a wok, a large non-stick pan or skillet will work as well.
- Spatula or Tongs: To toss and stir-fry the udon noodles and vegetables in the pan.
- Small Bowl: For mixing the teriyaki sauce ingredients together before adding it to the dish.
- Measuring Utensils: To accurately measure the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce.
Optional, but helpful:
- Whisk: For whisking the teriyaki sauce ingredients together until well combined.
- Garlic Press: If you prefer using minced garlic in your teriyaki sauce, a garlic press can make the task easier.
- Saucepan: If you're making a homemade teriyaki sauce, a saucepan will be needed to cook and reduce the sauce ingredients.
Remember, the simplicity of teriyaki udon means that you don't need any specialized or advanced equipment. Basic kitchen tools will do the job perfectly well, and you can easily adapt the recipe to your available equipment.
How It's Made
Step 1. In a large pan or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
Step 2. Add the red bell pepper and sauté over medium heat to medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes until the pepper starts to get softer. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for about 1-2 minutes. Or longer if you want your mushrooms more on the tender side.
Step 3. While the vegetables are cooking, in a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
Step 4. Add pre-cooked udon noodles and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the teriyaki sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir well until the sauce thickens and coats the udon noodles and vegetables. Serve immediately.
How Teriyaki Udon Is Made with Dried or Frozen Noodles
If using dried or frozen noodles, cook them according to the package instructions before adding to the recipe. Once the udon is done cooking, drain the pasta and resume with the recipe. Using dried or frozen noodles may add more time to the cooking process but not by very much.
Tips for The Best Results
Cook the noodles just before al dente: If you're cooking dried or frozen udon you'll want to cook them just before al dente. This means they should still have some firmness to them. The reason for this is because they'll be cooking for a few minutes with the vegetables and once the sauce is added. We want the noodles to finish cooking in the sauce and absorb the teriyaki flavor.
Preheat the pan or wok: Before adding any ingredients, preheat your pan or wok over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. This will help ensure that your vegetables and udon cook evenly and develop a nice sear or caramelization. This will also keep them from getting too greasy.
Use high heat for stir-frying: Stir-frying teriyaki noodles requires a higher heat to achieve a good texture and flavor. High heat allows for quick cooking and helps to create that characteristic smoky, charred flavor. Be mindful of not overcrowding the pan to prevent the ingredients from steaming instead of stir-frying. I try to keep the heat on medium high throughout the entire cooking process. Keep in mind though that since the heat is higher, you may have sticking. Stirring throughout the whole process is extremely important.
Prepare the teriyaki sauce in advance: Teriyaki noodles cook quite quickly, so it's essential to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. If you do prep your teriyaki sauce in advance, don't forget to give it an extra stir right before adding to the pan/wok to ensure that the corn starch doesn't get stuck at the bottom.
Garnish for extra flavor: Consider adding garnishes like sliced green onions, chives, sesame seeds, chopped cilantro, or a squeeze of fresh lime juice to add freshness and enhance the overall flavor of your teriyaki noodles.
Must Try Variations
Chicken Teriyaki Udon: Cook bite-sized pieces of chicken in the pan with the sesame oil before adding the vegetables. Then resume with the recipe. The chicken will also absorb and be seasoned with the teriyaki sauce. This chicken teriyaki noodle stir fry variation adds protein and a savory flavor to the dish.
Chicken Yaki Udon: This is a very popular udon dish. It's similar to chicken teriyaki udon but made with a variety of vegetables including cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and more. Feel free to add these simple ingredients if you have them on hand to dress up the recipe and make it a complete meal.
Spicy Teriyaki Udon: Add some heat to your teriyaki udon by incorporating spicy elements. You can include sliced red chili peppers, chili garlic sauce, or a dash of sriracha while preparing the teriyaki sauce. Adjust the level of spiciness to suit your taste.
Teriyaki Beef Udon: Use thinly sliced beef or beef strips as the protein and stir-fry the beef in the pan until browned, then continue with the recipe as it's written. This will add a rich beefy flavor to the teriyaki udon.
Vegetarian Teriyaki Udon: Skip the meat and make a vegetarian version. Load your udon with an assortment of colorful vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, snap peas, carrots, and mushrooms. You can also add tofu or tempeh for extra protein and texture.
Teriyaki Seafood Udon: If you enjoy seafood, consider adding shrimp, or scallops to your teriyaki udon. Sauté them separately until cooked, and then add to the pot with the teriyaki sauce. This will ensure that the seafood doesn't overcook and that there's no excess moisture in the pan resulting in a runny teriyaki.
There are many ways to serve teriyaki udon. See below for some of my favorite pairings!
Miso Soup: Start your meal with a classic miso soup. Its savory and umami flavors complement the teriyaki udon nicely. You can make a simple miso soup with silken tofu, seaweed, and green onions.
Gyoza: Serve teriyaki udon alongside some delicious Japanese gyoza dumplings. Try them pan-fried or steamed.
Edamame: Steamed or boiled edamame beans make a simple and healthy side dish. Top with fresh sea salt and serve with soy sauce.
Tempura: Crispy and light tempura vegetables or shrimp are a popular side dish in Japanese cuisine. The contrast between the tempura's crunchy exterior and the soft udon noodles can create a delightful combination.
Japanese Salad: Complement the teriyaki udon with a fresh and vibrant Japanese salad. Toss together some mixed greens, shredded cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, and radishes. Drizzle with a soy-based dressing or a sesame ginger dressing.
Steamed Vegetables: Serve steamed vegetables alongside your teriyaki udon for added nutrition and color. Broccoli, snap peas, carrots, and bok choy are all excellent choices. The simplicity of steamed vegetables allows the flavors of the teriyaki udon to shine.
Storing and Reheating
If you have leftover teriyaki udon, allow to cool down to room temperature before storing. Place the noodles in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, transfer the teriyaki udon to a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a damp paper towel to prevent splattering and to reserve some of the moisture. Heat the dish in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time being sure to stir in between. Repeat until the noodles are completely heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this recipe vegan?
Yes, this recipe is completely vegan. The noodles are made without egg and the sauce is completely plant based.
Why should I use a wok for this recipe?
While a wok is not totally necessary for this recipe, but it is beneficial when cooking. There are many benefits to using one. First, the shape has high, sloping sides and wide bottom, making it excellent for heat distribution. The heat is concentrated at the bottom, while the sloping sides distribute heat evenly to the ingredients. This ensures that the food is cooked quickly and evenly, reducing the risk of overcooking or burning.
While cooking in a well-seasoned wok, the noodles and vegetables won't need excessive oil because the wok is naturally non-stick. The sloping sides of the wok also allow you to push the ingredients up the sides, keeping them away from direct heat and preventing them from becoming overly greasy. You can also toss and stir ingredients easily without spilling.
What are udon noodles?
Udon noodles are thick, chewy Japanese noodles made from wheat flour, water, and sometimes salt. They are one of the most popular types of noodles in Japanese cuisine and are widely enjoyed both in Japan and around the world. They have a smooth and slippery surface, making them perfect for absorbing and carrying the flavors of various sauces and broths.
What's the difference between ramen and udon?
Udon and ramen are two types of Japanese noodles, and while they may look somewhat similar, they have distinct differences in terms of texture, ingredients, and preparation.
Udon noodles are much thicker and have a more substantial, chewier texture whereas ramen are thinner and have a firmer, springy texture, which is why they tend to hold up better in hot broth.
More Recipes Like This One
The Best 15 Minute Teriyaki Udon
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
- 5 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 400 grams pre-cooked udon noodles
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- In a large pan or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the red bell pepper and sauté over medium heat to medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes until the pepper starts to get softer. Add the mushrooms and stir fry for about 1-2 minutes. Or longer if you want your mushrooms more on the tender side.
- While the vegetables are cooking, in a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Add pre-cooked udon noodles and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the teriyaki sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir well until the sauce thickens and coats the udon noodles and vegetables. Serve immediately.