Udon are a type of thick white Japanese noodle, made of wheat flour and most commonly used in soup – kake udon – though they have many other applications besides. Yaki udon simply means ‘fried udon’ and it can be made according to many different recipes – no two recipes for yaki udon that I’ve seen have been the same. This fact makes it a perfect candidate for culinary exploration and experimentation. However, in this case I thought it best to go for a simple seasoning of soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil as it has yet to fail in the flavour department.
When using udon noodles always buy them fresh; all of the dried packets of udon I’ve seen are flat and boring – not at all what an udon noodle ought to be like. Most packets of fresh udon that I’ve come across purport to be ‘straight-to-wok’ – don’t listen to it! It’s always best to soak your udon in boiling water before use as it makes for a lighter, fresher meal. Every noodle in a stir fry needs to be autonomous, particularly when it comes to the thicker varieties – it can be very off-putting to be served a bowl of noodles which are clinging to one another as if holding on to their very lives.
Prawns make a great addition to yaki udon as they both possess a certain delicacy of touch and flavour. You may think that prawns are a little expensive to be featured on a so-called ‘frugal’ blog – not so! Shop around and it is a scientific certainty that you’ll stumble across a cheap source sooner rather than later. Besides, each bowl of noodles only requires 5-6 prawns – any more than that and it’s likely that someone’s being a little greedy!
How ever you wish to enjoy your yaki udon, give my basic seasoning a go – it won’t disappoint, I promise!
• 200g fresh udon noodles
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
• 1 fresh chilli, finely sliced
• 4-5 florets of purple sprouting broccoli, stalks and all
• 10-12 prawns (shrimp)
• 2 tbsp sesame oil
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp fish sauce
1. Prepare all of your ingredients, separating the broccoli stalks from the flowers – slicing the stalks into small pieces. Pop the noodles in a bowl of boiling hot water to separate.
2. Add the oil to a very hot wok, add the garlic and chilli, followed by the broccoli stalks and prawns, cook for a minute. Add the broccoli flowers and noodles, followed by the fish sauce and soy sauce. Cook and toss for a further 2 minutes, ensuring everything is coated with the sauce.
Cost: Purple sprouting broccoli always seems to be rather expensive, but if you use the stalks it’s easy to get 5-6 meals out of every bunch. As mentioned above, prawns can be found for a very reasonable price if you search around. Indeed, this may seem like a rather luxurious dish – and it is – but can be made for very little money – £1.60 for two portions!
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72 replies on “Yaki Udon”
I like that you describe the ingredients so well. And I also like the fact that even people on a limited budget can have some of the finer things in life in moderation! (Prawns!!) Photos speak in volumes! Now if we could just get a scent thing going…..
Exactly! I love showing that! Scratch and sniff for monitors is still being developed, I believe 😀
I’ll be first in line to buy that one! LOL
Looking so good! I will try it next week since I have some udon pasta and shrimps already
Please do, and let me know how it goes!
Beautiful! Can’t wait to try this. I LOVE udon!
Thanks – I know! Aren’t they delicious?
Looks delicious and so pretty! Thank you for sharing!
No problem, thank you so much for commenting!
This looks delightful! (And you are so right about the importance of “autonomous” noodles in stir-fried noodle dishes 🙂 ) I love the shrimp/broccoli combination as well as your not-so-Japanese mixture of seasonings, adding chili and fish sauce– it all seems so bright and flavorful!
Haha – I’m glad you agree, Alison. I know it’s not exactly Japanese, but it is delicious 😀
I love udon. They make the most unctuous chewy morsels to soak up Asian sauces and I even went as far as hunting the net for days to find out how to make them myself. There is a stage of udon making that involves putting the dough into a garbage (or other plastic) bag and stomping it with your feet…I think I lost interest in the homemade udon around about then…I only eat them occasionally because they are all white BUT when I do, it is love and adoration all tangled up together. Udon…you complete me 🙂
Exactly – I adore them! I’m not sure I’ll make them myself. Time is money 😀
That purple brocolli is gorgeous….there was a fantastic episode of worst cooks on foodnetwork that showed you how to make Asian noodles….looks fun too no tools needed
thanks! I’m not sure I’d ever make my own noodle – perhaps…
ooh, they look nice, Nick! I could eat them for breakfast, I love how shiny and glossy the noodles are.. 🙂
Thank you – probably not best for breakfast though, Celia!
Sounds and looks delicious.
I like your combination of flavors…especially with the sprouting broccoli.
Thanks – the broccoli is wonderful.
I keep seeing udon noodles in the grocery store and never buying them – that may have to change! Also I can’t wait to get my hands on some purple sprouting broccoli!
Oh you must, Korena – they are mightily delicious!
Guess what I bought yesterday… 😉
I always keep udon noodles in the pantry (the vacuum packed kind) and prawns/shrimp in the freezer. I’d probably sub the purple sprouting broc for the regular stuff or even gai lan which is quite similar. I adore sesame oil. It’s such a rich flavour that I cannot stop eating.
The vacuum packed kind the stuff I use. I just adore psb and it goes SO far! Sesame oil is very moreish.
Ooh your seasoning sounds delicious!
Thanks, Carolyn – I know it isn’t Japanese, but it is yum.
Lovely and so well photographed. I am getting hungry…
Thanks, Conor – I’m always hungry. I thought you were too?
Just back from a very fast (for an ‘auld fella) 30k cycle. That will do it every time! Beautiful holiday day in Dublin.
I just bought myself a new road bike – can’t wait to get out on it tomorrow!
Excellent. I did a quick 20k between work and a chicken curry by the wife this evening. I use the Strava app. Brilliant info and great for making one more competitive. As if I need it at my age… Enjoy the Welsh hills.
I’m actually living in Bristol at the moment, so we’re cycling between here and Bath – 48k there or there abouts. Just downloading the app!
Excellent. I plan a spin tomorrow. My Strava name is my name so follow if you like. There are a few stretches on the road to the Wicklow Mountains of 15 degree grade. Enough to make a grown man cry.
Done! What about overgrown men? I’m loving having a bike!
Good tip about soaking the noodles! Thanks, Nick. As always, your food looks great.
No problem – it works! Thanks, Daisy!
Your noodles look great!
Thanks, Rosemary – I was hoping you’d see them
I’ve just come back from France. Seems like you’ve found a perfect source for the noodles. So round, big and firm, they look delicious.
Udon are the ultimate noodle! Hope it was nice to be back in France, considering…
M. Parret was shattered. Poor man.
I love how simple this recipe is, besides sounding absolutely delicious!
Oh wow, this looks amazing. I’ve spent most of my life afraid of seafood, but I’m slowly getting over that. This looks like a recipe I can get on board with!
Interesting – why were you afraid?
Bad childhood experience! Learning to love it again tho 😉
I love udon noodles! Gorgeous photos, as always!
Thank so much, Stephanie.
I could eat Udon everyday! This is beautiful and I’d like a bowl right now. 🙂 Your photography is stunning Frugal. I can’t browse your blog without getting hungry. Have a lovely day!
Me too – it’s great stuff. Thank you so much, Karista – you too!
This looks so yummy!
Love the boiling the udon in water for a bit trick. Some packages I’ve seen simply said to rinse the noodles. Stuck as ever… I think I need to try this with a bit of tofu.
It works very well – is necessary for getting them properly separated.
I love your food photography! This dish looks amazing 🙂
Thank you very much!
Wow I love this dish! It looks so yummy and I have been craving shrimp!
We got some on a great deal – couldn’t resist.
Wow, this dish looks very good. I also like the photos. Very well done.
Just gorgeous delicious Nick!!!
How do I use it? Udon can be served hot in a broth, or cold with a dipping sauce. The toppings and soups are similar to soba with variations such a tempura udon, kitsune udon (with fried tofu) and tsukimi udon (with a raw egg on top). Other variations that are exclusive to udon noodles include karei udon (with japanese curry on top), and yakiudon (pan fried with veggies, seafood and a sweet sauce).
Everyday i would look at this particular post and drool. Crazy right? Im gonna head to supermart and get the ingredients already!
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I am a newbie to your website and love it! This recipe is going on to my food plans! Cannot wait to try it! 🙂
Let me know how you get on!