Chicken Yaki Udon is a Japanese stir fried udon noodles recipe loaded with juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and a savory sauce. Yaki Chicken Udon requires just one pan and is ready in only 20 minutes.
What is Yaki Udon
Originating in Japan, Yaki Udon (焼きうどん) is considered a classic stir fry dish commonly served in American Asian restaurants, Japanese Pubs (Izakayas) and even Festivals (Omatsuri).
The name translates to “fried udon” (“Yaki” meaning to fry or grill).
Here are a few non-staple ingredients required to make Yaki Chicken Udon. For the full list of ingredients, reference the recipe card below.
- Udon Noodles
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
While we utilized ground chicken in this version, you could also use bite size pieces of chicken breasts or thighs.
How To Make
Yaki Chicken Udon doesn’t require a ton of time to prepare, but it is all hands-on time, such is the nature of stir fry recipes.
Here’s the general steps for making. For the full recipe, reference the detailed recipe card below.
Noodles – Cook the udon noodles by soaking them in boiling water.
Sauce – Whisk together the sauce ingredients.
Chicken – Stir fry the chicken.
Vegetables – Stir-fry the vegetables
Sauce it Up – Toss the chicken and vegetables with the sauce and grub away!
There are many varieties of udon noodles to purchase, and each require different preparation methods.
Frozen Udon Noodles (Recommended) – Noodles are cooked in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. This is the preferred route as it helps prevent overcooked and mushy noodles.
Vacuum-sealed Udon Noodles – These noodles do not require additional softening, therefore can be added to the pan directly to stir fry.
Dry Udon Noodles (Last Resort) – Dry udon noodles aren’t as thick and chewy as frozen or vacuum-sealed noodles. To make, just follow the instructions on the back of the package.
One of the best things about making a stir fry is the flexibility of ingredients. Check out what vegetables are in your refrigerator and use them up. Here are some vegetables that would make great additions to this Yaki Udon Recipe:
- Bell Peppers
- Snap Peas
- Bamboo Shoots
- Bok Choy
- Bean Sprouts
- Baby Corn
- Water Chestnuts
Chicken can easily be replaced with another protein. Here are some popular options:
Shrimp Yaki Udon
To make Shrimp Yaki Udon, replace the chicken with 8 oz. of peeled and deveined shrimp.
Vegetable Yaki Udon
To make Vegetable Yaki Udon, replace the chicken with an extra cup of diced vegetables.
Beef Yaki Udon
To make Beef Yaki Udon, replace the chicken with 8 oz. of thinly sliced beef. Skirt steak and flank steak are great options. (Read up on the difference between skirt steak vs flank steak).
Tofu Yaki Udon
To make Tofu Yaki Udon, replace the chicken with 8 oz. of cubed firm tofu.
- Do You Need A Wok? Nope. A large skillet will do just fine. If you have a skillet with high edges, use it.
- Cut all your vegetables into similar sized pieces so they cook in the same amount of time.
- Do not pull apart the noodles. When cooked, they will naturally separate.
- Slightly undercook the noodles as they’ll continue to cook when you add them to the skillet. Plus they’ll be less likely to stick together when frying.
- Rinse the noodles under cold water right after soaking or else they’ve continue to soften.
- The oil should be hot (slightly popping) before adding the food.
- This yaki udon recipe is best when enjoyed immediately.
Yaki Udon and Yakisoba
Yaki udon and yakisoba are two very similar dishes. The key difference is the noodle used.
Yaki Udon – Made from wheat flour and water, udon noodles are chewy, thick and white in color.
Yakisoba – Made from wheat flour and kansui (alkaline solution), yakisoba uses chukamen noodles, which are thin and yellow.
Stick with an off-dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc when serving Chicken Yaki Udon noodles.
- 13-15 oz udon noodles
- 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- ½ lb ground chicken
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 oyster or shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 green cabbage leaves, shredded
- ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
- 2½ Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp Mirin or beef stock
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp chili sauce or Sriracha
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.Using Frozen Udon Noodles? Add the noodles to the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook. Using Vacuum-sealed Udon Noodles? These noodles do not require additional softening, therefore can be added to the pan directly to stir fry. If you'd like an easier time separating the noodles, boil them for 1 minute max.Using Dry Udon Noodles? Follow the instructions on the back of the package.
- Rinse the noodles under cold water and drain. Drizzle the noodles with a bit of oil to keep them from sticking, if not using right away.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add the oil followed by the ground chicken. Cook until almost cooked throughout. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the vegetables to the skillet and stir fry until the vegetables are soft and wilted.
- Add the noodles, sauce, and green onion and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce reduces down a bit. Serve immediately.