This vegetable yaki udon recipe is a stir-fried Japanese udon noodle dish that's savory, sweet, and just a bit spicy. Precooked udon noodles make this a super easy recipe great for a weeknight dinner!
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Why You'll Love This Dish
Chewy, thick udon noodles, a variety of bright, healthy vegetables, and an incredibly flavorful soy, ginger, and garlic sauce combine to create a spectacular vegan or vegetarian alternative to a traditional yaki udon.
Noodles are always a hit in my house, and these stir-fried udon noodles have the perfect texture. They're tender but springy and balanced perfectly by the lightly crisp vegetables.
This is a quick dinner, with no need to marinade like other yaki udon recipes, and the veggies provide a great source of nutrients (and flavor!)
What You'll Need
- Udon Noodles You can use fresh udon noodles, which are found in many grocery stores, frozen udon noodles, or dried udon noodles. Prepare the noodles before you start your stir-fry.
- Fresh Vegetables Here I used carrots, onion, zucchini, broccoli, button mushrooms, and jalapenos. You can also add veggies or replace them with others like celery, cabbage, bok choy, edamame, shiitake mushrooms, and bell peppers.
- Scallions also know as green onions
- Neutral Oil like grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil
Yaki Udon Sauce Ingredients
- Fresh Ginger If you can't find fresh, try this jarred version.
- Fresh Garlic Same with the garlic - jarred versions are available.
- Soy Sauce I personally prefer a low sodium soy sauce. Regular soy sauce will also work well here.
- Vegetable Oil or another neutral oil such as grapeseed or avocado oil. I would avoid olive oil or other oils with low smoke points (the point at which an oil burns) because of the high heat required for this dish.
- Brown Sugar Cane sugar will work here as well
- Mirin A sweet rice wine used often in Japanese cooking
- Sake A dry sherry will work here, too, if you can't find sake.
- Rice Wine Vinegar Be sure to select an unseasoned rice wine vinegar as the seasoned rice vinegar includes sugar and salt that will change the balance of flavors.
How to Make Vegetable Yaki Udon
Step One Make the sauce. Chop the garlic and ginger, combine all ingredients in a dish, and stir well.
Step Two Heat the wok over high heat. Add the onion and cook. Add the broccoli, carrot, zucchini, and jalapeño for few minutes. Then add the mushrooms and scallions. Add the noodles and yaki udon sauce and stir-fry until cooked through.
Step Three Serve right away!
Yaki Udon is a wok-fried Japanese udon noodle dish with a lightly sweet, soy-based sauce, meat, and vegetables.
Yaki udon sauce contains soy, sugar, ginger, and garlic, and combined with other optional ingredients, such as mirin, rice vinegar, and sake.
Yaki udon is savory and sweet. The vegetables maintain freshness because they are cooked for a short time on high heat. Flavors include soy, ginger, and garlic.
- If you're not in the mood for veggie yaki udon, try this Chicken Yaki Udon, Shrimp Yaki Udon or Beef Yaki Udon.
- Add some oyster sauce for more sweetness.
- Try doubling the marinade and using half to marinate some pressed firm tofu for an hour or two before cooking.
How to Store
Fridge The marinade, noodles, and vegetables will all last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.
Reheating To reheat, add the vegetable yaki udon back to the wok or a large frying pan and cook on high heat with a little bit of oil until heated through.
Freezing You can freeze leftovers for 2 months. Reheat by placing in the fridge overnight to thaw and then heat in a pan as above.
How to Pair
Yaki udon can be served as a standalone meal. Below are some drink ideas to serve with this dish:
More Recipes You'll Love
Looking for more easy vegetarian dinners? Try the recipes below!
Aglio Olio e Peperoncino (Spaghetti with Garlic and Chilis)
Vegetable Yaki Udon
- 2 packages fresh udon noodles about 16 ounces
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as vegetable, grapeseed or avocado
- 1 small onion sliced, yellow, sweet or red
- 2 carrots peeled, cut on the bias
- 1 zucchini cut on the bias
- 1 small head broccoli chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- 1 jalapeño sliced thin, on the bias
- 2 scallions sliced thick, on the bias
- Mix all ingredients for the sauce well in a bowl. Set aside.
- Group the vegetables by their cook time.
- Group 1: Onion.
- Group 2: Carrot, zucchini, broccoli and jalapeño.
- Group 3: Mushrooms and scallions.
- Heat the wok over high heat. Add the neutral oil. Add the onion and stir-fry until slightly softened and golden.
- Add the carrot, zucchini, broccoli and jalapeño. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and scallions. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add noodles and the remaining sauce and stir-fry for 3 more minutes, add the shrimp back in, stir to coat and serve immediately in bowls or on plates.
- Feel free to use different vegetables you have on hand in place of or in addition to the vegetables listed here. Try bell peppers, celery, eggplant, cabbage or edamame.
- You can double the marinade and marinate some firm tofu for 30 minutes to a few hours to add some protein to this dish.
- If you cannot find fresh udon noodles, you can use dried or frozen udon noodles. Cook according to package directions.
- If the ingredients stick while cooking, feel free to add a tiny bit of oil.
- If you omit the jalapeño and still want a bit of heat, some sriracha or sambal oelek would be an excellent addition.
- Fridge All components of this dish can be stored for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Freezer You can freeze the leftovers of this dish for 2 months, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and heat in a pan or wok with a bit of oil when ready to eat.
- To reheat Add the leftovers to a wok or pan over high heat with a bit of oil, stirring often, until heated through.