If you're looking for an easy weeknight dinner that is full of flavor, then you're going to love this 30-minute Vegan Yaki Udon! This easy veggie stir fry is filled with soft & chewy udon noodles, fresh crisp veggies, & the most delicious tangy sauce.
What is yaki udon?
Yaki Udon is a Japanese stir-fried udon noodle dish filled with vegetables, a source of protein, and a soy-based sauce. In Japanese, Yaki udon actually translates to “fried udon.
If you've never had udon noodles, prepare to become addicted. They are naturally vegan and made with wheat flour and water for the chewiest texture.
While traditional versions of Yaki Udon are not vegan (as many call for pork and oyster sauce) we are making a less traditional version to keep this dish entirely vegan.
How to make veggie yaki udon
Cook the udon noodles
The best noodles to use for this recipe are actually the fresh udon noodles you can find at many Japanese grocery stores. However, if you're like me and don't have access to those stores, you can also use dried udon noodles and cook them.
For this veggie yaki udon, I used Simply Asia Udon Noodles. The container has 14 ounces of noodles, but I use around 10 ounces of noodles to make this dish. If you want to keep this dish gluten-free, you can even try these brown rice udon noodles.
The most important thing is to NOT overcook the noodles. You want them to still be chewy and overcooking them makes them too soft.
Chop & cook the veggies
While the noodles are cooking, slice the veggies into thin strips. I chose to use a mix of cabbage, red pepper, carrots, and snow peas for this recipe. However, use whatever vegetables you prefer!
Then, add sesame oil to a wok. Once the oil is hot, add in the veggies and stir fry them for about 5 minutes. They will start to get a bit charred when cooked at high heat, but this gives them a really nice flavor.
Make the stir fry sauce
Unlike my Vegan Lo Mein, the sauce we are using in this recipe runs a tad bit thicker and sweeter.
Luckily, it comes together in just 1 minute. Simply add the dark soy sauce, mirin, vegan oyster sauce/ mushroom sauce, and brown sugar to a bowl and mix until smooth.
You can also add the optional gochujang at this point to add a little spice to this dish.
Add udon noodles & sauce
Next, add in the cooked udon noodles and the stir fry sauce. Then, fry everything together for an additional 5 minutes the sauce is sticking to the noodles and veggies and thick.
Serve & enjoy!
To serve this dish, top with sesame seeds or diced scallions. It's great on its own but even better with a little crunch on top.
Sauce substitution ideas:
- Dark soy sauce: Dark soy sauce does have a distinct flavor and it is darker and thicker than light soy sauce. Because of this, it adds a ton of color to this dish. If you are okay with a slightly saltier and less thick salt, you can substitute with light soy sauce.
- Vegan Oyster/Mushroom sauce: I used this Vegan Mushroom Sauce for this udon noodle stir fry. Unlike traditional oyster sauce, it is vegan and adds a lot of flavor to this dish. If you can't find any you can substitute with a mix of hoisin sauce & soy sauce for a similar flavor.
- Mirin: Mirin is a rice wine similar to sake, but is actually sweeter and works great in stir fries. If you can't find any, you can use a mix of rice wine vinegar and sugar (about 1 ½ Tablespoons rice wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar) for a similar flavor.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar makes this sauce slightly sweeter and the molasses adds a nice flavor. However, if you're trying to avoid sugar you can omit it completely or subsittute it with maple syrup for a refined sugar-free option.
- Gochujang: Gochujang is a spicy fermeneted condiment commonly used in Korean cooking, but I love adding it to this dish for a kick of spice. While it doesn't taste exactly the same, you could susbtitute it with sriracha or a spicy homemade chili oil to get the same kick of heat.
FAQ & Tips:
Definitely, however, it would no longer be Yaki Udon. This dish is really characterized by using the correct noodles.
That being said if you want to make the sauce & veggies but only have access to other noodles they should still work. Other noodle options could be soba noodles, ramen noodles, or rice noodles.
Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can reheat in a wok or the microwave until warmed throughout to enjoy.
I truly can't wait for you to enjoy my take on a Vegan Yaki Udon! This recipe is the perfect balance of crisp veggies, chewy noodles, and a sweet & tangy sauce for an epic vegan udon recipe. Enjoy!
More stir fry recipes you will love:
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Vegan Yaki Udon
- 10 ounces udon noodles fresh or dried
- 1 large red pepper thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- 1 ½ cups thinly sliced cabbage about ¼ of a large cabbage
- 1 large carrot thinly sliced, about ½ cup
- 3 ounces snow peas
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons vegan mushroom oyster sauce
- 1.5 Tablespoons mirin
- ½ Tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons gochujang optional, for spice
- First, cook the udon noodles according to the package instructions. If using fresh noodles, they will only need about 2 minutes of cooking time whereas dried noodles need about 8 minutes. Once cooked, strain and set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, prep the veggies and sauce. Slice the peppers, cabbage, and carrot into thin strips and set aside.
- To make the sauce, mix together the dark soy sauce, vegan oyster sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and optional gochujang. Then, set aside.
- Add the sesame oil to a wok and turn on the heat. Once the oil is hot, add the peppers, carrots, cabbage, and snow peas to the wok. Saute for about 5 minutes until the cabbage decreases in volume and the veggies are beginning to char.
- Next, add the cooked udon noodles and the stir fry sauce to the wok. Mix together until the noodles and veggies are coated in the sauce. Then, continue cooking for 3-5 minutes until the sauce is sticky.
- Remove the yaki udon from the heat and serve immedaitely. To garnish, top with optional sesame seeds and/or chopped green onions. Enjoy!
- Please see the blog post for sauce substitution ideas.
- While other noodles can be substituted, Udon noodles are what give this dish a truly delicious chewy texture. Other noodles that can work are soba noodles, ramen noodles, or rice noodles.
- Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can reheat in a wok or the microwave until warmed throughout to enjoy.
I'm asian and was drawn to this recipe over other vegan versions I've seen 🙂 This was so yummy and I loved the combination of all the ingredients. I also like that you gave an explanation for the sauce ingredients. One tip I would add is to peel off the stiff tip and edge of the snow peas - it makes it a lot easier to chew!
So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing the tip for the snow peas 🙂
Absolutely delicious. I used vacuum packed udon noodles (never cooked with them before) a ton of veg and the sauce 😍 left out the sugar as for me with the mirin it was sweet enough and my oh my it is so tasty with a delicious little kick. Thank you. ❤️
So glad you enjoyed it and it tasted great even with less sugar 🙂