Udon Stir Fry (My Kids’ Favorite Meal!)

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This simple Udon Stir Fry is loaded with flavor and packed with delicious ingredients. Thick, chewy udon noodles, ground meat, and loads of veggies are all tossed in an addictive stir fry sauce! Dinner ready in 30 minutes or less and picky eater approved!

Overhead image of the Udon Stir Fry

Our Favorite Udon Stir Fry

If you ask my kids what their favorite thing I make them, they’ll tell you my “veggie and meat noodles.” Aka this Stir Fry Udon recipe. It’s their absolute favorite — they’ll literally lick their bowls clean and fight over leftovers.

It’s a bit of a random dish (not even close to an authentic Yaki Udon recipe!), but no complaints here that they love it — I feel great about “sneaking” in loads of veggies and a good amount of protein. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be on the table in 20-30 minutes. Easy Udon Stir Fry = weeknight dinner win!

Ingredient shot-- images of the Udon Stir Fry noodles used in this dish

What Is an Udon dish?

If you aren’t familiar, udon noodles are chewy Japanese noodles made from wheat flour, water, and salt. These noodles are fairly thick and usually rounded, but they can also be flat. Udon noodles are typically served in a dashi-based broth, but we’re using them in a simple, kid-friendly, stir-fry recipe instead! My kids are obsessed with these noodles!

Udon comes a few different ways — in refrigerated packets (fresh), shelf-stable packets, dried, and even frozen. The preparation can vary depending on the type of noodles you purchase, so reference the back of the package for specific directions to prepare them if dried or frozen.

QUICK TIP

Finding noodles for this Udon Stir Fry can be a little tricky to track down — use a grocery locator app to see if your store carries them. Our local grocery store sells them among other shelf-stable Asian-style noodles like lo mein or chow mein. Here are the noodles on Amazon — yes, a whole 6-pack of them! Trust me, they’ll be gone before you know it!

How To Cook Udon Noodles For Stir Fry

For shelf-stable packets (specifically the Ka-Me brand of udon noodles), the best and quickest way we’ve found to prepare them is by soaking them in boiling water for 1 minute, draining, tossing in oil, and then pan frying them with the stir fry sauce. 

Process shots of Udon Stir Fry-- images of the ground turkey being browned and the onions, garlic, and ginger being added

How To Make Stir Fry Udon

This Udon Stir Fry comes together so quickly, with minimal ingredient prep time and very little chopping (or none with some store-bought shortcuts!). Here are our top tips for making this recipe come together in a hurry:

  • Get frozen veggies that don’t require any prep time. We love shelled edamame, peas & carrots, and corn — all cook super fast and require no prep beforehand. If you’re using other frozen veggies (like frozen broccoli for example), you may need to chop them down a bit before adding them to the stir fry. This will obviously increase prep time.
  • Use store-bought shortcuts. Don’t want to do any chopping? Use already chopped green onions from the produce section of your store along with refrigerated garlic paste and refrigerated minced garlic. OR try Dorot’s® garlic and ginger cubes. They have crushed garlic and crushed ginger that you can keep handy in the freezer and pop into these (and other) recipes when needed. (Check if your local store carries them; they’re typically found with frozen veggies in the grocery store.) 
  • Make the stir fry sauce ahead of time. Not a shortcut per se, but if you make the sauce ahead of time and have it in the fridge ready to go, come dinnertime, this Udon Stir Fry comes together that much quicker!

Process shots-- images of the frozen veggies being added; the noodles, and sauce

What Is Udon Sauce Made Of?

The stir fry sauce is fairly simple, but each ingredient is integral to ending flavor. Here’s a quick overview:  

  1. Corn starch: This helps thicken the sauce. Here is a list of substitutes if needed.
  2. Soy sauce: Use reduced or low-sodium (lite) soy sauce so this dish isn’t too salty. After all, you can always add some salt at the end, but you can’t take it away.
  3. Sesame oil: For a great authentic flavor, sesame oil really delivers! (This oil is typically found with the Asian ingredients area, rather than with the other oils in the grocery store.) We love the flavor of toasted sesame oil best
  4. Oyster sauce: This ingredient gives this dish a restaurant-quality feel and adds the perfect umami flavor. Typically found with Asian ingredients as well.
  5. Mirin: This is a type of rice wine that is a very common ingredient in stir-fry sauces. It has a high sugar content and is quite sweet. Mirin is typically found in the oil and vinegar aisle or in the condiment aisle. It’s usually near soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, etc. You can use rice wine vinegar (also called rice vinegar) in a pinch, but you may need a touch more sugar.

Finishing shots of the Udon Stir Fry-- images of it all being tossed together

What Do You Eat With Udon?

The great thing about this Udon Stir Fry is that it’s really got it all in one pan — veggies, protein, and carbs (noodles). That said, here are some great sides to pair with this recipe:

  • Make Udon Stir Fry with Eggs: Add an egg on top — soft boiled, fried, over easy, over medium, etc (however you like it).
  • Add a crunchy side: Try this Asian Cucumber Salad for a fresh-tasting and crunchy contrast.
  • More veggies: These Roasted Green Beans would make a nice side dish.

VARIATIONS

Udon Stir Fry Variations

  • Pork Udon Stir Fry: Replace the ground turkey with equal amounts of ground pork (or try a beef version by using ground beef).
  • Vegetarian Udon Stir Fry: Leave out the meat and amp up the veggies even more (or make a tofu udon stir fry by adding in some cooked tofu).
  • Shiitake Udon Stir Fry: Add a cup of thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms in the stir fry!

Up-close overhead image of the Udon Stir Fry ready to be served

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Udon Stir Fry

5 from 3 votes
This simple Udon Stir Fry is loaded with flavor and packed with delicious ingredients. Thick, chewy udon noodles, ground meat, and loads of veggies are all tossed in an addictive stir fry sauce! Dinner ready in 30 minutes or less and picky eater approved!
Print Recipe

Udon Stir Fry

5 from 3 votes
This simple Udon Stir Fry is loaded with flavor and packed with delicious ingredients. Thick, chewy udon noodles, ground meat, and loads of veggies are all tossed in an addictive stir fry sauce! Dinner ready in 30 minutes or less and picky eater approved!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Healthy
Keyword Udon Stir Fry, udon stir fry recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 -4 servings
Calories 595kcal
Cost $8.92

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons (54g) lite (low-sodium) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (36g) oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (20g) mirin
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Meat and Noodles

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound lean (93/7) ground turkey (or use ground beef/pork)
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 teaspoons each: ginger and garlic
  • 2-1/2 cups frozen veggies (Note 1)
  • 2 packets (7.1 oz; 400g EACH) packets udon noodles (Note 2)

Instructions

  • SAUCE: Start by whisking together 2 tsp cornstarch with 3 tablespoons soy sauce with a fork in a small bowl. Once smooth, add in the remaining sauce ingredients. Whisk and set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (don't salt the water).
  • TURKEY: Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil to a large skillet or wok over high heat. Once oil is hot, add in ground turkey. Let turkey sear (brown) for a minute before crumbling with a wooden spoon and browning all the way through. Meanwhile, thinly slice the entire bunch of green onions and mince garlic and ginger.
  • VEGGIES: Add 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (set aside rest for later, 28g), 2 tsp garlic, 2 tsp ginger to turkey. Sauté for 1 minute. Add in frozen veggies. Sauté until veggies are tender and thawed through, 2-4 minutes.
  • UDON: (Note 3) Water should be boiling at this point. Remove pot from heat and add in the packets of udon. Let sit in boiling water for exactly 1 minute. Drain and shake off excess water. Don't rinse in water, but instead use tongs to toss with a swish (~1 tbsp.) of vegetable oil to keep noodles from sticking.
  • FINISH: Add udon noodles and sauce (give it another quick stir first) to the skillet with meat and veggies. Let stand for a minute or two to caramelize noodles a little; then toss with tongs until sauce thickens and nicely coats everything. Remove from heat.
  • ENJOY: Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and lots of cracked pepper (if desired). Top with set aside green onions and enjoy immediately!

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Frozen veggies: We use a mix of 1 cup (150g) frozen shelled edamame, 1 cup (150g) frozen peas and carrots, and 1/2 cup (70g) frozen corn. Use your favorite frozen veggies that will cook through in a quick amount of time or cut them down first. (Frozen broccoli will need to be chopped a bit first.)
Note 2: Udon noodles: Udon comes in a few different forms-- in refrigerated packets (fresh), shelf-stable packets, dried, and even frozen. The preparation can vary depending on the type of noodles you purchase, so reference the back of the package for specific directions to prepare them if dried/frozen. Udon noodles can be a little tricky to find -- use a grocery locator app to see if your store carries them. Our local grocery store doesn't carry them, so we order them online. Here are the noodles we order. (These packets get you about 14 ounces of noodles; so use anywhere around 14-16 oz. for this recipe). If the noodles come with a seasoning packet, discard it or save it for a different recipe. (Don't add to this one.)
Note 3: Cooking udon noodles: For those shelf-stable packets (Ka-Me brand, for example), the best way we've found to prepare them is by soaking them in boiling water for 1 minute, draining, tossing in oil, and then pan-frying them with the stir fry sauce. Let them caramelize a bit in the pan with the sauce -- so tasty! The preparation for udon will vary depending on the type of noodles you purchase, so reference the back of the package for specific directions to prepare them if dried/frozen.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 91.9g | Protein: 27.9g | Fat: 12.1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1100.2mg | Fiber: 7.4g | Sugar: 7.4g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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