Beef Udon Noodles are a lightening fast quick and easy recipe, perfect any night of the week! Full of flavour with taste, texture and serious yum, beef and udon can be sorted for the table in less than 20 mins. These ginger beef noodles are succulent, juicy and lip smackingly delicious 😍.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Family friendly: this is a recipe that the whole family will enjoy sitting down devouring at the dinner table together. The flavours are not too intense or extreme that kids would be put off by them and they will love getting their chopsticks out to catch the slippery noodles.
- Versatile: for the vegetables, we use a simple combination of 3 easy to get your hands on veggies that add colour and texture to the dish. If you are looking for more ideas, you can also have a read of my substitutions and variations.
- Quick and easy: this recipe can get dinner on the table in less than 20 mins! It is a great option when you are short on time, don't want to get take out and want to sit on the couch after dinner, not stand in the kitchen washing dishes 👍😉.
- Chewy udon noodles: noodles and pasta are great ingredients to cook with and can help to add bulk to many dishes. Instant noodles, ramen noodles and spaghetti all have their places with broth, gyoza or bolognese. The udon noodles when paired with the beef provide a sensational eating experience as you gather them on the chopsticks. Their texture is thick and covered in sauce they are seriously delicious!
- Western twist: a popular beef udon dish in Japanese cooking is Niku udon which refers to meat noodles. That dish traditionally has a broth with it which this simple noodle recipe doesn't go so far to aim to keep it simple. However, there is inspiration taken from the notion of that Japanese dish.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Udon noodles: these are the thick, white noodles you can see in the photo above. You will be able to get them from the grocery aisle of the Asian foods section at the supermarket or fresh and frozen varsities from the local Asian foods store.
- Beef mince (ground beef): this is a great choice for any stir fry dish as it cooks quickly, is freezer friendly and won't break the bank. Many supermarkets also have cut prices on some meat products in the afternoons, so keep your eye out if you want an even cheaper deal than paying full price for beef mince.
- Garlic: you can use 2- 3 cloves and finely chop yourself or use store bought jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Broccolini: fresh, healthy and nutritious. This bright green vegetable offers taste and texture. With minimal prep time needed, it offers variety and an excellent colour contrast to the dark soy sauce used in this recipe.
- Mushrooms: another super easy to prep vegetable. You can use pre sliced mushrooms or slice them yourself. The recipe calls for 3 large sliced mushrooms (still mushrooms cups though, not Portobello, just not wee small button mushrooms) which you will find easier enough if you want to slice them yourself.
- Green onions: we need to trim the tops and ends, then discard any wilted or browning outer skins. Then chop the lengths into quarters. We use a whole bunch for the recipe which is approximately 12 to 13 green onions.
- Peanut oil: commonly used in Asian style recipes. You will find this in with the other oils at the supermarket. It has a lighter colour than olive oil and an aromatic fragrance.
- Salt and pepper: a little of each to season the beef as it cooks in the pan with the peanut oil and garlic.
🍜 Ginger Beef Noodle Sauce
The sauce uses a simple combination of three 3 ingredients:
- Honey: thick and delicious, it offers a lovely sweetness to the recipe without needing to add sugar to the sauce.
- Dark soy sauce: this is how we get the dark colour in the dish. It is a different product to regular soy sauce. You can find it in the Asian foods section of the store and it will be labelled 'dark soy sauce'. If in doubt, roll the bottle around in your hands or hold to the light, you will see that it is not transparent like regular soy.
- Ginger: delivering zingy flavour in a subtle manner, I recommend using store bought minced ginger.
Here at the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by making the sauce then cooking the beef.
- Add the honey, dark soy sauce and ginger to a glass (Photo 1)
- Whisk to combine (Photo 2)
- Add the oil, garlic, beef, salt and pepper (Photo 3)
- Remove the cooked beef then add the vegetables and stir fry (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Beef Udon Noodles
Start by whisking together the honey, dark soy sauce and ginger. Then set aside. Next add the peanut oil, garlic, beef mince, salt and pepper to a large sauté pan. Cook till the beef is browned, breaking up any clumps with a silicon turner or wooden spoon as you go. It will take between 5 to 8 minutes to cook. Once done, remove from the pan and transfer to a bowl. Don't rinse or clean the pan, then add the vegetables. Stir fry the broccolini, green onions and mushrooms for 4 to 5 minutes. They will have a wet, sweaty appearance when cooked and the edges of the mushrooms a lovely charred brown appearance.
- Add the cooked noodles (Photo 5)
Read and follow the instructions on the packet of noodles to cook. Once done, drain them using a colander, discard the noodle water and then transfer the cooked noodles to the pan with the beef and vegetables.
- Pour the sauce over the dish (Photo 6)
As you can see in the photo above, the next step is to pour the sauce over the beef, noodles and vegetables. You will instantly see a lovely transformation where the bright white noodles are replaced by slick, saucy brown udon noodles. (We can thank the dark soy sauce for this 😉👍).
- Stir to heat through and combine (Photo 7)
Once you have poured the sauce over the dish, keep stirring till it covers everything consistently. You can use chopsticks for this and gently move the pan contents around in a circular motion.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This is a filling dinner meal that has high protein and carbs. You will likely find that it is a meal in one and you don't need or possibly have room 🤣 for anything else.
If however, you have many hungry mouths to feed and want a fitting starter or entrée, the Air Fryer Frozen Spring Rolls are a great pairing. They can easily be served with regular soy sauce or sweet chilli for an alternative.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the dish in a sealed air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat prior to serving.
How to Freeze
I don't recommend freezing this dish. That process cuts the love and joy out of fresh home cooked noodles! You can however, purchase the beef, freeze it and then defrost and use it for the recipe as a means to be organised if you wish.
How to Reheat
Leftovers can be heated in the microwave or a pan on the stove, using non stick is best or add a couple of drops of peanut oil. They will take 2 to 3 minutes in the microwave or 3 to 4 minutes in a pan on the stove.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- If you want to use a different cut of beef meat thinly sliced beef is best as it cooks so quickly (store bought stir fry strips are perfect to use also).
- Cabbage is a great alternative to the broccolini and it cooks quickly too. Simple slice to remove the core then use a knife and chopping board to thinly shred. 2 cups would be a great amount to add to the recipe.
- You can also use broccoli if you wish to instead of broccolini. Cut the stem off and then the rest into small chunky pieces.
- As much as we are talking beef and udon you might be thinking, hmmm can I use other noodles in the recipe. Yes, my friend you can. My recommendation for an alternative noodle is thick noodles. Hokkein, Singapore or ramen noodles will work, avoid thin rice noodles as they won't give us the thick texture we want for the dish.
- Add a drizzle of hot chilli oil if you want to make the dish a spicy beef udon.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- Have everything prepped and ready to go. Once you start cooking, things will move very quickly and you won't want to stop and chop vegetables.
- Use high heat from the get go and only to it down to medium when you have added the sauce and noodles and are allowing them to heat through.
- For serving size, I have indicated that the dish will provide for 4 people. You can stretch this to 6 (smaller portion sizes but adding more udon noodles if you wish as to bulk up the recipe but not increase the total cost by too much 😁😉👍).
- When cooking the vegetables if you feel that it is taking a long time add a teaspoon or 2 of water to help bring some sizzle to the pan, this will evaporate quickly and not otherwise affect the taste or texture of the dish.
- Read the instructions on the packet and follow those to cook the noodles. Each packet will have a different cook time/method. Some will require boiling on the stove and some simply a sit in hot water for 2 to 3 mins.
- You can use sesame seeds or finely sliced green onions if you want to garnish the top of the dish for serving (highly optional 👍)
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between ramen noodles and udon noodles?
Ramen noodles are thin, soft and yellow in colour. In contrast udon noodles are thick, chewy and plain white. Both types of noodles can be used in Japanese cooking with ramen bowls and stir fried udon noodles being hugely popular dishes.
What does beef udon taste like?
Beef udon is a delicious dish that has both sweet and savory flavours. The honey and ginger provide sweetness and the dark soy sauce a rich savory (umami) taste.
How do you eat beef udon?
You can eat beef udon with a garnish such as sliced green onions, sesame seeds or with a drizzle of hot chilli oil. Chopsticks are great for serving and ensure you provide a spoon if you have added dashi broth to the recipe.
😍 More Easy Noodle Recipes
I don't think there is ever a bad time to have noodles. More noodles, more yum I say. Here are some more recipes that you can get your chopsticks into:
- Cumin Lamb Noodles
- Shrimp Yakisoba
- Salmon Noodle Stir Fry
- Beef Noodle Stir Fry
- Pork Mince Noodles
- Seafood Yaki Udon
- Pork Udon
- Mushroom Udon
You can also find all of my noodle recipes in the one (chopstick friendly spot 😉👍😁).Stay home, in eat and cook on my friend! xx
Beef Udon Noodles (Ginger Beef Noodles)
- 1 Glass jug
- 1 Mini whisk
- 1 Large saute pan
- 1 Silicon flexible turner or wooden spoon
- 1 Medium sized bowl
- 1 Medium sized heatproof bowl to cook the noodles
- 2 Chopsticks to uncurl the noodles as they cook
- 1 ½ tablespoon peanut oil Note 1
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced, Note 2
- 500 grams/16 oz beef mince (ground beef) Note 3
- ¼ teaspoon salt Note 4
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper also Note 4
- 800 grams/28 oz udon noodles Note 5
- 1 bunch broccolini ends trimmed, cut into thirds
- 12 green onions ends and tips trimmed, sliced into quarters, Note 6
- 3 large button mushrooms thinly sliced, Note 7
Beef Udon Noodle Sauce
- ⅓ cup dark soy sauce Note 8
- ½ cup honey Note 9
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced, Note 10
- Make sauce: use a small jug to combine and whisk the dark soy sauce, honey and minced ginger. Then set aside.
- Cook beef: heat 1 and ½ tablespoons of peanut oil in fry pan at high heat, add beef mince and cook till browned, breaking up any clumps of meat along the way, then remove from pan and transfer to a bowl.
- Cook vegetables: without cleaning or rinsing the pan, add the broccolini pieces, green onions and sliced mushrooms. Cook these for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring as you go.
- Cook noodles: according to the packet instructions, drain, then add to the cooked vegetables.
- Add cooked beef: add cooked beef back to the pan, pour sauce over and stir fry till sauce, noodles and vegetables are heated through.
- Serve: portion into bowls, garnish with chopped green onions or sesame seeds (optional) and serve with chopsticks.
- Note 1 - Peanut oil: commonly used in Asian style recipes. You will find this in with the other oils at the supermarket. It has a lighter colour than olive oil and an aromatic fragrance.
- Note 2 - Garlic: you can use cloves and finely chop yourself or use store bought jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Note 3 - Beef mince (ground beef): this is a great choice for any stir fry dish as it cooks quickly, is freezer friendly and won't break the bank. Many supermarkets also have cut prices on some meat products in the afternoons, so keep your eye out if you want an even cheaper deal that paying full price for beef mince.
- Note 4 - Salt and pepper: a little of each to season the beef as it cooks in the pan with the peanut oil and garlic.
- Note 5- Udon noodles: these are the thick, white noodles you can see in the ingredients photo in the post. You will be able to get them from the grocery aisle of the Asian foods section at the supermarket or fresh or frozen from the local Asian foods store.
- Note 6 - Green onions: we need to trim the tops and ends, then discard any wilted or browning outer skins. Then chop the lengths into quarters. We use a whole bunch for the recipe which is approximately 12 to 13 green onions.
- Note 7 - Mushrooms: another super easy to prep vegetable. You can use pre sliced mushrooms or slice them yourself. The recipe calls for 3 large sliced mushrooms which you will find easier enough if you want to slice them
- Note 8 - Honey: sweet and delicious, it offers a lovely sweetness to the recipe without needed to add sugar to the sauce.
- Note 9 - Dark soy sauce: this is how we get the dark colour in the dish. It is a different product to regular soy sauce. You can find it in the Asian foods section of the store and it will be labelled 'dark soy sauce'.
- Note 10 - Ginger: delivering zingy flavour in a subtle manner, I recommend using store bought minced ginger.