Beef Yaki Udon is a quick and easy recipe, perfect any night of the week! Juicy beef pieces, saucy noodles, a slick savory sauce and crispy vegetables make this dish a home run! This yaki udon with beef will be on the table in less than 15 mins!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
This recipe has so many things to love about it and these are the reasons why I think you will enjoy it the most:
- Take out style food made at home: sometimes it is more enjoyable to eat in rather than out! This Japanese cuisine recipe ticks the takeout style food but can be enjoyed without heading out to get it or waiting for it to be delivered!
- Quick and Easy: once everything is prepped, this stir-fried noodle dish cooks very quickly. An added bonus is that you will be able to get all of the ingredients at your local grocery store 😉👍! (No trips to the local Asian market needed).
- Complete meal: this dish has protein from the beef, is healthy from the vegetables and carbs from the noodles! You won't likely need a side salad or vegetables as the dish has it all!
- Versatile: there is a wide variety of ways to switch this up a little. Scroll to my substitutions and variations for options so if you make it regularly, you won't get bored as you have plenty of small tweaks you can try.
- Week night friendly: those nights when you are tired, work has been hectic, your energy levels are low and you want an easy dinner but a meal that doesn't take hours to prepare, this is it!
- Instant Noodles: are easy and fast, but stir fried udon noodles don't take that much more effort but the depth of flavour and textures will keep you satisfied for longer.
- Japanese Cooking: can be done at home! With easy ingredients and following instructions, you can make Japanese food in your very own kitchen!
Tasty Tip: Some noodles need boiling water poured over them and some noodles need to be cooked in boiling water to allow them to separate. Check the packet as it will specify the best method.
Everything you need to make this recipe is shown in the photo below. It is a handy visual guide to take shopping. For exact measurements and detailed instructions, please refer to the printable recipe card below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Peanut oil: we use this to begin the cooking as we cook the beef. It holds up well at a high temperature and is perfect in Asian recipes.
- Rice wine vinegar: this adds flavour to the dish and can be found in the Asian foods section of the supermarket.
- Mirin seasoning: another ingredients that adds flavour and can found in the Asian foods section. It adds sweetness to the dish and is very common in Japanese recipes.
- Brown sugar: we only need a little bit of this, but it too adds a sweet flavour to the sauce and helps to balance out the saltiness from the soy and oyster sauces.
- Soy sauce: this is the regular soy sauce, the most common type which is also the one eaten with sushi.
- Dark soy sauce: we use this ingredient to get the fantastic orange brown colour on the noodles. A little of this goes a long way. If you don't use this ingredient, the dish will be a light tan colour as it is only through the use of this that the colour of the dish turns out as such.
- Oyster sauce: this is thick, salty and unique to Asian cooking. You can use hoisin sauce as an alternative.
- Carrots: these are one of the vegetable components of the dish. Simply peel and chop into thin pieces like the photo above.
- Green onions: we use the white onion bits for this. If you want to use the green bits, they are great to pop on top as a garnish.
- Cabbage: this is a great ingredient to add bulk to stir fry recipes. Finely shred it with a knife and chopping board.
- Beef: my preference is to use thin cut beef strips as they cook quickly. You can also use ground beef or beef mince.
- Udon noodles: these are thick, white fresh udon noodles. You will find them in the fridge section or Asian foods section of the supermarket. Cook them as per the instructions on the packet.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the yaki udon recipe. We start by cooking the beef and heat the peanut oil in the pan on the stove.
- Gather the sauce ingredients (Photo 1)
- Whisk to combine (Photo 2)
- Heat oil in pan and add beef (Photo 3)
- Add the vegetables and cook for 2 to 3 mins (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Beef Yaki Udon
We start by making the yaki udon noodle sauce. You can use a fork or whisk to combine the ingredients.
I like using a whisk as it helps the sugar to mix consistently together.
Once the sauce is made, you can set it aside whilst we start to cook the beef.
Place a large frying pan on the stove top, turn the heat to high and add the sliced beef, salt and pepper.
The beef will take 3 to 5 mins to cook depending on how thick the pieces are. Once it is brown with no red bits or red juices, remove it from the pan. If there is a lot of reside, use paper towel to mop this up a little.
Then add the raw vegetables to the pan. They will take 2 to 3 mins to cook. There should be enough slick in the pan that you don't need to add additional oil to cook them, however, if you find it is too dry, drizzle in a couple of drops.
- Add cooked noodles to vegetables (Photo 5)
- Add cooked beef back to the pan (Photo 6)
- Pour the sauce over the mixture (Photo 7)
- Stir the sauce in and allow the dish to heat (Photo 8)
Next read the package directions to cook the noodles.
Once you have cooked them, drain the and set aside. Ideally you will be cooking them at the same time as the vegetables are cooking (in a separate bowl or saucepan). This way they won't sit for too long before you add them back to the pan.
Once they have been added back to the pan, we simply pop the cooked beef back in, pour the sauce over and give it a stir.
Due to the use of the dark soy sauce in the stir fry sauce, the white bright noodles will turn an orange brown colour and smother all of the noodles in slick yumness!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
These noodles are a great dish to serve as a complete meal!
In Japan it is hugely popular to have gyoza as a starter so you could make some of them (they have plenty of versions readily available at the supermarket these days). Or try serving with the Air Fryer Frozen Spring Rolls.
Oh the sauciness - I know you are going to love this recipe!
😉 Substitutions and Variations
As always, I like to give you options! Here are some sub in and outs that you might like to try:
- If you want to use olive oil in place of the peanut oil you can.
- You can use beef mince or ground beef instead of beef steak.
- You can use ground pork or chicken mince.
- Substitute shrimp (prawns) for the beef steak.
- Switch up the vegetables and use your favourites, like napa cabbage, bok choy, snap peas, mushrooms and snow peas or bean shoots.
- Use a combination of 2 proteins ie pork and prawns.
- For the noodles try using instant noodle, ramen noodles, rice noodles or chewy wheat noodles.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks for you to master the dish from the get go:
- Make the sauce and set aside so it is ready as needed.
- Choose a thin cut portion of beef steak.
- Have everything prepped and ready to go.
- Allow the oil to heat before adding the beef pieces.
- Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.
- Use chopsticks to help uncurl the noodles as they cook.
- Use high heat.
- Keep things moving in the pan.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between udon and Yaki Udon?
Udon are thick white noodles. Yaki Udon is a stir fry recipe that uses udon noodles with a sauce, mixture of vegetables and a protein such as beef, pork, chicken or shrimp.
What is Yaki Udon sauce made of?
Yaki Udon sauce is a soy based sauce consisting of 5 or 6 ingredients. It contains oyster sauce, both light and dark soy sauces, brown sugar, mirin and rice wine vinegar.
Where do I buy udon noodles?
You can purchase udon noodles from your local supermarket or Asian grocery store.
There will be versions sold in the fridge (cold noodles) or aisle (packet noodles).
Try a couple of varities and you will soon find your favourite!
What's the difference between yakisoba and Yaki Udon?
Yakisoba and Yaki Udon use different noodles. Yaki soba noodles are thin and wheat based, where as udon noodles are much thicker, rounder and white in colour. Udon noodles are made from wheat flour.
😍 More Easy Takeout Recipes
Whether you want to get your wok on, or it is the noodles you crave, these similar dishes will be worth exploring:
- Beef Noodle Stir Fry
- Shrimp Yaki Udon
- Pork Mince Noodles
- Chicken Noodle Stir Fry
- Seafood Yaki Udon
- Air Fryer Beef Kabobs
- Chicken Mince Stir Fry
- Roast Beef Roll Ups
- Pork with Asparagus in Oyster Sauce
- Ginger Scallion Noodles
Beef steak it my friends! You can also find all of my noodle recipes in the one spot.
Beef Yaki Udon (Easy Japanese Stir Fried Noodles)
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Knife
- 1 Mini whisk
- 1 Small jug
- 1 Large fry pan
- 1 Silicon flat utensil
- 2 tbp peanut oil
- 400 grams beef thinly sliced, Note 1
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 6 green onions ends trimmed, white onion part
- 1 cup carrots peeled and cut into thin strips
- 400 grams udon noodles Note 2
Beef Yaki Udon Sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce Note 3
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce Note 4
- 1 tbs mirin
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- Make sauce: use a small ug to combine and whisk the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Cook beef: heat 2 tbs peanut oil in fry pan at high heat, add beef and cook till browned, then remove from pan.
- Cook vegetables: use the same pan to stir fry the vegetables for 2 to 3 mins.
- Cook noodles: according to the packet instructions, drain, then add to the cooked vegetables.
- Add beef: add cooked beef back to the pan, pour sauce over and stir fry till dish is heated through.
- Serve: portion into bowls, garnish with chopped green onions (optional) and serve with chopsticks.
- Note 1 - Beef: I am using sizzle steak. It is a very think cut and cooks quickly. This or stir fry beef strips work well. You can also use beef mince or ground beef.
- Note 2 - Udon Noodles: these will be in the fridge section or Asian food aisle (sometimes even the freezer at the Asian grocery store). Try a few different brands to find your favourite and cook according to the instructions on the packet.
- Note 3 - Oyster Sauce: You can use hoisin as a substitute if you have it but not oyster.
- Note 4 - Dark Soy Sauce: this is a different ingredient to regular (sushi style) soy sauce. It is what makes the noodles turn the colour they end up. We only need a little as a little goes a long way. It will be sold where you find soy sauce and have written on the label 'dark soy sauce'. It is not transparent at all, whereas sometimes regular soy sauce looks to be light brown.