Chicken Yaki Udon is a vegetable stir fry recipe with succulent, juicy chicken and thick saucy udon noodles. This quick and easy Japanese recipe also has carrot, cabbage and green onions. Chicken Yaki Udon Noodles are any night of the week friendly!
You will love this recipe for many reasons and here are the top ones that will have you make it time and time again:
- Take out style food from the comfort of home.
- Packed with vegetables.
- Easy sauce that only needs whisking.
- Adaptable: you can easily switch up the vegetables and proteins for this dish to change the texture and flavour.
- Cooks quickly: once you have everything prepped and ready, you pop it in the pan in stages and stir fry it. It takes less than 15 mins to bring it all together.
- Reheats well: there is a lot of robust textures in this dish and they reheat well. Hello leftovers!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. For exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll to the printable recipe card below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Chicken: I recommend using skinless, boneless chicken thighs. They stir fry very well and the meat is tender and juicy.
- Udon Noodles: these are thick white noodles that will be in the aisle foods aisle of the supermarket or fridge section. You will also be able to get them from Asian grocery stores. Read the instructions on the packet and follow those to cook as each brand will have slightly different instructions.
- Oyster sauce: this is thick, salty and unique to Asian cooking. You can use hoisin sauce as an alternative.
- Soy sauce: this is the regular, most common form of soy sauce, 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.
- 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 saltyness from the soy and oyster sauces.
- Peanut oil: we use this to begin the cooking as we cook the chicken. It holds up well at a high temperature and is perfect in Japanese recipes.
Top Tip: The dark soy sauce will be in the same section of the store as the regular soy sauce. You may not have noticed it before. Look for the label 'dark soy sauce'.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by whisking together the sauce. You will need a small jug and mini whisk.
- Gather the sauce ingredients (Photo 1)
- Whisk to combine (Photo 2)
- Add peanut oil and chicken to the pan (Photo 3)
- Add vegetables to the pan (Photo 4)
How to Make Chicken Yaki Udon
Use a mini whisk to combine the sauce ingredients. This will help the sugar to dissolve. Once it is combined, set it aside until needed.
Heat peanut oil in pan, add chopped chicken pieces and cook till the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set side. Use paper towel to absorb excess moisture if there is any in the pan.
Add the cabbage, spring onion and carrots to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 mins. They will have a wet sweaty look when they are cooked.
- Add cooked noodles to the vegetables (Photo 5)
- Add cooked chicken back to the pan (Photo 6)
- Pour the sauce over the noodles (Photo 7)
- Stir and combine until the dish is heated through (Photo 8)
The noodles will need to either be cooked in boiling water or simply have boiling water poured over them. The packet will give you the specifics. Drain and discard the water then add the noodles like the photo above.
When you pour the sauce over the noodles you will see the magic that is dark soy sauce.
It will transform the bright white noodles into a yellow brown colour and make slurp worthy lip licking yum!
As you can see from the photos above, the sauce will cover the entire contents of the pan. Simply stir the noodles, veggies and meat so that the colour is consistent across the dish.
Grab your chopsticks to pick up the slippery noodles and you will soon be licking the soy based sauce off your chin!
Every mouthful is so delicious!
This is a flavour packed all in one dish.
No need for salads or sides.
If looking for an appetizer, I can recommend my Air Fryer Frozen Spring Rolls or Gyoza with soy sauce!
How to Guide
How to Store
Let the dish cool, then store in a sealed air tight container or portion and freeze for mid week meals.
How to Freeze
Individual portions will freeze the best. Place in plastic sealed containers in the freezer.
How to Reheat
Remove from the freezer and ensure the contents of the containers have fully thawed prior to reheating.
If you try and reheat from frozen, the noodles wil break apart.
Substitutions and Variations
If you are wondering if you can switch anything in and out for this recipe, for sure you can:
- Add mushrooms or buk choy or switch them in for switching out one of the listed vegetables.
- Try the dish with pork belly, beef strips, chicken mince or seafood.
- Top with your favourite Japanese garnishes such as pickled ginger or bonito flakes.
- Sprinkle some chopped green onions over the cooked dish.
- Add some toasted sesame seeds to the top of the dish.
Here are my top tips, tricks and techniques to help you master the recipe from the very 1st time you make it:
- Have everything prepped and ready before starting to cook.
- Use high heat and things will cook quickly!
- Cook the udon noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
- Use chopsticks when cooking the noodles to uncurl them.
- Keep things moving in the pan when cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Yaki Udon vs udon?
Yaki Udon is stir fried Japanese noodles.
Udon refers to the noodles themselves.
They are thick, white and chewy.
What does Yaki Udon have in it?
Yaki Udon has a combination of a protein (meat) such as beef, chicken or seafood, a combination soy sauce and chopped vegetables.
Is Yaki Udon fried?
Yaki Udon are stir fried noodles.
We only need a small amount of oil and this is to cook the chicken.
Stir Frying is the method of using high heat in a wok or pan to cook vegetables and meats moving them quickly with a cooking utensil as you go.
What is udon made of?
Udon noodles are made from wheat flour. They can be found in the fridge, freezer and Asian foods section of the supermarket.
They cook quickly and are a great ingredients to use in Japanese cooking.
More Takeout Style Recipes
Here are some more recipes that are like take out but can be easily whipped up in your kitchen:
- Seafood Yaki Udon
- Oven Chicken Kabobs
- Prawn Stir Fry Noodles
- Chilli Garlic Noodles
- Salmon Noodle Stir Fry
- Ginger Scallion Noodles
- Hungover Noodles
- Asian Chicken Pizza
Get your Japanese on my friends (oishii!!)
PIN and save the recipe for later!
Chicken Yaki Udon
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Knife
- 1 Small jug
- 1 Mini whisk
- 1 Large fry pan or Wok
- 1 Silicon flexible turner or Wooden Spoon
- 1 Chopsticks
- 1 Heatproof Bowl or Saucepan to cook noodles
- 2 tablespoon peanut oil
- 4 chicken thighs skinless, boneless, cut into 1-2 cm cubes, Note 1
- 2 cups cabbage shredded into long thin strips
- 6 green onions ends trimmed, white onion part
- 1 cup carrots peeled, cut into long thin strips
- 400 grams udon noodles Note 2
Chicken Yaki Udon Sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce Note 3
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce Note 4
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- Make the sauce: use a small jug and mini whisk to combine and stir the ingredients to make the sauce.
- Cook chicken: heat 2 tbs peanut oil in fry pan at high heat, add chicken 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 chicken: add cooked chicken 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 - Chicken: I recommend using skinless, boneless chicken thighs. The meat is more tender than chicken breast, however, if you want to use that instead of the chicken thighs you can. You can also use the equivalent (500 grams) of chicken mince (ground chicken).
- 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.