Shrimp Yaki Udon is a Japanese recipe with stir fried noodles. The shrimp are juicy and succulent and the veggies and udon combine to make this meal perfect any night of the week! Better yet, it will be on the table in less than 20 mins.
Everything that you will come to know and love about this recipe is summarized below:
- Packed with vegetables that take minimal prep work.
- Full of protein that cooks quickly and tastes amazing.
- Versatile: there are a number of ways to have this be a staple recipe but switch it up a little so that you don't get bored.
- Take away at home: skip the queue at the local take away place or waiting for delivery and make recipes that you would normally order in from the comfort of home!
- Fuss free and effortless: this recipe is as simply as cutting some veggies, stirring a sauce together and peeling some prawns. There is nothing too labour intensive about it.
Everything you need to make the recipe is shown in the photo below. For exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll to the printable recipe card below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Peanut oil: we add this to the pan, heat then add the shrimp. It holds up well at a high temperature and is perfect in Asian cooking.
- Shrimp: entirely up to you if you want to purchase fresh shrimp (prawns) and peel yourself or purchase frozen peeled shrimp. I am using fresh banana prawns that I peeled and deveined.
- Udon Noodles: these are thick, white, wheat based noodles. You will find them in the fresh (chilled) section of the store, the frozen section of many Asian supermarkets or Asian cooking aisle in the supermarket. Try a few brands and work out your favourite.
- Cabbage: this vegetable is so easy to prepare! Simply use a knife and chopping board to slice into thin pieces and it is ready.
- Green onions: remove the roots and tips and cut into segments. I only use the white parts, but you can finely slice the top green bits for garnish if you want.
- Carrot: peel or don't peel again your choice. I like to peel then cut into long thin strips as I think they compliment the cabbage when cut like this.
Yaki Udon Sauce
- 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.
Top Tip: If you find the noodles sticking once cooked, you can add a drizzle of sesame oil to keep them slick.
Here are the step by step photos to show you exactly what to do to make the recipe.
- Gather sauce ingredients (Photo 1)
- Whisk to combine (Photo 2)
- Add oil and shrimp to pan, cook (Photo 3)
- Add vegetables and stir fry for 2 to 3 mins (Photo 4)
How to Make Shrimp Yaki Udon
The sauce can easily be whisked together, it is easy to do at the start and set aside until ready to use.
The shrimp (prawns) will take 3 to 4 minutes to cook. Once they are done, we remove them from the pan to allow us to cook the other ingredients.
The vegetables will take 2 to 3 minutes to cook. When they are done, they will have a wet sweaty look to them.
- Add cooked noodles (Photo 5)
- Transfer cooked shrimp pan to pan (Photo 6)
- Pour sauce over the noodles (Photo 7)
- Stir till heated through (Photo 8)
Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Some brands will call for boiling on the stove in water and others will only require hot water being poured over them for a couple of minutes.
Use chopsticks when cooking them to help unfold them. Once they are cooked, drain and discard the water.
You will see from the photos in the step by step instructions above that when we add the soy based sauce to the dish it transforms the bright white udon noodles to thick saucy brown noodles. This is due to the dark soy sauce. It is a unique ingredient and a little goes a long way!
To serve the dish, simply portion, provide chopsticks and you are done!
A popuar Japanese starter is gyoza, so you could try that or the more Westernised Air Fryer Frozen Spring Rolls.
How to Guide
How to Store
If you are not consuming the full cooked quantity, you can store the leftovers in the fridge in a sealed air tight container for 2 to 3 days.
How to Freeze
When the dish has cooled, you can portion and place in containers, meal prepped for the week ahead.
How to Reheat
To reheat frozen leftovers, it is best to allow them to fully thaw.
This is because the noodles are very delicate and would break apart if you try and reheat from frozen.
Simply heat thawed leftovers in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are the switch in and outs you can do with a couple of options so that you have room for variety:
- Switch up the vegetables and try using Asian style veggies such as buy choy, mushrooms and or pak choy.
- Opt for bell peppers (capsisums) for a change from the carrot and cabbage combo.
- Change the protein from shrimp to beef, pork, chicken or seafood.
- Top the dish with toasted sesame seeds to serve.
- Garnish with sliced green onions to serve.
- Add pickled ginger (gari) as a garnish.
- Add bonito flakes as a traditional style topping.
🛎 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks so that you can make the recipe and perfect it from the get go:
- Have everything prepped and ready to go.
- Use high heat when cooking.
- Keep things moving in the pan so there is no sticking.
- Serve in bowls with chopsticks.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What does yaki udon have in it?
Yaki Udon has a protein (such as pork, beef, chicken or shrimp), vegetables and a combined soy sauce.
Udon noodles are a feature in the dish and usually get smothered with sauce, transforming them from bright white into slick brown saucy soy like noodles.
What is Yaki Udon sauce made of?
Yaki Udon Sauce is a soy based sauce with ingredients such as mirin and rice wine vinegar.
With a touch of sweetness from the brown sugar and saltiness from the oyster sauce, it is the perfect slick sauce to smother the udon noodles and coat the shrimp and vegetables.
Is shrimp healthier than chicken?
Shrimp is known for being lower in fat than beef, pork and chicken.
It makes a healthy choice, but so does chicken. The difference between the 2 comes down to portion size. If you have a fully loaded shrimp bowl compared to a smaller size chicken bowl, the kcal count will be similar based on one portion being larger than the other.
😍 Related Recipes
You might be enjoying this recipe because it is like take out or because you love noodles or possibly seafood. Here are some similar recipes that I hope you will also enjoy:
- Seafood Yaki Udon
- Soy Sauce Noodles
- Chilli Garlic Noodles
- Ginger Scallion Noodles
- Chicken Mince Stir Fry
- Coconut Prawns
- Creamy Garlic Prawns
Shrimp Yaki Udon
- 1 Small jug
- 1 Mini whisk
- 1 Large fry pan or Wok
- 1 Silicon flexible turner
- 1 Chopsticks
- 1 Heatproof Bowl or Sauce pan (noodles)
- 2 tablespoon peanut oil
- 500 grams shrimp peeled and deveined, Note 1
- 2 cups cabbage thinly sliced into long strips
- 8 green onions roots and tips trimmed, then cut into quarters, using the white parts only
- 1 cup carrots peeled, cut into thin strips
- 400 grams udon noodles Note 2
Shrimp Yaki Udon Sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce Note 3
- 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce Note 4
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- Make sauce: use a small jug to combine and whisk the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Cook shrimp: at 2 tbs peanut oil in fry pan at high heat, add shrimp and cook till bright orange, 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 shrimp: add cooked shrimp 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 - Shrimp: I am using fresh shrimp that I peelend and deveined. You can do this too or purchase frozen shrimp and then defrost, drain and pat dry before serving. Fresh shrimp has a more chewy texture than frozen cooked shrimp which has less bite about it.
- 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.