A vegetarian version of a Japanese classic recipe. This Vegetarian Yaki Udon recipe is a meatless version of a Japanese legend. Quick and easy to make yet full of nutritious ingredients, it’ll become your new favourite!
If you would like to explore another classic udon recipe, give our fantastic Vegan Dan Dan Noodles a try!
There’s a reason why udon noodles are so popular right now. The noodles are perfect for cheap and easy dishes that pack a wallop of flavour. Vegetarian yaki udon noodles are a perfect example!
This dish comes together in a hurry but you wouldn’t know it from the taste. The vegetables and sauces combine in surprising layers of rich flavour.
Yaki udon noodles are a popular fast food in Japan, where they are often made with pork belly or chicken. I’ve made this recipe vegetarian, and love the way the vegetables come together with the soy sauce, mirin and dashi stock. It’s all very satisfying, and a recipe you will come back to time and again!
Udon noodles are a basic staple in Japan. Like so many staples, they act like a blank slate that allows for all sorts of recipes to be created around them. In that way, they have a role in a recipe just like potatoes, pasta or bread.
Udon noodles likely originated in China, and there are a few stories about how they made it to Japan. But once they did, udon noodles quickly became a core part of Japanese cuisine.
We’ve tried both dried and precooked udon noodles, and both have their merits. It doesn’t really matter which you choose, although I like the way dried udon noodles hold together so well when cooked. Just know that you will need half as much dried udon noodles for a recipe, since precooked noodles have alrady absorbed water.
How to make vegetarian yaki udon noodles
Making this recipe is easier that I thought possible. Even better, it is incredibly fast. The actual cooking takes 10 minutes at most!
Because it is such a quick recipe, it is important to have the ingredients ready to go before starting. Start by cutting up your carrot julienne, which means into thin strips like matchsticks. Next finely slice the white cabbage.
The green sections of the green onions can be cut into two inch pieces. The white sections should be sliced into smaller pieces.
Time to prepare the mushrooms. If using shiitake mushrooms, it is best to remove the stems from the large ones. The stems can get a bit woodsy and not very pleasant to eat. Trim a bit off the stems of smaller mushrooms. Then cut the mushrooms into bit sized pieces. Smaller mushrooms can be left as they are.
If you are using dried udon noodles then cook them now according to package instructions. This step can be skipped if using pre-cooked noodles, which can be added directly to the wok or pan later, without any further prep.
Heat a wok or large pan and pour in 1 tbsp of oil. Add the vegetables except for the white pieces of the green onions and stir fry for 5-7 minutes. The vegetables will lose about half of their volume. They should be cooked all the way through, but still have a bit of firmness.
Now that the vegetables are done, it is time to add the other ingredients. Add the udon noodles and the rest of the green onions to the pan. Pour in the soy sauce, mirin and dashi stock and toss it all together to combine. If you can’t find vegan dashi stock, vegan Worcestershire sauce will work as a substitute.
Let it all heat through for 2-3 minutes, and drizzle with a sesame oil if you choose. Taste and see if it needs more salt, although there should be plenty in there already.
- 600g udon noodles precooked or 300g dry
- 1 tbsp oil
- 100g/1 cup white cabbage
- 100g shiitake mushrooms or button mushrooms
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 3 green onions, green parts cut into 2 inch pieces, white parts sliced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp vegan tsuyu/dashi stock or vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- Prepare the vegetables by cutting the carrot into very thin slices, finely slicing the cabbage, and removing the stems from large mushrooms (they tend to get firm) and trim the stem on the small ones. Cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
- Cook the udon noodles according to package instructions if using dry noodles. Rinse in cool water after cooking.
- In a wok or large pan heat the oil and add the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and the white sections of the green onions. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes. They should be cooked but still firm to the bite. The volume of the vegetables will reduce by half.
- Add the udon noodles and the rest of the green onions to the pan along with soy sauce, mirin and dashi stock. Toss to combine and heat through for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle with sesame oil before serving if desired. Taste and add salt if needed.
Precooked noodles are convenient and ready faster, but tend to break up when stir fried. Dried udon noodles hold together better, but both will work.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 649mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g