Easy 15-minute Udon Noodles

Enjoy a quick and delicious meal with these 15-minute Udon Noodles. Perfect for a delicious lunch or dinner, loved by kids and adults alike.

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Whip up a satisfying bowl of udon noodles in just 15 minutes! Boil the noodles, stir-fry your choice of protein and veggies, toss in a flavorful sauce, and you’re ready to enjoy a quick and delicious meal.

Udon noodles with teriyaki chicken in a pan, topped with green onions and sesame seeds.

Easy 15-minute Udon Noodlesa quick and easy recipe that uses simple ingredients such as noodles, vegetables, and a form of protein such as chicken breast or chunks of chicken thighs, prawns or tofu. Feel free to adapt your sauce to your preferences with a blend of light or/and dark soy sauce, mirin and oyster sauce.

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Why this recipe works 

These 15-minute Udon Noodles are an excellent option for a quick and delicious lunch or dinner. It’s a recipe that everyone enjoys and finishes quickly, particularly popular among kids who love restaurant-style dishes.

Ingredients to make 15-minute Udon Noodles

The use of the right ingredients is key when cooking. The overall taste of the dish improves exponentially with the quality of the ingredients used. Here is a list of all the ingredients used and my choice for making these noodles.

  • Cooking oil – sunflower oil is a good choice.
  • Udon noodles – are thick and white, and you can find them at any supermarket.
  • Shrimp or thinly sliced chicken, teriyaki chicken, beef, pork, bacon, tofu, or extra vegetables – for this recipe you can choose from any protein you have available.
  • Onion – white onion or shallots are best as they are suitable for frying.
  • Garlic – helps with the overall taste of the dish.
  • CabbageSweetheart or Savoy cabbage are best for this recipe, their soft texture makes them cook faster, Make sure to slice it thinly.
  • Carrot – adds a bit of crunch.
  • Green onions – used to garnish.
  • Sesame seeds – popular in stir-fry recipes, they add a nutty taste and crunch.
  • Light Soy sauce – A staple condiment in Asian cooking made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, and water. This sauce is lighter in colour and saltier than dark soy sauce. It is used for seasoning and marinating, adding a salty taste to dishes without darkening their colour.
  • Dark soy sauce – adds colour and a rich flavour to the dish.
  • Oyster sauce – provides a salty, sweet, and umami-rich taste.
  • Mirin – adds sweetness.
  • Brown sugar – adds sweetness.
  • Cornstarch – for coating chicken, helps to create a crispy exterior and locks in moisture, resulting in tender chicken.
  • Garlic – adds a certain flavour to the meat.
  • Red chilli pepper – brings a spicy kick to the recipe.
  • Ginger – it’s often used in Asian cooking, as it adds a certain spiciness.
  • Hoisin sauce – it’s a thick, sweet and savoury sauce commonly used in Chinese cuisine, often used as a glaze or marinade.
  • Sesame oil – it is an aromatic oil made from toasted sesame seeds, that adds a nutty taste to dishes and is commonly used in Asian cooking as a finishing oil.

Substitutions

Most of the main ingredients are simple and easy to get if you’re missing some. In many of my recipes, I provide alternative options, and here are a few for this one:

  • Cooking oil: You can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil as alternatives.
  • Udon noodles: Substitute with soba noodles, rice noodles, or even spaghetti if needed.
  • Protein (shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, bacon, tofu, or extra vegetables): Feel free to use any protein or vegetable you choose. For a vegetarian option, tofu or extra vegetables work well.
  • Onion: Replace with shallots or leeks.
  • Garlic: You can use garlic powder or garlic paste.
  • Cabbage: Swap with bok choy, spinach, or kale for a different texture and taste.
  • Carrot: Substitute with bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms for added colour and taste.
  • Green onions: Use chives or leeks as substitutes for green onions.
  • Toasted sesame seeds: If you don’t have sesame seeds, you can skip them or use chopped peanuts or almonds as a garnish.
  • Light soy sauce – Regular soy sauce can be used as a substitute for light soy sauce, but be mindful of its saltiness.
  • Dark soy sauce: Regular soy sauce can be used instead of dark soy sauce, but the flavour may be slightly different.
  • Oyster sauce: Substitute with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, or teriyaki sauce.
  • Mirin: You can replace mirin with rice vinegar mixed with a pinch of sugar or honey for a similar taste.
  • Brown sugar: Use white sugar, honey, or maple syrup as alternatives for sweetness.
  • Cornstarch – You can use arrowroot powder, potato or tapioca starch.
  • Garlic – Garlic powder or garlic paste can be used instead of fresh garlic.
  • Red chilli pepper – Substitute with chilli powder or paprika for a milder flavour, or use cayenne pepper for spiciness.
  • Ginger – Ground ginger or ginger paste can be used as a substitute for fresh ginger.
  • Hoisin sauce – If you don’t have hoisin sauce, you can substitute it with a mixture of soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, and a splash of vinegar.
  • Sesame oil – You can substitute sesame oil with any neutral-flavoured oil like vegetable oil or olive oil, but the overall taste won’t be the same.

Variations

Spicy Garlic Udon Noodles: Add minced garlic and chilli flakes to a pan with sesame oil. Stir-fry for a minute until fragrant. Add cooked udon noodles and toss with soy sauce and a splash of rice vinegar. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Teriyaki Chicken Udon Noodles: Cook diced chicken breast in a pan until browned and cooked through. Add teriyaki sauce and cooked udon noodles to the pan. Stir until everything is coated in the sauce. Serve with steamed broccoli and sesame seeds on top.

Sesame Ginger Beef Udon Noodles: Marinate thinly sliced beef in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, grated ginger, and garlic. Cook the beef in a hot pan until browned. Add cooked udon noodles, sliced bell peppers, and a drizzle of hoisin sauce. Toss everything together until heated through and serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Vegetarian Stir-Fry Udon Noodles: Heat sesame oil in a pan and add sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, and snap peas. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender. Add cooked udon noodles and a splash of soy sauce. Mix well and garnish with sliced green onions and chopped cilantro.

Shrimp and Broccoli Udon Noodles: Cook shrimp in a pan with minced garlic and ginger until pink and cooked through. Add steamed broccoli florets and cooked udon noodles to the pan. Drizzle with a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and sriracha. Stir well until heated through and serve with a squeeze of lime juice.

Tofu and Peanut Udon Noodles: Toss cubed tofu in a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil. Bake in the oven until crispy. Add cooked udon noodles to a pan with creamy peanut sauce (peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and a touch of honey). Stir in the baked tofu and garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

How to make this recipe

This 15-minute Udon Noodle recipe is a simple stir-fry Asian-inspired dish, which is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner for those busy weekdays. A family-friendly meal featuring vegetables, your choice of protein, and noodles.

Take a look at this step-by-step guide to making this delicious homemade recipe. The photos make it easy to follow along.

Fresh vegetables sizzling in a pan: sliced white onion, carrots, diced garlic, and shredded white cabbage being stir-fried.

Step 1: Stir-fry the onion, carrot, garlic, and cabbage for 3 minutes until softened.

Stir-frying sliced white onion, carrots, diced garlic, and shredded white cabbage in a pan, then adding cooked udon noodles.

Step 2: Cook the Udon noodles and add them to the vegetables.

Stir-fried sliced white onion, carrots, diced garlic, and shredded white cabbage in a pan, followed by cooked udon noodles and a sauce made of dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.

Step 3: Combine all sauce ingredients until combined and bring them to the pan.

Stir-fried sliced white onion, carrots, diced garlic, and shredded white cabbage in a pan, followed by cooked udon noodles and a sauce made of dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Finished with cooked chicken teriyaki.

Step 4: Finally, incorporate your chosen protein, in my case, the cooked chicken teriyaki. Stir until the sauce is evenly distributed.

Udon noodles with teriyaki chicken in a pan, topped with green onions and sesame seeds.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onion. Serve while hot!

A full list of ingredients and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

Leftovers and storage

This noodle recipe is best consumed when is freshly made, although if you make too much you can store it in the refrigerator. Just transfer the leftovers in an airtight container and consume them within 3 days. For leftovers, simply reheat them in a microwave or on the stove. Make sure they’re heated all the way through before digging in.

Recipe FAQs

Yes, you can! Whether it’s chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu, or even just eggs, feel free to use your favourite protein. Just make sure it’s cooked before adding it to the noodles.

Absolutely! You can customize your udon noodles with any vegetables you like. Some popular options include bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, snap peas, and mushrooms. Just chop them up and toss them in!

While udon noodles are traditional and delicious, you can certainly use other types of noodles if you prefer. Soba noodles or even spaghetti can work!

While it’s best to enjoy udon noodles fresh, you can prepare the ingredients in advance to save time. Just cook the protein and chop the vegetables ahead of time, then assemble everything quickly when you’re ready to eat.

Of course! If you’re short on time, feel free to use your favourite store-bought stir-fry sauce or teriyaki sauce instead of making your own. Just remember to check the ingredients for any allergens or additives.

Yes! Simply omit the meat or seafood and use tofu or a meat substitute instead. Make sure any sauces you use are vegetarian or vegan-friendly.


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Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp cooking oil, I used sunflower oil
  • 500g udon noodles
  • 300g chicken breast
  • 1/2 medium onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup or 1/4 small sweetheart cabbage shredded
  • 1/4 cup carrot julienne
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds and green onions for garnish

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes) or red pepper flakes, optional

Chicken Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch for coating chicken (or sub with potato starch or tapioca starch)
  • 2-4 garlic minced or sliced
  • 1 red chilli pepper sliced or chilli powder or flaked to taste
  • 1 medium piece of ginger, sliced 
  • 1 tbsp mirin 
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Instructions

Cut the chicken breast into small strips or chunks, transfer it to a bowl and coat evenly with the marinade mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinade for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and Gochugaru (if using). Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Now, let’s get those veggies ready. Begin by thinly slicing the onion, julienning the carrot, and thinly slicing the cabbage or grating it using the large holes. Don’t forget to grate the garlic after removing the skin. Place them separately on a plate and set aside.

Once the chicken has been marinated, it’s ready to cook.

In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it’s done, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet on a plate and set it aside.

In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the sliced onion and minced garlic. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the shredded cabbage and julienned carrot to the skillet. Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

Add the cooked udon noodles to the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over the noodles and vegetables. Toss everything together to ensure the noodles and vegetables are coated with the sauce.

Add the cooked chicken back into the skillet. Toss everything together for an additional 2 minutes to heat the meat. Add chopped green onions and toss again.

Serve the udon noodles in bowls, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and/or additional chopped green onions, if desired.

More Asian-inspired recipes

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Udon noodles with teriyaki chicken in a pan, topped with green onions and sesame seeds.

Easy 15-minute Udon Noodles

Whip up a satisfying bowl of udon noodles in just 15 minutes! Boil the noodles, stir-fry your choice of protein and veggies, toss in a flavorful sauce, and you're ready to enjoy a quick and delicious meal.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4
Calories 416 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp cooking oil I used sunflower oil
  • 500 g udon noodles
  • 300 g chicken breast
  • ½ medium onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup or 1/4 small sweetheart cabbage shredded
  • ¼ cup carrot julienne
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds and green onions for garnish

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp Gochugaru Korean chilli flakes or red pepper flakes, optional

Chicken Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch for coating chicken or sub with potato starch or tapioca starch
  • 2-4 garlic minced or sliced
  • 1 red chilli pepper sliced or chilli powder or flaked to taste
  • 1 medium piece of ginger sliced
  • 1 tablespoons mirin
  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Instructions
 

  • Start by cutting the chicken breast into small strips or chunks, transfer it to a bowl and coat evenly with the marinade mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinade for 30 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and Gochugaru (if using). Set aside.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Now, let’s get those veggies ready. Begin by thinly slicing the onion, julienning the carrot, and thinly slicing the cabbage or grating it using the large holes. Don’t forget to grate the garlic after removing the skin. Place them separately on a plate and set aside.
  • Once the chicken has been marinated, it’s ready to cook.
  • In a large skillet or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it’s done, which usually takes about 10-15 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet on a plate and set it aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoons of cooking oil. Add the sliced onion and minced garlic. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add the shredded cabbage and julienned carrot to the skillet. Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  • Add the cooked udon noodles to the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce over the noodles and vegetables. Toss everything together to ensure the noodles and vegetables are coated with the sauce.
  • Add the cooked chicken back into the skillet. Toss everything together for an additional 2 minutes to heat the meat. Add chopped green onions and toss again.
  • Serve the udon noodles in bowls, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and/or additional chopped green onions, if desired.

Notes

Step-by-Step Guide: You’ll find a helpful step-by-step guide to making this recipe on my blog. The photos make it easy to follow along.
 
 
Substitutions & Twists: I’ve listed some great substitutions and variations in the post above, so you can customize the dish to your liking.
 
 
Storage: These 15-minute Udon Noodles can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days. 
 
 
Tip 1: Prepare all ingredients in advance – Before you start cooking, prep all your ingredients. Chop your veggies and proteins, and have your sauce ingredients ready to go. This way, everything is set for a smooth cooking process. 
 
 
Tip 2: Use Pre-Cooked Udon Noodles: – Get pre-cooked udon noodles from the store. They’re a real time-saver and cook up quickly.
 
 
Tip 3Cook on medium-high heat  – When you’re ready to cook, crank up the heat! Stir-fry your noodles and other ingredients on medium to high heat for a few minutes. This helps them cook fast while keeping their great texture and taste intact.
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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We love noodles. These look and sound fantastic. Perfect for a nice easy meal. I am going to make some this weekend.