This Easy Shrimp Yaki Udon recipe will be on your dinner rotation FOR SURE! Chewy noodles, shrimp and veggies are pan fried in a delicious sauce that’s ready in 10 minutes flat making it the perfect weeknight meal!
If I am ever at a Chinese (or any Asian) restaurant, my default order is ALWAYS noodles! My absolute favorite are thick udon noodles with either chicken or shrimp in a delicious sauce….we KNOW the secret is in the udon noodle sauce!!!!
This recipe gives you everything you want in takeout noodles but without TONS of fat and oil making these udon noodles pretty darn healthy! Throw in some veggies and protein and dinner is served…in about 10 minutes. Yes, you are Superman.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- It’s done in TEN MINUTES flat. Can you believe it?!
- There are so many options to make this udon noodle recipe gluten free, vegetarian and vegan!
- The sauce! It’s a little tangy, a little sweet and coats the noodles just perfectly.
- This udon recipe is much more healthy than takeout stir fry udon! There is MUCH less oil in this recipe than in takeout versions!
- Did I mention you can make this in TEN MINUTES? (Just checking).
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious yaki udon:
Yaki Udon: The best udon noodles come in airtight, vacuumed sealed packages in the produce section of your grocery store. Make sure you are getting plain noodles, with no seasoning (or discard the seasoning packet). Look for the words “Fresh Udon Noodles” when purchasing–you don’t want to dried kind. Recently, Trader Joe’s has started selling udon noodles in a box with 4 packages of noodles. You can find them near the pasta section (not refrigerated).
Shrimp: I like using smaller (40-50 count) shrimp for this recipe because they cook so quickly, but any size works!
Soy Sauce: If you can find dark soy sauce–fantastic! If not, I prefer low sodium soy sauce for this recipe. Dark soy sauce can typically be found at Asian stores and some more speciality stores like Whole Foods. Don’t stress if you can’t find it! It’s more for color.
Hoisin Sauce: Hoisin sauce made from fermented soy beans mixed with some spices and sugar. It has a sweet, rich flavor. It can be found in the Asian section of most chain grocery stores.
Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables: To make this dinner super quick, a package of frozen stir fried veggies are a Godsend! They just take a couple of minutes to heat up and bring this whole dish together.
HOW TO MAKE SHRIMP YAKI UDON: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Whisk together ingredients for the yaki udon sauce: Soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, hoisin sauce and corn starch.
Step 2: In a medium skillet over high heat, cook shrimp until pink (about 1 minute on each side).
Step 3: Remove shrimp from skillet and add noodles. Cook noodles for about 3 minutes. As they are cooking, use tongs to gently break up the noodles.
Step 4: Add frozen veggies and sauce and stir to coat.
Step 5: When veggies are heated through, add shrimp back to the pan. Toss to coat everything with the sauce and serve immediately.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
“Yaki” simple means grilled or stir fried and “udon” are thick wheat noodles. So simply put, yaki udon is stir fried noodles.
Yaki udon are wheat-based noodles that are usually large, white and chewy. They are used in udon noodle soup and are perfect for stir frying. Soba noodles are made with buckwheat flour and are darker in color. Soba noodles are also longer and thinner than udon noodles–they are about the shape and size of spaghetti.
Since udon noodles are wheat-based they are not gluten free. Soba noodles will work, along with Chinese egg noodles. When looking for substitutes, the thicker the noodles, the better!
Yaki udon noodles can typically be found in the produce section of chain grocery stores. You can also find the dried version in the Asian section. However, know that you will have to cook the dried version before stir frying!
This noodle dish stores well in the fridge in an air tight container (or tightly covered) for up to 3 days. To reheat, put noodles in a pan and re-stir fry 2 minutes until heated through. You can also reheat these noodles in a microwave-safe bowl for a minute or two.
There are a few substitutions to make this gluten-free. First, use Tamari in place of the soy sauce. Also, omit the hoisin or check the ingredients! Some hoisin sauces use wheat flour as a thickener. Otherwise, leave it out. You will also have to substitute egg or buckwheat (soba) noodles.
It is super easy to make this recipe vegan or vegetarian! Simply use tofu or an alternative protein. Just adding additional veggies is also a great option!
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- When stir frying the noodles, be gentle when breaking them apart. They will soften as they get warm, making them easier to break apart. If you find they aren’t easily breaking apart, add about a tablespoon of water to speed up the process.
- Can’t find yaki udon noodles? Use pasta! I have made this dish with both spaghetti and linguine and no one complains! The only downside is you have to boil the noodles first. However, it’s still done in less than 30 minutes!!
- If you want to use fresh veggies, go for it! I like steaming them beforehand in the microwave, then throwing them in at the last minute with the shrimp or other protein.
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Easy Shrimp Yaki Udon
For the Yaki Udon Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce See Note 1
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce See Note 2
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp corn starch
For the Noodles
- 1/2 lb shrimp See Note 3
- 2 5 oz. packages udon noodles See Note 4
- 2 cups frozen stir fried vegetables
- 2 tsp oil any oil works!
- scallions and sesame seeds for garnish optional
- In a small bow, whisk together all sauce ingredients; set aside.
- In a large pan over high heat, heat one teaspoon of oil. Add shrimp and cook until no longer pink (about 1 minute per side).
- In the same pan, add remaining teaspoon of oil. Then add yaki udon noodles. Cook noodles for about 3 minutes. As the noodles are cooking, use tongs to gently break them apart. They will begin to break apart as they heat up in the skillet.
- After about 3 minutes when the noodles are separated, add sauce and frozen veggies. Toss to coat everything with the sauce and heat the veggies through (about 1 minute more).
- Add shrimp back into the pan, give everything one more big toss. Top with scallions and sesame seeds (if using) and serve immediately.