This Easy Shrimp Yaki Udon recipe will be on your dinner rotation for sure! Chewy noodles, fresh 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 is thick udon noodles with either chicken or shrimp in a delicious sweet, and savory sauce. And don’t you know the secret is in the udon noodle sauce!
This easy recipe gives you everything you want in takeout noodles without all the fat, making the noodle dish pretty darn healthy! Throw in some veggies and bulk it up with protein, and dinner is served – in about 10 minutes.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- It’s done in ten minutes, making it the perfect weeknight dinner!
- Customizable to your preferences. Change it up to make this quick meal gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan! Adjust the seasoning or the amount of sauce used. Make these noodles your own!
- The sauce! It’s a little tangy and sweet, and coats the silky udon noodles perfectly.
- This udon recipe is much more healthy than takeout stir-fried udon noodles!
- Takeout quality in the comfort of your own home for a fun and satisfying culinary experience.
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious shrimp yaki udon:
Yaki Udon: The best udon noodles come in airtight, vacuum-sealed packages in the produce section of your grocery store. Ensure you get plain noodles with no seasoning (or discard the seasoning packet).
Look for the words “Fresh Udon Noodles” when purchasing – you don’t want the dry kind. Trader Joe’s has recently started selling udon noodles in a box with 4 packages. You can find them near the pasta section (not refrigerated).
Asian grocery stores usually sell many different varieties of udon noodles, which are all delish!
Shrimp: I like using smaller (40-50 count) shrimp for this recipe because they cook 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. Look for dark soy sauce in Asian stores and specialty stores like Whole Foods. Don’t stress if you can’t find it! It’s more for color.
Hoisin Sauce: Hoisin sauce is made from fermented soy beans mixed with spices and sugar. It has a sweet, rich flavor. You can find this sauce in the Asian section of most chain grocery stores.
Frozen Stir Fry Vegetables: A package of frozen stir-fry veggies makes this dish super quick! It just takes a few minutes for them to thaw in the same skillet, bringing the whole dish together. The refreshing texture of the veggies complements the chewy texture of the noodles well.
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: First, whisk together the sauce ingredients: soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch.
Step 2: In a medium skillet over high heat, cook shrimp until pink (about 1 minute on each side).
Take care not to overcook the shrimp as it will become dry and rubbery.
Step 3: Then, remove shrimp from the skillet and add yaki udon noodles. Cook noodles for about 3 minutes. As they are cooking, use tongs to break up the noodles gently.
Step 4: Next, add frozen veggies and sauce and toss to coat.
Step 5: Add shrimp back to the pan when veggies are heated through. Toss to coat everything with the sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions (green onions), and serve immediately!
🌟CONFIDENCE TIP 🌟
Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before cooking, as this recipe comes together quickly, and you don’t want to overcook the noodles or the shrimp.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Go easy with the noodles. 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 a tablespoon of water to speed up the process.
- Can’t find yaki udon noodles? Use pasta! I have made this dish with 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!!
- Add gently steamed fresh veggies. 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.
Reheating: To reheat, put noodles in a pan and re-stir fry for 2 minutes until heated through. If needed, add a splash of water or soy sauce to create steam and speed up the heating process. You can also reheat these noodles in a microwave-safe bowl for a minute or two.
Freezing: Enjoy this noodle dish fresh. The noodles can become mushy, and the shrimp may become rubbery after freezing and thawing. The good news is that this 15-minute recipe is achievable even on a busy weeknight, so no meal freezing is necessary!
ADDITIONS & SUBSTITUTIONS
Protein/Meat: Any protein works here! Chicken, ground beef, sliced beef, and tofu. You can even nix the protein altogether and add more veggies.
Swap Frozen Veggies: I like using frozen veggies because it’s quick, but fresh veggies are delicious! I like steaming fresh veggies beforehand in the microwave, then throwing them in at the last minute with the shrimp or other protein.
Other Vegetables: Add fresh veggies such as bell pepper, broccoli, baby corn, snow peas, bok choy, yellow onion, and crunchy bean sprouts. This is a great dish to use up random veggies in your fridge.
Spice: Make this dish spicy and add sriracha to the stir-fry sauce. Or sprinkle some chili flakes on at the end!
Egg: Top with a fried or poached egg for extra protein, flavor, and texture. The creamy yolk adds richness to the dish, making it even more satisfying.
Delicious Toppings: Add some crunch with sesame seeds or kimchi for a tangy twist.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
“Yaki” means grilled or stir-fried, and “udon” are thick wheat noodles. So simply put, yaki udon is stir-fried noodles.
Yaki udon is 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.
You can find yaki udon noodles in the produce section of chain grocery stores. You can also find the dried version in the Asian section. However, know that you must cook the dried version before stir-frying!
First, use tamari instead of soy sauce and check the hoisin sauce ingredients for wheat flour. You may also need to substitute udon noodles with gluten-free options like buckwheat (soba) or Chinese egg noodles. When looking for substitutes, the thicker the noodles, the better!
It is super easy to make this recipe vegan or vegetarian! Use tofu or an alternative protein or omit it altogether and add extra veggies.
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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 frozen or fresh shrimp 40-50 count shrimp work great, but any size is fine!
- 2 5 oz. packages fresh udon noodles See Note 3
- 2 cups frozen stir fry vegetables
- 2 tsp vegetable oil olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil are also fine
- green onions and sesame seeds for garnish optional
- In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients; set aside.
- In a large skillet over high heat, heat one teaspoon of oil. Add shrimp and cook until no longer pink (about 1 minute per side). Transfer shrimp to a plate and set aside.
- 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.