Delicious Beef Udon Stir Fry, super fast and easy noodle recipe that you can make in 20 minutes! This udon recipe is simple but not bland, packed with Japanese flavour. Perfect dinner idea for busy weeknights!
This dish is also known as Beef Yaki Udon, one of the most popular Japanese stir-fries. Yaki Udon recipes are basically made with a choice of protein, vegetables, and thick chewy udon noodles.
Cooking method is very similar to other stir fry udon noodles recipes. I've already shared my Yaki Udon with Chicken and Prawn Noodles recipes a few months back, for my friends who want to make it with chicken or prawns.
Ingredients you will need
This is a very straightforward recipe, you will only need 4 basic ingredients. Beefsteak, udon noodles, a choice of stir fry vegetables, and quick homemade stir fry sauce. Most of the sauce ingredients are pantry staples, except Japanese cooking wine.
- Beef: Use beef steak like, ribeye, sirloin, tenderloin, rump, or any of your favourite tender steak cut.
- Noodles: Udon is a thick chewy Japanese wheat noodles. You can buy staright-to-wok udon at most supermarket Asian aisle or fresh/frozen udon at Oriental Chinese and Korean grocery stores.
- Vegetables: I add pak choi, mushroom, and onion in this recipe. Pak choi is widely available in UK supermarkets and groceries.
- Stir Fry Sauce: Japanese mirin, light soy sauce and sugar are 3 key sauces to make the sauce. I add dark soy sauce for more colour and sesame oil to bring some toasty flavour. A dash of cornstarch is to thicken the sauce.
See the recipe card for detailed quantities.
How to make beef udon stir fry
- First blanch the udon noodles with hot boiling for 1-2 minutes to loosen up. Drain water out, rinse with cold water and set it aside.
- Gather all ingredients, cut the meat and vegetables. Whisk all the stir fry sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Season the beef slices with a tablespoon of stir fry sauce mix, mix well and set it aside.
- In a large wok/pan stir fry the beef slices for 2-3 minutes then push the beef to one side. Add garlic, onion, and stir for 1 minute. Follow with the mushroom and cook for another 1 minute. Next add the pak choi and stir it well for few seconds.
- Place the udon in the middle of the pan, pour the sauce in. Toss well, continue cook for another 1-2 minutes, until sauce and everything combine evenly.
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle chopped spring onions.
Variations and substitutes
- Udon - instead of ready-to-fry udon, you can use other noodles like Shanghai, Hokkien, or any thick egg/wheat noodles. Even ramen or yakisoba noodles goes well with this recipe too.
- Pak Choi - it can be substitute with bok choy, choy sum, kai lan, or your choice of stir fry vegetables.
- Add-ons - other stir fry vegetables like bell pepper, snap peas, carrots, baby corns, cabbage, etc, goes well with this dish. Japanese red picked ginger gives fresh taste to the dish too. If you have it in hand you can add this as a toppings or garnish.
- Steak - Instead of tender steak, you can swap with chicken, pork, or prawns. For vegetarians, swap with firm tofu or Quorn meat.
- Mirin - Japanese mirin has a unique taste and flavour but if you cannot get it, use Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry instead. For non-alcochol version, substitute mirin with rice vinegar and a dash of sugar for some sweetness.
- Chilli - Authentic Japanese yaki udon dishes are mild flavour in general. If you love to bring some heat to the dish, add some fresh chilli pepper slices in the stir fry or a tablespon of chilli oil in the sauce mixture. See my homemade chilli garlic oil on my website.
- Cut the steak against the grain for tender result. If you are using cheaper cuts like chuck or flank steak, add a teaspoon of corn starch and half teaspoon of baking soda, together with a tablespoon of stir fry sauce. Let it sit aside and marinade for 15 minutes. This is the simple trick to keep the meat moist and tender in your fry dishes.
- You can blanch the udon noodles with hot water or prepare by the packet instructions but it's important not to overcook them. Rinse with cold water and drain the water out after boiling/blanching.
- Use large pan or wok to give enough heat to all ingredients evenly.
Frequently asked questions
Udon is made with wheat flour and water. One of the very few types of Asian noodles that doesn't contain egg inside. Soft, thick, chewy in texture and you can add in your stir fry and soups.
Beef Udon has a sweet and savoury taste made with soy sauces, sugar and Japanese mirin. Loaded with juicy tender beef steak, crisp vegetables and thick chewy udon noodles. Very light, filling and satisfying noodle dish that both kids and adults can enjoy.
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Beef Udon Stir Fry Recipe
- 250 g Beef steak ( around 8.8 oz ) ( ribeye, sirloin, rump or any tender steak ) cut in thin slices
- 400 g Udon noodles ( around 14 oz ) See details in note
- 2 head Pak choi ( Or bok choy/choy sum ) Cut lengthwise or thin slices
- 100 g Mushroom ( around 3.5 oz ) ( button, shiitake, white or oyster mushroom ) cut thin slices
- 1 tbsp Garlic Finely chopped
- 1 Onion Cut thin slices
- 2 Spring onions Cut thin slices
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil or neutral flavour oil
Stir Fry Sauce
- 2 tbsp Mirin ( Japanese rice cooking wine ) or Shaoxing wine
- 2 tbsp Light soy sauce Or regular soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- ½ tsp Corn starch
- Blanch the udon noodles with hot water for 1-2 minutes to loosen them. Drain and rinse with cold water and set it aside. ( Or prepare by the packet instructions. Make sure not to overcooked as you are stir frying them again. )
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisk and set it aside. Cut the beef into thin slices against the grain. Season with 1 tablespoon of stir fry sauce mix. Gather and prepare the vegetables.
- Heat the large pan or wok to medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoon of oil, stir fry the beef slices for 2-3 minutes. Push the beef to one side, add garlic and onion slices and stir for few seconds and follow with the mushroom. Cook for another 1 minute, then add the pak choi and toss it well.
- next place the udon in the middle of the pan, pour the sauce mixture in. Cook for another 2 minutes until the sauce and other ingredients combine evenly.
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle chopped spring onions. Transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.
- Udon Noodles - If you use pre-cooked or ready-to-use udon noodles, add hot boiling water over the noodles let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Then rinse with cold water. If you use fresh or frozen noodles, follow the packet instructions. To prevent the noodles from overcooked, rinse with cold water after boiling.
Instead of udon, you can swap with any thick egg or wheat noodles.
- Steak - Use chicken, prawns/shrimp, or pork instead of beef steak.
- Vegetables - Other stir fry vegetables can be added or substituted. If you use hard vegetables like broccoli or tender stem broccoli, blanch them in hot water for few minutes before adding to stir fry.
- Mirin - Mirin is a Japanese sweet cooking rice wine, similar to sake. If you cannot get mirin, substitute with Chinese Shaoxing wine or dry sherry. For halal or non-alcohol cooking, you can use rice vinegar and a dash of sugar as substitutes.
- Salt & Pepper - As soy sauces already consist of salt intake, we don't usually add salt in this recipe. But you can make a taste test and add some salt or black pepper according to your taste.
- Adjust sugar - If you prefer your sauce sweeter, add extra sugar or adjust to your preference.