Make a mouthwatering one-pot dinner with chewy noodles and juicy steak in just 15 minutes! This Easy Beef Yaki Udon Noodle Recipe is the ultimate weeknight dinner and lunch meal prep with minimal dishes left behind.
These savory Beef Yaki Udon Noodles are an easy and budget-friendly way to break out of mundane repetitive meals - with minimal effort! With just a few ingredients, you’ll create a bold & flavor meal in no time.
My husband loves when I pack this or Vegetarian Yaki Udon for his lunch! Sometimes I’ll swap it out with Sesame Noodles or Chili Oil Noodles and add these quick Spicy Edamame as a little snack! SO good!
❤️ Recipe Highlights
- One-Pot = Less Dishes: Cook everything in one pan, which means more time enjoying dinner with the family & less time washing dishes! It’s definitely one of my favorite One-Pot Dinners.
- Budget-Friendly: All the ingredients create bold exciting flavors and textures without breaking the bank. Yep, you don’t need a fancy cut of beef for juicy tender ribbons of steak! Plus, using it in this beef udon stir-fry makes the beef go much further.
- Easy Meal Prep: Make your lunch for the week in just 15 minutes with this easy Beef Udon Noodle Stir Fry! Has meal prepping ever been any easier?
Create big bold flavors in no time! These delicious Beef Yaki Udon Noodles are just minutes away.
- Udon Noodles: These are thick chewy Japanese udon noodles made of wheat flour. You can easily find these at a local Asian grocery store in the frozen section. They’re SUPER helpful to keep on hand since they have a long shelf-life and cook quickly! If you're using fresh udon noodles or dried udon noodles, refer to the package instructions on how to prep them.
- Dark Soy Sauce: This is what gives this Japanese Udon Noodle recipe that beautiful dark rich color more than anything else. You can easily find it at local Asian markets or Amazon too. I usually reach for the Lee Kim Kee brand.
- Regular Soy Sauce: Regular soy sauce (low sodium/light soy sauce) gives this Beef Udon Noodle recipe the needed saltiness.
- Oyster Sauce: This adds sweet and salty flavors to the sauce. You can easily find it at local Asian grocery stores and is becoming a popular ingredient some local grocery stores carry it in the international/Asian ingredient section!
- Mirin: This is a Japanese cooking wine that helps tenderize the meat, enhance the flavors of the sauce, create a beautiful char on these Japanese stir-fried udon noodles.
- Rice Vinegar: Just a bit of acid helps round out the sweet & salty flavors from the rest of the ingredients for the delicious stir fry sauce.
See recipe card for quantities.
📖 Variations & Substitutions
This weeknight stir-fry is easily adjustable. Swap out the veggies & choice of protein in this Beef Udon recipe for what you have on hand for a delicious & budget-friendly way to clear your fridge! Here are a few ideas:
- Bok choy leaves
- Thinly sliced chicken
- Large or Jumbo shrimp
- Or keep it vegetarian with extra crunchy veggies!
This Beef Udon Stir Fry has three parts: sauce, noodles, mix-ins. Then everything comes together super quickly!
Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine the yaki udon sauce ingredients - dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, & honey until smooth.
Step 2: In a bowl, combine thinly sliced beef with about 1 tablespoon of sauce, or enough to coat the meat. Mix well then allow to marinate. Then prep udon noodles by placing them in hot (not boiling) water & gently separating them using chopsticks. Be careful not to break noodles. Drain & set aside.
Step 3: In a large pan or wok on medium-high heat, add about tablespoon of oil, then sauté beef for about a minute, or until golden brown. Remove & set aside.
Step 4: Saute cabbage & onions until slightly tender but still crunchy, then add garlic & cook for a few more seconds. Add carrots & mushrooms, adding more oil if needed. Saute for a couple or minutes, or until carrots are slightly tender & mushrooms are soft.
Hint: Allow your beef to get beautifully golden brown & caramelized by spreading them evenly throughout the pan and allow them to cook for a few seconds without touching. Flip and cook undisturbed for a few more seconds, then remove from pan.
Step 5: Toss in udon noodles, cooked beef, & sauce, then stir-fry until sauce is absorbed.
Step 6: Transfer your pan fried Beef Yaki Udon Noodles to a serving plate. Top with green onions & toasted sesame seeds if you’re feeling fancy. Enjoy!
👩🏽🍳 Key Tips
- Be Prepped Before Turning On Stove: Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped and within arm's reach. This will save you from rushing around & help you avoid burning your delicious Bulgogi Noodles since stir fries have a fast cooking time!
- Use Regular Soy Sauce: Regular soy sauce gives this easy udon noodle recipe the saltiness it needs. If you only have the low-sodium kind, don't worry - just add a little extra for more taste.
- Keeping Noodles Chewy: To keep the cooked udon noodles chewy instead of soggy, I prefer to soak the noodles in very hot water instead of boiling them. They’re already cooked and don’t want to overcook them by boiling AND stir-frying them.
- Effortlessly Cut Meat Thinly: Cut meat while it's still partially frozen to easily get longer pieces that still cook quickly!
- Marinate Your Protein: To make your beef extra tender, flavorful, & give it a beautiful golden color, marinate it in the sauce. If you have some extra time, you can even make the sauce ahead of time and let the beef soak up all those delicious flavors for longer.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Keep any leftover Beef Udon Noodles in the fridge in airtight containers for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave, adding a splash of water if needed to help loosen them up.
Udon are chewy Japanese wheat noodles. Yaki udon are stir-fried noodles seasoned with soy-based sauce, veggies, and protein.
Steak Yaki Udon is made of thick chewy udon noodles coated in a slightly sweet and savory sauce. The tender beef and crunchy veggies also add delicious texture to the dish.
The biggest differences are that yaki udon is a Japanese noodle stir-fry made of thick wheat noodles and lo mein is a Chinese noodle stir-fry made with egg noodles.
The biggest difference are in terms of noodles. Udon noodles are made of wheat to create thick white noodles with a chewy texture. Soba noodles are made of buckwheat for thin brown noodles with a bit less chew.
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Starving and have zero time? Here are more delicious meals that’ll hit the table in under 20 minutes!
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Easy Beef Yaki Udon Noodle Recipe
- 4 ounces beef thinly sliced (top sirloin, flank/skirt, or ribeye steak)
- 8 ounces frozen udon noodles
- 1 cup cabbage thinly sliced
- ½ medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 carrots thinly sliced
- 3 shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1 green onions thinly sliced
- In a bowl, combine the sauce ingredients.
- Take about a tablespoon of the sauce and combine it with the beef. If you’ve multiplied the recipe, add more of the marinade as needed. Set it aside to let it marinate while you prep the remaining ingredients.
- In a large bowl with hot water, place frozen udon noodles and gently loosen them using chopsticks. Be careful not to break them. Once they’re separated, drain them, run under cold water. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large pan on medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil, then add in steak. Spread them throughout the pan and let them create a sear by not touching them for about 30 seconds. Flip & allow the other side to sear for another minute, or until browned. Remove meat then set aside.
- In the pan, add a little more oil if needed, then toss in cabbage and cook until it becomes golden along the edges.
- Add onions to cook for a few more seconds, or until they start getting slightly soft but still crunchy. Toss in the garlic and saute for a couple more seconds, until it’s fragrant.
- Add in carrots and mushrooms and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes, or until the carrots become slightly tender and the mushrooms are soft.
- Add in noodles and steak back in, then pour sauce on top. Gently stir so the noodles don’t break. Cook until the sauce has been completely absorbed.
- Top with green onions and sesame seeds if desired, then enjoy!
- Udon Noodles: Udon noodles have a chewy texture and can be found in local Asian markets in the refrigerated or frozen sections. I prefer the frozen variety for convenience.
- Vegetables: Use any veggies you like, including ones you need to use up from the back of your fridge!
- Regular / Light vs Dark Soy Sauce: Regular or light soy sauce adds a salty flavor, while dark soy sauce gives a deep color. You can find dark soy sauce at local Asian markets and it's recommended for a richer taste.
- Protein: Swap out beef with shrimp, thinly sliced chicken, or make it vegetarian. Enjoy!
- Key Tips
- Get Prepped Before Turning On Stove: Prep your ingredients before turning on the stove to avoid burning your meal.
- Use Regular Soy Sauce: Use regular soy sauce for the perfect amount of saltiness. If you only have low-sodium soy sauce, add a little extra for flavor.
- Easy Method to Cutting Meat Thinly: Slice meat thinly by cutting it at a 45-degree angle while partially frozen. This technique makes the meat easier to cut and cook evenly.
- 2:1 Noodle to Protein Ratio: Double the amount of noodles to protein for a quick and easy meaty noodle stir-fry. Enjoy!
Exact calculations may vary. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.