This shrimp yaki udon is super easy to make and can be ready to enjoy in 15 minutes! It's savory and slightly tangy with udon noodles that are bouncy and chewy and a variety of veggies for some crunch. Top this stir fried shrimp udon with some Kewpie mayo to make it even better!
Shrimp yaki udon is one of our favorite weekday meals for both lunch or dinner. It's super easy and quick to make. And because always have frozen udon on hand, it's no brainer that it's our go-to lazy but healthy noodle dish.
Sometimes when we feel like pampering ourselves with a complete meal, we'll even make some miso soup to go with this shrimp udon stir fry. Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of warm miso soup with noodles!
If you're looking for more easy weekday meals, we recommend our tamago sando (Japanese egg sandwich), shrimp fried rice, air fryer gochujang BBQ chicken thighs, and air fryer foil baked salmon with gochujang sauce.
What is yaki udon?
"Yaki" translates to grilling, roasting, and forms of cooking that use direct heat to cook quickly, like a stir fry. "Udon" is a Japanese wheat noodle that's thick, white in color, and have a nice bouncy, chewy texture. It's great both cold or hot.
So, yaki udon is a Japanese stir fried noodle dish. It can be prepared quickly and easily, which makes it perfect for the weekdays! It's made with udon noodles, a protein of your choice, and a variety of vegetables, stir fried with a soy sauce based sauce.
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
For the shrimp yaki udon:
- Frozen udon noodles - We recommend using frozen udon noodles because they are easy to store, cook quickly, and have great texture.
- Shrimps - You can use any size shrimps you prefer. We used jumbo shrimps. Just make sure to peel and devein them!
- Yellow onion, carrot, green cabbage, mushroom, celery, green onion - The vegetables we listed are ones that we always have on hand. Feel free to use what you prefer. We don't recommend not using any veggies at all because vegetables add natural sweetness and texture. Plus, the amount of sauce for this recipe is based on using the amount of veggies listed.
- Egg (Optional) - Adding the egg is optional, but it adds flavor to the udon stir fry and it makes the noodle dish more fragrant.
- Salt and pepper - For seasoning the shrimps.
- Kewpie mayo and furikake (optional) - Both are optional toppings for this yaki udon. We highly recommend adding some kewpie mayo to give the udon stir fry some creaminess. We promise it won't disappoint!
- Oil - As needed for cooking. Any neutral oil will do.
For the yaki udon sauce:
- Soy sauce - This is the sauce base of this shrimp yaki udon. We used light sodium soy sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce - Worcestershire adds tanginess to the sauce and gives this yaki udon a very distinctive flavor.
- Oyster sauce - This adds more savory flavor and a funky note to the shrimp yaki udon. If you prefer, you could substitute the oyster sauce for this vegetarian stir fry sauce. It will still taste good, but it won't taste exactly the same.
- Dark soy sauce - Dark soy sauce is mostly to add a bit of color to the udon noodles, making them beautiful caramel brown and glossy. You can see it being used in recipes like shrimp lo mein and Chinese red braised pork.
- Sugar - Just a small amount of sugar to balance out the sauce.
How to make shrimp yaki udon
1. Make the sauce. In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire, and sugar). Mix well and set aside until needed.
2. Prepare the udon noodles. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the frozen udon noodles. Let it cook for about 3 minutes or according to package instructions. Stir to loosen the noodles and separate them. Drain the udon noodles and rinse with cold water.
🌟 Pro tip: If you cooked your udon noodles too early and they become stuck together, just briefly rinse them with some water to loosen. But make sure to drain the noodles well before using!
3. Prepare and sear the shrimps. Mix the shrimps with the oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Then, in a pan or wok, heat a small amount of oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the shrimps on both sides until just cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimps and set aside.
4. Stir fry the egg. Using the same pan/wok over medium high heat, add a tablespoon or two of oil. Once the oil is hot, crack the egg into the oil and stir to scramble.
5. Add the veggies. Add all of the vegetables except the green onions and stir fry until the vegetables are just softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle a little more oil over the veggies if needed.
🌟 Pro tip: The veggies are for adding texture to the stir fry udon noodles. So just cook the vegetables until they are just limp and no longer raw. If you prefer softer vegetables, you can cook them a little longer.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and sauce. Add the shrimps, udon noodles, and green onions and give everything a few tosses to combine. Pour the prepared sauce over everything and stir fry until everything is evenly coated and even in color.
7. Serve. If you'd like, top the shrimp yaki udon with some furikake and your desired amount of kewpie mayo to add some creaminess. Stir to combine and enjoy!
- Use the vegetables you prefer or have on hand. You can use whatever vegetables you prefer to make this shrimp yaki udon. So feel free to substitute and/or omit. Do note that the amount of sauce made is based on the noodles, shrimps, and all of the vegetables used.
- Don't overcook the veggies or they'll become mushy! We want the vegetables to add texture to the udon stir fry.
Storage and reheating
Store any leftovers in an airtight container once it is completely cooled. It will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
To reheat leftover yaki udon, you can sauté it in a pan over medium heat until everything is heated through. You can also microwave the udon until hot. Just make sure to cover it with a lid.
Both yaki udon and lo mein are stir fried noodle dishes that use a soy sauce base. However, udon is a Japanese style noodle made with wheat and sometimes tapioca starch. It's also white in color. Lo mein noodles on the other hand, is used in Chinese cuisine, and is a type of egg noodles and is yellow in color. You can check out our shrimp lo mein recipe is you're interested.
Yaki udon is a very forgiving and flexible dish. For our shrimp yaki udon, you can substitute and/or omit the vegetables for your preferred veggies.
If you prefer, you can use this vegetables stir fry sauce instead of the oyster sauce. It won't have the funk that oyster sauce has, so the flavor will be a little different. But, it'll still taste good!
If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from our blog, please tag us on Instagram using #twoplaidaprons! You can also tag us in your Instagram stories using @two_plaid_aprons. We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
Shrimp Yaki Udon
For the sauce:
For the shrimp:
- 6 ounces jumbo shrimps peeled and deveined (about 8 to 10 shrimps; smaller shrimps are fine too)
- 1 teaspoon oil any neutral oil is fine (plus more oil for cooking)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Few cracks of black pepper
For the rest of the dish:
- For the sauce:In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire, sugar, and dark soy sauce). Mix well and set aside until needed.
- For the udon noodles:Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the frozen udon noodles. Let it cook for about 3 minutes or according to package instructions. Stir to loosen the noodles and separate them. Drain the udon noodles and rinse with cold water.
- For the shrimp:Mix the shrimps with the oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
- In a pan or wok, heat a small amount of oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the shrimps on both sides until just cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimps and set aside.
- Stir fry the yaki udon:Using the same pan/wok over medium high heat, add a tablespoon or two of oil. Once the oil is hot, crack the egg into the oil and stir to scramble.
- Add all of the vegetables except the green onions and stir fry until the vegetables are just softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drizzle a little more oil over the veggies if needed.
- Add the shrimps, udon noodles, and green onions and give everything a few tosses to combine. Pour the prepared sauce over everything and stir fry until everything is evenly coated and even in color.
- Serve immediately and if you'd like, top the shrimp yaki udon with some furikake and your desired amount of kewpie mayo to add some creaminess. Stir to combine and enjoy!
- Vegetables - Yaki udon is a very flexible dish. So feel free to swap out any of the vegetables for the vegetable you prefer or you can omit them if you rather. But we do highly recommend still adding some vegetables for both texture and flavor.
- Kewpie mayo and furikake are both option toppings for the yaki udon. Feel free to omit. But if you like a bit of creaminess, we highly recommend adding some Kewpie mayo. The flavor will be totally different.