Easy plant-based stir-fried udon noodles
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Vegan Yaki Udon

Thick, tender noodles, assorted veggies, and shiitake mushrooms, all in a sauce that is light but deeply umami. I guarantee it’s better than the one from your local takeout spot.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 2
Author: Thomas

Ingredients

  • 2 “bricks” frozen udon noodles 8 ounces / 250 grams per brick
  • 1 Tablespoon neutral cooking oil
  • 1/2 onion sliced thinly
  • 3 napa cabbage leaves sliced into short strips
  • 1 medium carrot julienned or shredded
  • 4 medium fresh shiitake mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 2 tofu puffs aburaage sheets, sliced into thin strips
  • 3 green onions with the white part cut into 2-inch pieces and the green part chopped finely and set aside for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 1 Tablespoon mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or other sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons vegetarian stir-fry sauce
  • 5 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 Tablespoon water

Garnishes (optional)

  • Furikake
  • Shichimi togarashi
  • Chili oil
  • Sansho

Instructions

Prepare the noodles

  • The noodles can be thawed overnight in the fridge or boiled for about 3 minutes. If the noodles have completely thawed you do not need to boil them. If using dried noodles (not recommended, see notes) follow the instructions on the package. Drain noodles and set aside.

Mix the sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Stir to mix well.

Cook the stir-fry

  • Prepare your stir-fry station by the stove with a large nonstick skillet, a pair of tongs or chopsticks, all the prepared ingredients, the sauce, and the noodles.
  • Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes until the onion has softened.
  • Add the carrot and cabbage and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the shiitake mushrooms and green onion. Stir for 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  • Add the noodles. Stir well with the other ingredients. Pour in the sauce, soy sauce, and white pepper. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are heated through and well coated with sauce.
  • Serve immediately and garnish with the green onion tips and any of the suggested seasoning condiments.

Notes

Dried udon will work in this recipe, but the result will be quite different. You will want to slightly undercook the dried noodles when boiling them because they will absorb the sauce and cook a bit more.
Use frozen udon noodles if you have the option.
As an alternative to the sauce, you can use homemade vegan dashi-based mentsuyu (recipe coming soon).
Do take note that the recipe uses soy sauce in the sauce and in the stir fry (two times) to accommodate the possibility of using prepared mentsuyu.
You can substitute other types of sweetener for the maple syrup, which I used for convenience. Traditional Japanese recipes use sugar. A liquid will be easier to dissolve.