So quick and simple, this creamy miso udon dish bursts with umami flavors (thanks to the miso paste and mushrooms) and is filled with a delicious creaminess. Done in under 20 minutes, making it an amazing comfort food recipe to enjoy as a weeknight dinner.
I absolutely LOVE udon noodles: they are thick and large and chewy and SO satisfying. I am not sure why I don't cook with them more often at home. Whenever I see a vegan udon something on a menu when eating out, you can be sure I'll ignore the rest of the meal options. But, this is about to change!
Because cooking with udon is so darn simple! This ultra creamy miso udon dish is my first udon noodle recipe on the blog, but get ready for much more udon love to come (update: check out this teriyaki udon noodles recipe!). ❤️
And what makes this recipe so rich in flavor? The secret is in the miso paste + garlic + mushrooms, which is a great pairing, right? The miso and mushrooms together bring so much umami flavor that deepens the whole sauce without much effort.
You will love how creamy the sauce is, thanks to the oat milk and cornstarch. No need for heavy cream, this recipe is completely vegan and dairy-free! And everything comes together in a pinch within 20 minutes.
It is so easy that it makes for an amazing comfort food noodle dinner to prepare during the week. Everything goes in one-pan and the longest part really is to chop and cook the onion and mushrooms, the sauce thickens within just a few minutes.
I hope you give it a try!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Super simple steps that come together quickly
- Only requires a handful of ingredients
- Satisfying meal filled with chewy textures both from the udon noodles and mushrooms
- Ultra creamy and rich sauce made without heavy cream
- Perfect weeknight dinner for the whole family
- Versatile and easy to modify to your taste
- Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and nut-free (choose oat or soy milk)
- Udon noodles: I used the sealed fresh udon, which were fairly easy to find, but use any udon you can find except for dried udon. Can also be swapped for other noodles if you cannot find them. More on this below!
- Onion: Use a small sweet onion if you can, which adds so much flavor to the miso cream sauce. Or, swap for regular yellow onion or even 2-3 shallots. I like to use uncooked green onions to garnish the final dish, but feel free to use more green onions instead of regular onion as well when cooking the sauce.
- Mushrooms: choose any kind you like. I used regular cremini mushrooms, but shiitake mushrooms, enoki or a mix blend would be amazing in this recipe.
- Garlic: will boost the flavor of the cream sauce so much! Add as much garlic as you want, I used 4 cloves.
- Plant milk: I love cooking with oat milk as it does not seem to curdle as easily as other kinds I have tried, it is super creamy naturally and also, I love its flavor. I used oat milk from the brand Oatly (full fat). You can use your favorite kind of plant milk, as long as it is unsweetened and unflavored (some brands of plant-based milk will sneak some vanilla flavoring, so taste it first before using in a savory recipe).
- Miso paste: essential ingredient for this creamy miso noodle sauce! I used the mellow white miso from the brand Miso Master (shiro miso, sweeter and shorter fermentation time), but use red miso for a stronger in flavor sauce (aka miso, longer fermentation time). Also, I used 1 tablespoon, but feel-free to add more for a stronger punch of miso taste.
- Soy sauce: just a little bit to flavor and salt the dish.
- Cornstarch: helps the sauce thicken to a super silky texture that sticks better to the udon noodles when taking a bite.
Which udon noodles to choose
Udon is thick long noodle made out of wheat flour that originates from Japan. There is actually a ton of different kinds of udon noodles, with some being thicker vs flat vs thinner, but to me, the best udon noodles are the large tubular type and this the one I recommend you to use for this recipe!
You have a few options: FRESH vs FRESH/SEALED vs FROZEN vs DRIED udon.
- You might be able to find fresh udon noodles in Asian grocery stores, although they are harder to find and need to be used right away.
- I used fresh and sealed udon noodles from the brand Ka-Me, which work out very well. They are cooked and soft, but sealed and kept in the pantry. They are convenient and they also have a nice chewy texture. I like to first do a quick cooking in hot water just to separate the noodles, then drain before adding to the sauce. Don't over boil them as they will cook more in the sauce (they say on the packaging to cook for 10 minutes, but I do much less than that, only 1-2 minutes in hot water, then drain and set aside until the sauce is ready, they will cook more in the sauce).
- If you can find frozen udon (often in Asian groceries), then this is a great choice. Some people like frozen udon better as they tend to retain on their texture very well without easily turning mushy once added to a sauce. You will first have to quickly cook them in hot water to thaw them and separate the noodles before adding to the sauce. Follow the packaging instructions.
- In all cases, avoid dried udon. They are smaller, thinner and just won't give you that chewy almost gummy delicious udon bite. Just use regular spaghetti or ramen or soba noodles if you cannot find other udon noodles.
There are tons of udon noodles available! Just use what you can find and experiment with different brands to find your favorite. In any case, read the label to see how to pre-cook them.
How to make creamy miso udon noodles
Prep the ingredients
Start by chopping the onion and slicing the mushrooms.
Also, read the labeling on the package of the udon noodles you chose and cook accordingly to packaging. Most udon will only requires a quick cook to separate the noodles, and then they will keep cooking in the creamy sauce.
In a small bowl or jar, combine the plant milk with the soy sauce and the miso paste. Use a whisk to break up the miso nicely, you want it to be a smooth mixture.
Also, in a mug or small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the water and whisk well.
Make the sauce
Warm up a large pan with a little oil and then cook the onion for about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 4-5 more minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Then, pour the milk-miso mixture in the pan and stir well. Keep warming up until it starts to simmer and then, pour the cornstarch mixture (stir in the mug just before pouring) and keep stirring. It should thicken within 1-2 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt.
Combine and serve
Once the sauce is done, then add the pre-cooked udon noodles and combine using tongs or large chop sticks (careful not to break the noodles too much). Keep cooking until everything is warmed up together (only a few minutes) and then serve topped with ground black pepper, sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- Try not to "over simmer" the sauce. Cooking it too much can remove the healthy bacteria it contains (and also make the milk curdle...).
- I prefer to salt at the end since the soy sauce and miso paste are already so salty. You might not even need to add more!
- Never add cornstarch to a sauce without combining it first with a cold liquid (water in this case) since it can create clumping.
- If you want to add more miso paste to the sauce after you taste it, then I would recommend to first dissolve the miso with water to smooth and then, add to the sauce. That way, you will avoid any clumps of miso.
- This recipes makes enough for 2 big bowls or 3 smaller. Don't hesitate to double the recipe to feed more people.
Variations to the recipe
This is such a simple udon noodle recipe that can easily be modified to your preferences. Keep the sauce ingredients the same (miso + milk + soy sauce + cornstarch), but then, feel free to use different vegetables and noodles to make it your own. Here are a few ideas:
- Leafy greens: swap the mushrooms or simply add some extra leafy green veggies, such as spinach, kale, collard green or Chinese greens such as bok choy or yu choy. Add them once the mushrooms are done and let them cook and wilt for 1-2 minutes before adding the sauce ingredients.
- Cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower or sliced green cabbage would work great here too. Green cabbage can be added to the pan with the mushrooms for a few minutes before adding the sauce, but I would recommend to steam the broccoli or cauliflower apart.
- Eggplant: roast some cubes of eggplant in the pan, then set aside on a plate before making the recipe. Add the cooked eggplant at the end to warm up in the sauce.
- Plant-based protein: roasted tofu, tempeh or edamame are great choices to boost the protein content of this recipe.
- Carbonara: add a handful of vegan bacon bits to the sauce and make a delicious carbonara miso udon!
- Spicy: make this dish spicy by adding a small spoonful of gochujang paste, spicy kimchi or simply a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce.
If you feel like adding a lot of vegetables to it, then I would recommend to double the sauce ingredients so it remains saucy and creamy, yum.
Serve while still warm garnished with a generous amount of ground black pepper, black sesame seeds and sliced green onions. You can also crush some seaweed (Nori) over your dish for a nice salty and umami flavor.
You can also top with roasted tofu or frozen and thawed edamame to make this meal higher in protein.
For an added layer in texture, then top with crunchy fried onions or my favorite, a crispy savory panko topping (check out my vegan creamy tomato pasta for the recipe).
Storage and reheating tips
This recipe is best when enjoyed right away with the sauce being at its peak creaminess. But, this recipe also makes for an amazing meal for the next day!
Keep any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat using the microwave or the stove and add a splash of milk or water before warming up to revive the creaminess of the dish.
Udon is ok healthy-wise. Nothing bad about it, just mostly empty in nutrients (made out of white flour and water). I love using udon as a vehicle to eat healthy ingredients, such as mushrooms, onion and miso paste in this case. Add some green or leafy vegetables to make this dish more nutrient-dense!
Udon noodles are served more often as part of a brothy soup (kake udon) and yes, this recipe can be made into a soup as well. Simply add some vegetable broth to the pan when adding the sauce ingredients and keep the remaining the same. You might want to add more miso paste in that case (first dissolve with a little water in a mug).
The whole recipe is gluten-free, except for the udon noodles. Udon are made using wheat flour, which makes them very much not GF. So, simply use your favorite gluten-free Asian style noodles (such as buckwheat soba) instead of udon!
More miso recipe to try
- Eggplant miso ramen soup
- Cabbage miso soup
- Miso glazed aubergine
- Baked miso tempeh
- Baked miso lemony potatoes
- Guide to basic ramen miso soup
- Vegan kimchi ramen
You might also like these noodle dishes
- Creamy gochujang pasta
- Quick kale sesame noodles
- Spicy garlic ramen noodles
- Vegan chow mein
- One-pot curry ramen noodles
I hope you like this creamy mushroom miso udon recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
20-Minute Creamy Miso Udon
- 2 packages udon noodles (14 oz total) - fresh or frozen
- 1 small sweet onion - finely diced
- 8 oz mushrooms of your choice - sliced
- 3-4 cloves of garlic - crushed
- 1 cup plant milk - plain and unsweetened
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp miso paste - white or red
- ½ tbsp cornstarch (+ 2 tbsp water) - combined (slurry)
- salt and black pepper - to taste
- Combine together the plant milk, soy sauce and miso paste in a bowl and whisk until the miso paste is all dissolved. Set aside.
- In another small bowl or mug, combine the cornstarch with the water. Set aside.
- Pre-cook the udon noodles according to the packaging (do not over cook, they will cook more in the sauce!). I simply boil my fresh and sealed udon noodles for about 2 minutes, just enough to separate them and pre-cook them slightly, but udon preparation may vary depending on the brand. Then, drain and set the noodles aside.
- Warm up a large non stick pan with a little oil and then add the onion. Stir and cook on medium heat until a little softer, about 4 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 3-4 more minutes stirring often.
- Once the veggies are done cooking, then add the milk-miso mixture, stir well and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, then add the cornstarch slurry while you stir. The sauce should thicken within a minute or two. Once done to your liking, then add the pre-cooked udon noodles and stir to combine.
- Taste to adjust salt to your liking. Serve while still hot with green onions, sesame seeds and ground black pepper.
- Keep leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat using the microwave or the stove (add a splash of milk or water before warming up).
- This recipe makes enough for 2 big appetite or 3 smaller. Feel-free to double the recipe to feed more people!
- This recipe is super versatile! Add more veggies (leafy greens, broccoli, edamame, etc) and double up the sauce if including more ingredients. See blog post for more ideas.
- I like to add salt only at the end: the miso paste and soy sauce already are very salty, you might not need to add much more!
- There are many different kinds of udon noodles on the market. I used the fresh and sealed noodles from the brand Ka-Me that I found at Hannaford (I boiled them for 2 minutes before draining and adding to the sauce). Frozen udon are amazing too and tend to stay more chewy and turn less mushy in a sauce or stir-fry (read label for cooking instructions). In all cases, avoid dried udon noodles as they are smaller and not as chewy and satisfying. If you cannot find any fresh or frozen udon, then simply use ramen or soba noodles (or regular spaghetti!).