This teriyaki udon noodles recipe is better than take-out and so much healthier! It is a Japanese-comfort food recipe that's done in under 30 minutes, filled with crunchy veggies and chewy udon noodles and SO flavorful, a perfect weeknight dinner that everyone will love. 100% vegan!
I know many of you love quick weeknight dinner recipes that can be done under 30 minutes, so I am happy to share another favorite of us: teriyaki udon noodles!
All I am craving those days are thick udon noodles! We make this mushroom miso udon recipe often for this reason: it is super easy, nicely coated with a rich and creamy umami sauce that's so delicious and we just cannot get enough of the udon noodles's chewiness.
But, such as seen in a traditional Yaki udon dish (Japanese stir-fry udon recipe), udon noodles actually pair well with a teriyaki sauce, so I had to share my vegetarian version of this classic. I love how the noodles make for a perfect vehicle to grab the delicious sweet and savory soy sauce-based gravy and you can load up your meal with tons of veggies to make it healthy and nutrient-dense.
I actually simply tweaked and re-used my teriyaki sauce that I made for my baked teriyaki tofu, so many of you liked it already, and it worked out perfectly over noodles.
This version is a meat-free udon stir-fry that's filled with cabbage, snow peas and carrots, but you can obviously use whatever veggies you like or already have on hand. Make it a recipe to use when it's time to empty your fridge!
And similarly to my healthy vegetable stir-fry, the best part is how easy, convenient and fast this meal is to make! The sauce can be whisked together in minutes while the veggies are cooking and then, simply combine the sauce with the noodles (no extra cooking required) right in the pan. That's it!
Makes for a satisfying quick lunch to enjoy during the weekend or a perfect yummy dinner to keep for those busy days. Kids love it and meat-eaters won't miss the meat, making it a great recipe to feed your whole family or hungry guests!
Let me know how you liked it! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Simple recipe that's very fast to make
- Easy to customize with your favorite vegetables
- Uses a homemade teriyaki sauce that's healthier and lower-in-sodium
- Very satisfying and filling
- Amazing chewy texture
- 100% vegan and vegetarian
Ingredients you'll need
- Udon noodles: I used frozen udon noodles that I found in a local Asian grocery store near me. They have the best chewy texture! I can never find frozen udon in regular grocery stores around here, such as Hannaford or Whole Foods Market, but you might have better luck than me. If you have an Asian market close by, then I would highly recommend to check it out.
If you cannot find frozen udon, then fresh sealed udon noodles from Ka Me are my best second choice (you can usually find those at Hannaford). They are a little less chewy and break easier, but they will work fine.
In any case, avoid the small dried udon! I talk more in details about the kind of udon noodles you can use in saucy dishes in my creamy miso udon post, so be sure to check it out!
- Vegetables: I love pairing cabbage, carrots, onion and snow peas (or sugar snap too) in stir fries. In this case, I used Napa cabbage, but regular green or Savoy cabbage would be perfect too. See below for more ideas!
- Fresh ginger and garlic: essential to flavor the sauce, so really try not to omit them and please don't swap for ginger or garlic powder.
- Soy sauce: I used a low-sodium soy sauce so it is healthier.
- Maple syrup: my favorite sweetener for sauces. Agave nectar would work too.
- Rice vinegar: can also swap for lime juice.
- Cornstarch: to thicken the sauce.
How to make teriyaki udon noodles
If you are good at chopping veggies, then this meal should be all done under 30 minutes.
Make the teriyaki sauce and prep the noodles
Start by combining the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl: soy sauce, water, maple syrup, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar and cornstarch. Then, whisk well until there are no cornstarch clumps anymore. Set aside.
Also, take the noodles out of the freezer and place in a large colander. Run some room temperature water over to help them thaw quicker (I'll usually keep running water over them on and off while I cook the vegetables...). If you use another type of noodles, then check the label and follow the directives on how to cook them.
Cook the vegetables
Warm up a large pan (I like to use a wok) with or without oil. I like to use a little sesame oil when making Asian recipes to add a nice flavor, but you can also use regular oil or a splash of water for an oil-free recipe as needed.
Then, add the onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until they start to sweat and tenderize. Then, add the carrot and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Finally, add the cabbage and snow peas and cook until the veggies are more tender, but not done yet.
Combine and finish up
Then, pour the sauce over (whisk again in the bowl before pouring as the cornstarch tends to sink at the bottom) and stir well. Bring to a simmer and keep cooking until the sauce thickens and the veggies are all done, about 2 minutes.
Add the thawed noodles, stir well and cook for another minute or so or until the dish is all warmed up.
Serve right away while still warm. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- I recommend you to chop/prepare the vegetables + whisk the sauce ingredients BEFORE starting the recipe. This will help have better results because once you start to cook it will go fast, so you can keep your focus on the pan!
- Read the cooking instructions on your noodle packaging, but generally, you do not have to boil frozen udon noodles. These are already cooked and just need to thaw and warm up before enjoying. If you are using a different kind of noodles, then you might have to pre-cook them.
- Try not to over cook the vegetables, they are better when tender, but still a little crunchy!
Variations to the recipe
I love onions and carrots in stir-fries. I also think that teriyaki sauce calls for some kind of cabbage, but you can use any vegetables you like, of course. Other ideas include:
- Bok choy
- Green beans
For a spicy recipe: simply add some sriracha sauce to the pan or include finely diced red chili peppers to the vegetables.
For a higher-in-protein meal: include some edamame, tofu or tempeh. Leafy greens also are surprisingly filled with plant-based protein, so feel-free to add a handful of baby spinach or kale.
For an ultra-speedy recipe: instead of using fresh veggies, simply use frozen ones and skip all the chopping! This mixed stir-fry vegetables would be a great choice, although you can use any kind. Just cook them in the pan until thawed with most of the moisture evaporated.
I love to serve teriyaki stir-fry dishes simply with some sesame seeds and fresh green onions.
This dish is filling and hearty, so we eat it simply as is, but it also can be served with either a fresh side like a salad or more protein, such as tofu.
Also, I made this recipe for my family (2 adults + 2 young kids) which was a great amount for us, but if you wanted to serve more people or 4 hungry adults, then I think you should double the recipe or even better, serve it alongside other Asian-inspired recipes such as:
- Miso soup
- Crispy coconut crusted tofu
- Fresh tofu spring rolls
- Vegan egg rolls
- Miso tempeh
- Asian carrot salad
- Shiitake sushi rolls
Udon are amazing for their pleasant chewy texture, but you can really use whatever noodles you like! I think Asian style noodles work best paired with a teriyaki sauce, such as ramen or soba noodles, although regular spaghetti should do the trick too if you are in a pinch.
The dish is best when just prepared for best texture, but you can definitely make the sauce ahead of time and keep in the fridge until ready to use. You can also prepare the vegetables during the weekend when you have more time, then everything will come together super quickly when ready to eat on a busy day.
Yes of course! I try to avoid store-bought teriyaki sauces as much as I can since they are so high-in-sodium. That being said, you can definitely use an already-made sauce if that's more convenient!
Udon noodles are made with wheat flour, so this recipe isn't gluten-free. To make it GF, then you will have to use another kind of noodles, such as buckwheat noodles (check for no added wheat flour!) and also, swap the soy sauce for a gluten-free tamari sauce.
- Bok choy tofu stir-fry
- Spicy garlic noodles
- 20-minute sticky tofu
- Gochujang tofu
- Quick kale sesame noodles
- Spicy orange breaded cauliflower
- Sweet and sour tofu
- Vegan bean sprout chow mein
I hope you enjoy this teriyaki udon noodles 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!
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Teriyaki Udon Noodles
- 2 bricks of udon noodles (2 x 8.8 oz or about 1 pound total) - I used frozen, see notes
- 1 yellow onion - sliced
- 2-3 cups green Napa cabbage - sliced, bok choy or regular green cabbage work too
- 2 large carrots - julienned or sliced
- 1 cup snow peas
For the teriyaki sauce
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic - crushed
- 1 inch fresh ginger - peeled and grated
- 1½ tbsp cornstarch
- Start by prepping all the vegetables: clean and slice the cabbage and onion and also, peel and julienne/slice the carrots.
- Place the frozen udon noodles in a colander and run some room temperature water over to help thaw them quicker.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce ingredients (soy sauce, water, maple syrup, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and cornstarch). Set aside.
- Warm up a large non-stick pan or wok with a little oil (I like sesame oil for stir-fries) or use water for an oil-free recipe.
- Then, add the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until a little softer. Add the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes and then add the cabbage and snow peas. Stir well and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are softer, but not done yet.
- Then, add the sauce to the pan (whisk in the bowl first since the cornstarch tends to sink to the bottom) and stir well. Bring to a simmer and then let it cook for 2 minutes or until thicker. Then, add the noodles and combine.
- Cook until warmed up and serve with sesame seeds and green onions.
- This recipe is best when just done for optimal texture, but if you have leftovers, then keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove and add a splash of water to loosen up the sauce as needed.
- Feel-free to swap the veggies and use broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms or zucchini instead.
- I highly recommend using FROZEN udon noodles: they have such an amazing chewy texture! I found mine in our local Asian grocery store. If you cannot find them frozen, then you can use fresh and sealed udon (they sell them sometimes at Hannaford), although not as chewy and they break a little easier. In any case, I would avoid the small dry udon noodles.
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