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      Stir-Fried Garlic Udon Noodles with Chili Oil

      These chewy udon noodles tossed with garlic, onion and greens in a spicy and umami sauce are one of the best meals to make on busy weeknights. This easy recipe for garlic udon noodles is not only delicious, but a great way to get in some extra vegetables.

      garlic udon noodles

      What are udon noodles?

      Udon is a type of noodles that is made from wheat flour and has a distinct chewy texture. They are very thick and are typically found in noodle dishes as well as stir-fry dishes. 

      Origins

      This kind of noodle originated from China, as most kinds of noodles do, and was brought to Japan in the 700s. It became widely popular in the Edo era in the 1600s and is now a staple food in Japanese restaurants around the world. 

      Where to buy

      You can find udon at your local Asian market and in some parts of the United States at regular grocery stores. It may be possible to find fresh udon noodles, but they typically come frozen in packs of four or six. Simply toss them in hot water, boil for a few minutes, then drain.

      Udon can also be found online on Asian online grocery stores like Weee! and Umamimart. You also can find udon noodles on Amazon.

      I do participate in the Amazon Associate program which means I make a small commission if you purchase through my links like the ones above.

      garlic udon noodles

      Ingredients for Garlic Udon Noodles

      Before making this recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients you need. The ingredients and possible alternatives are listed below. For the best results, try to stick to the original ingredients.

      IngredientsAlternatives
      Frozen udon noodlesInstant ramen, rice noodles, somen, soba
      Canola oilAvocado oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil
      Yellow onion, dicedWhite onion, red onion, shallot
      Garlic, slicedJarred garlic, garlic powder
      Yu choi, roughly choppedBok choy, Chinese broccoli, spinach, kale, broccolini, broccoli
      Salt and black pepper
      Dark soy sauceRegular soy sauce
      Oyster sauceRegular soy sauce
      Chili oilChili garlic sauce, red pepper flakes (gochugaru), gochujang, sriracha, chili powder
      Brown sugarWhite sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar
      Sesame oil
      Green onions, chopped, optional

      Other vegetables you can add to this dish or use instead of yu choi include bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, corn, cabbage or soybean sprouts.

      How to make Garlic Udon Noodles

      First, prepare the frozen udon noodles according to the package directions. Set aside for later use.

      In a large pan over medium heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic. Once browned, add the yu choi and cook until the greens are withered. 

      While the vegetables are cooking, combine the sauce ingredients (dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili oil, brown sugar and sesame oil) in a small bowl.

      Add the prepared udon noodles to the pan along with the stir fry sauce. Toss the ingredients together until the noodles are well coated. Top with green onions and enjoy.

      garlic udon noodles

      Alternatives to udon 

      If you don’t like or don’t have access to udon, you can always use a different noodle. A few suggestions include instant ramen noodles, fresh ramen, rice noodles, somen or soba. Any noodles that are long will work for this recipe.

      Other recipes using udon noodles

      Udon is quite versatile and is found in a variety of noodle dishes, especially in Japanese cuisine. Popular noodle recipes that use udon include:

      • Kake udon (udon noodle soup)
      • Yaki udon (udon vegetable stir-fry)
      • Nabeyaki udon (hot pot dish)
      • Kitsune udon (tofu udon noodle soup)
      • Tempura udon (tempura udon noodle soup)
      • Curry udon (udon in Japanese curry)
      • Mentaiko udon (fish eggs with udon)

      What to serve with

      These garlic udon noodles can be paired with a variety of dishes. Personally, I like pairing them with a source of plant-based protein like tofu and a vegetable side dish. You can also add a bowl of miso soup with this udon stir fry for a little bit of extra hydration. 

      How to store leftovers

      If you have any leftovers, wait until they are cooled off and then transfer them to an airtight container. Do not leave the leftovers out at room temperature for longer than two hours before moving them to the refrigerator. 

      When you are ready to eat your leftovers, transfer them to a microwave safe container and reheat them until they are at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let them cool off for a minute or two, then enjoy!

      garlic udon noodles

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Is udon healthy? 

      While udon can be part of a healthy diet, it isn’t very nutrient dense. That being said, it contains some protein, about 8 grams per one cup, and about 15% of your daily recommended iron intake. 

      If you are looking to make udon “healthier”, this garlic udon noodles recipe is a great option for you. By adding garlic, onion and yu choi (really any green will do), the dish becomes more nutrient dense and filling.

      How do you cook udon from a package? 

      Udon typically comes frozen in the freezer aisle at the Asian grocery store. To prepare the udon, you simply need to boil it for a few minutes.

      All frozen udon needs is about 1-2 minutes. The noodles are fully cooked, the only reason to boil them is to defrost them quickly. Once they are done, strain them and add them to whatever dish you are making.

      Is udon better hot or cold?

      Udon is typically served hot. Cooling down udon can affect the texture and cause the noodles to stick together. If you are looking for a good noodle to have cold, I recommend somen or soba. 

      That being said, you can eat udon cold, though this isn’t its typical way of being prepared. Dishes like tanuki udon, zaru udon and bukkake udon are chilled dishes. 

      What is udon made of?

      Udon is a wheat-based noodle. While the exact ingredients vary based on who is making it, the base ingredients include wheat, water and salt. It’s very simple and quite delicious.

      To make the udon, knead it, roll it into a thin layer, fold it, then cut it into long noodles. To cook the noodles, you will have to boil them in water like you would frozen udon. The cook time will be longer though.

      garlic udon noodles

      Stir-Fried Garlic Udon Noodles with Chili Oil

      These stir-fried noodles are full of veggies and flavor with a spicy kick!
      Prep Time 15 minutes
      Cook Time 15 minutes
      Total Time 28 minutes
      Servings 2 servings

      Ingredients
        

      • 1 block frozen udon noodles
      • 1 tbsp canola oil
      • 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
      • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
      • 2 cups yu choi roughly chopped
      • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
      • 1 tsp oyster sauce
      • 1 tsp chili oil I use Lao Gan Ma
      • 1 tsp brown sugar
      • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
      • green onion chopped, optional

      Instructions
       

      • First, prepare the frozen udon noodles according to the package directions. Set aside for later use.
      • In a large pan over medium heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic. Once browned, add the yu choi and cook until the greens are withered.
      • While the vegetables are cooking, combine the sauce ingredients (dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili oil, brown sugar and sesame oil) in a small bowl.
      • Add the prepared udon noodles to the pan along with the stir fry sauce. Toss the ingredients together until the noodles are well coated.
      • Top with green onions and enjoy.

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      tia glover rd

      My name is Tia and I am a registered dietitian and content creator.

      My goal is to help young people learn how to eat a nutritious, balanced diet without restriction or giving up cultural foods. 💛

      Hapa/Japanese American 🇺🇸🇯🇵

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