This vegan yaki udon is a popular Japanese dish, an easy recipe full of flavour. It’s made with thick fresh udon noodles, veggies and is covered in a delicious dark sauce.
It’s perfect for a quick and simple weeknight meal. It’s straightforward and uses simple, accessible ingredients. Tick all your boxes? Good, let’s get into it!
This dish is distinct in that it uses thick wheat udon noodles that are soft, chewy and super slurpable. They’re white and come as either dry, frozen or pre-cooked noodles. Even though it’s a non-traditional version of yaki udon, it still boasts loads of umami and has a balance in texture and flavour.
The flexibility of veggies used in this vegan yaki udon
It’s all in the sauce and the noodles for this vegan yaki udon dish. The vegetables you use are interchangeable, so don’t stress too much if you don’t have everything I’ve listed in the recipe.
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Here are some other suggestions that work well:
- Green cabbage or savoy cabbage
- Bok choy or choy sum
- Mushrooms – button, brown, shiitake, enoki, or oyster work well
- Green beans
- Mung bean sprouts
You can add my crispy shredded tofu for added protein when adding the sauce and noodles.
Alternatively, cook some plant-based mince at the beginning before you add the veggies in the oil and remove it once cooked, then toss it back in at the end.
What are udon noodles and can vegans eat them?
Udon noodles are Japanese-style white thick, chewy noodles made with wheat, water and salt. Like the cooked shelf-stable ones, some storebought noodles will also have some preservatives. So, yes, vegans can eat udon noodles.
For this dish, you can use dry, frozen or pre-cooked noodles.
To speed up the process, which, let’s be honest, we all want, use pre-cooked noodles. They tend to be thicker and more slurp-worthy than their dry counterparts. They come vacuum sealed in packets and can be found either in the fridge or shelf-stable ones in the Asian section of your local well-stocked supermarket.
If you can’t find them in your local supermarket, try an Asian supermarket instead.
What does this vegan yaki udon have in it?
It is made of three different components: the vegetables, the sauce, and the noodles.
The vegetables used are:
- Red pepper / capsicum
- Purple cabbage
- Shallots / green onions / spring onions
- Snow peas
The sauce is made up of the following:
- Sesame oil
- Blackstrap molasses
- Rice wine vinegar
- Tamari (or soy sauce)
- Nutritional yeast
And, of course, the all-important main star of the dish, udon noodles.
Some tips for making this veggie udon dish
This recipe is ready in no time. The labour is really in just chopping up some of the vegetables. If you pre-chop them, dinner can be made in around 10 minutes! Here are some tips for getting the best results.
- Serve this dish as soon as it’s made.
- If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, you can use 1 tablespoon of mirin in its place.
- For best results with this dish, use a wok if you have one.
- The vegetables are only cooked for a short amount of time as you want the vegetables to still have some crunch, not go soft and limp.
- I prefer the use of pre-cooked udon noodles for this dish as they are thicker and chewier than dried ones—but use whichever you like.
- You can use any vegetables you have on hand. See earlier in the post for recommendations.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Reheat it on the stove or microwave. The flavours of the sauce will infuse into the noodles and veggies over time. Add a splash of water or oil and heat on low if using the stove.
- I wouldn’t recommend freezing this dish.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Noodle Bowl (Gluten-Free)
- Summer Kelp Noodle Salad
- Mushroom & Eggplant Miso Soup with Brown Rice Noodles
- Vegan Laksa
- 30-Minute Vegan Buddha Bowls (Three Ways)
- 15-Minute Miso Glazed Eggplants (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
- Vegan Bún Chay Noodle Bowl (Vietnamese Noodle Salad)