Yakisoba Yaki Udon Twist

Yakisoba Yaki Udon
This yakisoba, or yaki udon, is made with udon noodles. Tofu, kale, broccoli, corn, & homemade teriyaki make this dish a meal in one bowl.

Yakisoba is a Japanese noodle dish.  “Yaki,” for this dish, translates to “fried” in English.  “Soba” refers to the type of noodle.

The Difference Between Yakisoba and Yaki Udon

The main difference between yakisoba and yaki udon is the type of noodle used.  Yakisoba uses soba noodles, while yaki udon uses udon noodles.  The sauces for each dish also differ.

My recipe uses udon noodles, so technically, this is a yaki udon.  But there are several reasons why I’ve got “yakisoba yaki udon” in the recipe title.

Yakisoba Yaki Udon

Why Yakisoba Yaki Udon

  • Yaki udon isn’t a familiar name to many outside of Japan.  But most are familiar with the more commonly used “yakisoba.”  
  • Yakisoba and yaki udon are different dishes.  But they share many similarities, namely that they’re both vegetable stir-fry dishes.  Purists may cringe, but many use the term “yakisoba” to refer to Japanese noodle dishes in general, regardless of the type of noodle.
  • Though my dish uses udon noodles, the homemade teriyaki sauce consists of ingredients found in both yakisoba sauce and yaki udon sauce.
Udon noodles
These are the udon noodles I buy. You can find them in the Asian section of most grocery stores. (Best price is at Walmart.) There are two, 7 oz bags of noodles in each package. Buy two packages, for a total of 28 oz of noodles, for this recipe.

A Tofu Tip

The tofu in this recipe is one of my family’s favorites.  It’s soft and chewy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and perfectly flavored with the homemade teriyaki.  

Use this tofu for any Asian inspired dish you want to add a little protein to.

Yakisoba Yaki Udon

Make this Yakisoba Yaki Udon!

Kale, corn, cilantro, and lime juice aren’t traditional yakisoba or yaki udon ingredients, but I use them all in this recipe.  This is definitely a twist on yakisoba and yaki udon.  

Make my Yakisoba Yaki Udon twist tonight for a filling and unique meal.

One Thing!

Mirin is a traditional component of teriyaki sauce.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find true mirin—not the sugar water that’s often called mirin and sold in grocery stores.  Mirin is also pretty expensive.  With the rising prices all around us, mirin can be hard to budget for.

But don’t let that stop you from making this dish.  When I don’t have mirin, I make the homemade teriyaki without it.  And it’s still absolutely delicious.  If you’re interested in investing in a good bottle of mirin, here’s my favorite on Amazon [aff. link].  You can also find this mirin in my Amazon store here.

Yakisoba Yaki udon
5 from 2 votes

Yakisoba Twist (Yaki udon)

This yakisoba, or yakiudon, is made with udon noodles. Crisp tofu, kale, broccoli, corn, and easy homemade teriyaki make this dish a meal in one bowl.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the broccoli:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz broccoli florets
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the homemade teriyaki:

  • ¾ cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • cup Mirin, (Japanese cooking wine); omit if you can't find Mirin or if it's too expensive, the sauce will still work
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar

For the tofu:

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu, cubed (see my tofu tutorial for how I like to cube it)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp teriyaki sauce, (recipe above)

For the noodles:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or sesame oil
  • 28 oz Udon noodles, (I use 4, 7 oz packages)
  • ¾ cup water

For the veggies and herbs:

  • 3 cups kale, chopped (I use pre-shredded kale, and then chop it a little smaller)
  • ½ cup corn, I use Trader Joe's canned corn
  • cup scallions, chopped (green and white parts)
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded (I use pre-shredded carrots)

Everything else:

  • lime juice, freshly squeezed

Instructions

Cook the broccoli

  • To a large skillet, preferably 12 inch diameter, add the olive oil, broccoli, and salt.
  • Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until the broccoli turns bright green and is just cooked through. A few pieces will be slightly browned. Transfer the broccoli to a large mixing bowl, and set aside.

Make the teriyaki

  • To a small saucepan, add all the teriyaki ingredients. Whisk to combine until the sugar dissolves. Now turn the heat on to medium and bring the sauce to a boil. Let the sauce boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Set the sauce aside for now.
  • Note: if you can't find mirin, or if it's to expensive, just omit if from the sauce. It won't officially be teriyaki without mirin, but it still tastes great.

Make the tofu

  • To the skillet you cooked the broccoli in, now add the cubed tofu, olive oil, salt, and 2 Tbsp of the teriyaki sauce. Turn the heat on to medium-high, toss the teriyaki and salt into the tofu, and cook the tofu for 6 minutes. Flip the tofu every few minutes.
  • After 6 minutes, add another 1 Tbsp of teriyaki to the tofu. Lower the heat to medium if the sauce in the pan goes too crazy.
  • Cook the tofu for another 4 minutes, then add a final 1 Tbsp of teriyaki. With the heat on medium-high, cook the tofu for 2-3 additional minutes, until most sides of each cube are browned and crisp. Tofu is done, transfer to the bowl with the broccoli.

Prepare the kale, carrots, and herbs

  • While the tofu cooks, chop the kale, green onion, and cilantro; and measure out the corn and carrots. Reserve the cilantro, but add everything else to the large mixing bowl with the broccoli and tofu. Toss it all together with your spatula.

Add ¼ cup water to the teriyaki

  • Before you cook the udon noodles, reheat the teriyaki sauce over medium-low heat. Whisk in ¼ cup water, then turn off the heat.

Prepare the udon noodles

  • Remove the udon noodles carefully from their packages. The noodles will be stuck together and still retain the square shape of their package, and that's ok. Don't try to tear the noodles apart at this point, or they'll rip.
  • Add the udon noodles and olive oil to the skillet you cooked the broccoli and tofu in. Turn the heat on to medium, and pour ½ cup of water over the noodles. Let the noodles sit in the water and heat up for a few minutes, then flip them over.
  • After about 6 minutes, the udon noodles will start to pull apart. Now add ¼ cup of the teriyaki sauce to the skillet, and stir it into the noodles. They'll continue to pull apart. Keep flipping the noodles every so often to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • After 3 minutes, add another ¼ cup of the teriyaki. Stir it in, then add a final ¼ cup water.
  • After another 3-5 minutes, the udon noodles will have completely pulled apart to individual noodles. They will be slightly sticky and springy, have absorbed all the sauce and water, and turned slightly brown.

Bring it together and serve

  • Transfer the hot udon noodles to the large mixing bowl with the veggies and tofu. Toss the noodles into the veggies and tofu. If needed, reheat the remaining teriyaki sauce once more, and add ONLY 3 Tbsp of the sauce to the yakisoba. (Too much sauce will over-salt the dish). Toss the sauce into the noodles, veggies, and tofu.
  • Now toss in the cilantro and a few squeezes of fresh lime juice. Taste, and add more lime juice or an additional Tbsp of teriyaki, if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

This yakisoba/yaki udon is vegetarian and vegan.
The teriyaki sauce recipe calls for mirin, but if you can't find mirin or if it's too expensive, just omit it.  It's not a true teriyaki without mirin, but the sauce is still great without it.  Don't let lack of mirin keep you from enjoying this recipe! 😃

© Copyright 2023 Vanguard of Hollywood

6 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    This dish intrigued me and I had to make it! Can’t believe all the flavors, so delicious. I’m single and this fed me for lunch and dinner over two days. Love how it’s a full meal in one dish. Just what I need with my busy schedule, thanks!

    1. Thanks for commenting Rachael! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the yakisoba. It’s definitely one of my favorite dishes. Thanks for making it!

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