Try my delicious 20-minute Chicken Udon Noodle recipe! It is incredibly easy to make, better than takeout, packed with protein and extra saucy with my homemade Asian stir-fry sauce. Make ahead for a quick dinner or work lunch.
🥡 Why you'll love my Chicken Udon Noodles
- Quick! - My Chicken Udon Noodle recipe is incredibly quick to make. It only takes 10 minutes to marinate the chicken, mix the stir-fry sauce in a bowl, cook the noodles in boiling water and chop the veggies. And then another 10 minutes to stir-fry everything in a screaming hot wok. Dinner ready in just 20 minutes! Amazing, right?
- Better Than Takeout! - These noodles are absolutely delicious and taste better than takeout. They also have much less oil and salt. Win, win!
- Highly Adaptable Recipe! - Swap the chicken out with another protein like beef or pork. Make it vegetarian by using big juicy mushrooms instead of chicken. Play around with whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. This solid recipe is super flexible and fun to cook.
- Make Ahead! - Can be made ahead and packed away in the fridge for school or work lunches. Reheats really well in the microwave.
📝 Ingredients & Substitutions
Chicken - Chicken thigh is the best cut for a stir-fry. It gets seared at very high heat and stays succulent and tender without drying out. Use boneless and skinless chicken thigh for these Chicken Udon Noodles. You can cook variations by substituting chicken for beef stir-fry strips or thinly sliced pork. For vegetarian versions, try large sliced King Oyster mushrooms or Portobello mushrooms.
Noodles - Use dry udon noodles for this recipe. They cook very quickly in boiling water in 8 minutes (see my notes). You can use frozen Japanese or Korean udon noodles which are available at Asian grocery stores. They only need to blanch in hot water before stir-frying. Cooked Hokkein noodles are a great substitute for udon noodles. Just like udon noodles, Hokkien noodles are thick and chewy and perfect for this recipe.
Chicken Marinade - Chicken is briefly marinated in soy sauce, garlic, Shaoxing wine and cornflour. The cornflour creates a beautiful crispy coating when the chicken is stir-fried in the wok on high heat.
Vegetables - I use cabbage, red capsicum (bell pepper), broccolini and spring onion for the stir-fry. Traditional Japanese Chicken Yaki Udon usually has cabbage and mushrooms. Since my Chicken Udon Noodles are not the traditional version, I like to add some colour and crunch in the form of bell peppers and broccolini. Feel free to use seasonal stir-fry veggies.
Stir-Fry Sauce - These Chicken Udon Noodles are special mainly because of the delicious stir-fry sauce. It is made up of the following ingredients
- Kecap Manis - Thick, dark, sweet soy sauce. Can be substituted with oyster sauce.
- Sweet Chilli Sauce - Thick, viscose Thai-style sweetened chilli sauce.
- Sriracha - Can be substituted with any hot sauce of preference or Chinese chilli oil.
- Fish Sauce - Can be substituted with lime juice. Or try my vegan fish sauce for some delicious umami.
🕒 What is a Wok Clock?
A wok clock is a very handy Chinese stir-frying organizational technique used to speed up cooking in a wok. It is a super handy technique I learned from the cookbooks of British chef Jeremy Pang who runs the School Of Wok. When you stir-fry anything in a wok, there are two super important things needed to cook things to perfection and get that beautiful wok hei (the elusive charred wok flavour)
- Heat - A very high heat that brings the oil instantly to a smoking point.
- Speed - How fast you add things to the wok.
To achieve this, it is very important to have all your prepped ingredients laid out in bowls. The Wok Clock technique suggests that you place your ingredients in a clock formation in the order in which they will be added to the wok. You place the first ingredient in the 12 o'clock position (the oil) and the remaining ingredients in a clockwise fashion in the order in which they will get stir-fried. See the picture below for reference.
🍲 How to make Chicken Udon Noodles
- Add chicken, garlic, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and cornflour in a bowl.
- Mix well to marinate the chicken and coat everything evenly. Set aside for 15 minutes.
3. To make the stir-fry sauce, add fish sauce, kecap manis, Sriracha, sweet chilli sauce and hot water in a bowl.
4. Mix the sauce well until it is smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
5. Add dry udon noodles to a pot of boiling water.
6. Cook udon noodles in boiling water for 8 minutes on medium-high heat.
7. Drain the noodles in a colander.
8. Rinse the cooked udon noodles in cold water several times to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
9. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a carbon steel wok on high. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for a few minutes until starting to brown.
10. Remove cooked chicken into a plate.
11. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok on high heat. Stir fry broccolini and garlic for a few seconds.
12. Add cabbage and capsicum (bell pepper) to the wok.
13. Stir fry the veggies for a minute until they are glazed and just cooked.
14. Add the cooked udon noodles to the wok.
15. Add the stir-fry sauce to the wok.
16. Add cooked chicken and spring onion to the wok.
17. Using a wooden or metal turner, stir-fry the Chicken Udon Noodles, tossing constantly for a couple of minutes until everything is evenly coated and heated through.
18. Check for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if required. Toss and mix well. Garnish with sesame seeds.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
These Chicken Udon Noodles are best eaten hot off the wok. But they also reheat really well and keep fresh in the fridge for up to two days. To reheat them, just warm them in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Here are some delicious ways to serve up your Chicken Udon Noodles.
- Make thin egg omelettes and serve the noodles wrapped in them.
- Serve the noodles along with this delicious Sweetcorn Chicken Egg Drop Soup or this umami-filled vegetarian Tomato Egg Drop Soup.
- These Chinese Chilli Garlic Potatoes go really well with the noodles.
🙋 Recipe FAQs
I wouldn't recommend freezing these noodles (or any noodles for that matter!). Noodles are quite delicate and when you freeze them, they get waterlogged. When you thaw them again, they tend to get soft and break changing the taste and texture of the dish. The same thing happens with stir-fry veggies in the noodles.
Although my homemade Chicken Udon Noodles are delicious and light when you eat them, they are not healthy. Despite being high in protein, calcium, potassium and vitamin C; they also have a high fat and sodium content as a result of the Asian sauces. As such, they are a delicious dinner option to be enjoyed occasionally.
Udon noodles are thick and chewy Japanese noodles made of wheat. They are not gluten-free.
🧡 More Noodle Recipes
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Chicken Udon Noodles
For the chicken
- 4 (570 g) chicken thigh, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-inch strips
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
For the stir-fry sauce
- 1 tablespoon kecap manis
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- ¼ cup (60 ml) hot water
For the stir-fry noodles
- 270 g raw udon noodles
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 (100 g) bunch broccolini, roughly chopped
- 1 (150 g) red capsicum, deseeded, halved and cut into strips
- 1 cup (80 g) cabbage, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup spring onions, chopped (green only)
- Flaky salt, to taste
- black pepper, freshly cracked, a pinch
- 1/4 tsp black sesame seeds, to garnish
- 1/4 tesp white sesame seeds, to garnish
- Combine chicken, garlic, Shaoxing wine and cornflour in a medium bowl. Mix well. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Make the stir-fry sauce by mixing kecap manis, fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce, Sriracha and hot water in a bowl. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cook the noodles. Bring 2 litres of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add dry noodles to the boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook uncovered for approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Rinse in cold water to stop noodles from cooking further. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large 35cm wok on high. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until cooked through and starting to brown. Remove onto a plate.
- Return the wok to the hob on high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to the wok. Add broccolini, and garlic. Stir-fry for a few seconds until garlic is fragrant. Add capsicum and cabbage and stir-fry on high heat, tossing constantly for a minute until vegetables are glazed.
- Add cooked (drained) noodles and the stir-fry sauce. Using a large metal spatula (or turner), stir-fry the noodles for 2-3 minutes, tossing constantly and ensuring that the sauce is evenly mixed through them.
- Add spring onions and cooked chicken Toss constantly and stir-fry on high heat for 2 minutes until everything is heated through. Check for seasoning. If needed add flaky salt and black pepper. Mix well.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.