A quick and easy stir-fried teriyaki chicken yaki udon stir fry recipe, made with leftover chicken, vegetables, chewy udon noodles, and tossed with a sweet and sticky teriyaki sauce. Great for using up leftovers, or when you want a simple meal in less than 30 minutes!
Table of Contents
What is Yaki Udon?
Yaki udon is a stir-fried Japanese noodle dish made with udon noodles, a variety of meats, and vegetables, in a soy sauce-based sauce.
Not to be confused with Yaki Soba, which is also a stir-fried Japanese noodle dish but is instead made of soba noodles which are made with buckwheat instead of udon noodles which are made with wheat flour.
This is one of my favorite go-to noodle stir-fry recipes for easy weeknight dinners. This chicken udon recipe is easy, quick, and versatile. It can basically use any kind of leftover meat or vegetables you have in the fridge.
The idea for this recipe came to me when I was missing chicken teriyaki takeout. Chicken teriyaki to me as a kiddo was sliced up chicken on a bed of white rice and charred cabbage and carrots and drowned in the syrupy dark sweet teriyaki sauce and served in a styrofoam takeout box. Chicken Teriyaki is no different to me now, except I occasionally will replace the white rice with a chewy udon noodle.
Give this chicken udon stir fry recipe a try if you have some leftovers you're looking to clear out or if you want to clean out your fridge. It's easy, quick, and very satisfying.
Ingredients for Chicken Yaki Udon
- Chicken - I like to use leftover chicken for this stir-fry recipe because it's easy and quick. Any type of leftover meat will work for this recipe if you don't have chicken. If you don't have leftovers, you can also use raw chicken as well, just make sure you slice them very thin and cook them until it is fully cooked before you start adding the vegetables, noodles, and sauce. Alternatively, you can also use leftover turkey, shrimp, pork, or tofu in this as well.
- Udon Noodles - I like to use frozen udon noodles. They have a chewier texture than the dry and pre-packaged ones you find in the fridge.
- Cabbage/Carrots/Onions - The standard vegetables for chicken teriyaki to me are cabbage, carrots, and onions but you can use any type of vegetables you like - but don't omit the onions. The onions provide a lot of flavors.
- Soy Sauce and Honey - To make the sweet and savory chicken yaki udon sauce, I like to use light soy sauce (which also can be found as regular soy sauce). To sweeten the sauce I like to use honey, to give the sauce its sweetness and stickiness.
- Ginger/Garlic - Garlic and ginger provide a lot of flavor to the sauce, so don't omit them.
- Corn Starch - This is to thicken the sauce so that the sauce sticks to the thick chewy noodles better.
- Furikake - I like to sprinkle some homemade furikake seasoning for some extra flavor.
How to Make Teriyaki Chicken Yaki Udon
- Prepare the ingredients ahead of time - To make this dish super quickly, it's easiest to prepare and chop everything ahead of time so all the ingredients are right there ready for you near the stove.
- Make the Teriyaki Sauce - This teriyaki sauce ahead of time as well. It is a quick and easy sauce and takes about 5 minutes to make.
- Thaw the Udon Noodles - I highly recommend using the frozen sanuki udon noodles. They are chewier than the dried ones and they take a lot less time to prepare and cook. It is crucial that you do not boil the noodles. To thaw the udon noodles, I place a frozen brick of udon noodles into a colander and run it under cold water to melt the ice. Once the noodles are soft and pliable (it should take about 1-2 minutes), they are done. Set it aside
- Once everything is prepped, use a large frying pan and stir fry everything together on high heat - Add in the vegetables first, then once the vegetables are cooked (3-4 minutes), add in the leftover meat (1-2 minutes) and then add in the noodles and the sauce and cook it for another 1 minute and it's done.
You can, but I highly recommend using the frozen ones because they are a lot quicker to cook and they have that fantastic chewiness that the dry noodles won't have. If you use the dried udon noodles, pre-cook them according to the instructions but subtract 1 minute from the cooking time.
For this chicken yaki udon recipe, yes you need to use udon noodles.
Yes, I highly recommend pre-cooking this sauce before you make the yaki udon. Browning the garlic and ginger are essential to making the teriyaki sauce flavorful.
Yup! If you are using raw chicken instead of leftover chicken, thinly slice the chicken and marinate it in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and cook it after step 3 under 'Putting Everything Together
The best part of frozen udon noodles is the chewy texture so it's important that you don't boil them before you use them.
If you are using it for a stir fry, you can defrost it by running cold tap water over it for 1-2 minutes to melt the ice. Once it's soft and pliable it's ready to stir fry.
If you are using it for a soup noodle, you should still defrost it the same way before you cook it in the soup, this way you can reduce the boiling time in the soup which will make the noodles mushy.
More Noodle Recipes You May Like
- Singapore Noodles
- Beef & Onion Soy Sauce Noodles
- Black Garlic Shirataki Noodles with King Oyster Mushrooms
- Beef Chow Fun (Beef Ho Fun)
- Maple Curry Yaki Udon
- Japchae (Stir-Fried Korean Glass Noodles)
- Japanese Curry Udon
- Thai Peanut Noodles
- Garlic Chili Oil Noodles
- Thai Peanut Noodles
If you made this Stir-Fried Chicken Teriyaki yaki udon recipe, I want to see it! Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Teriyaki Chicken Yaki Udon (Stir-fried Udon Noodles)
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- If your leftover chicken has bones, save them and freeze them! You can accumulate a bunch of bones and make a broth out of it next time you feel like having some soupy noodles!
- If you are using raw chicken instead of leftover chicken, thinly slice the chicken and marinate it in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and cook it after step 3 under 'Putting Everything Together'
- Can I use dried udon noodles? You can, but I highly recommend using the frozen ones because they are a lot quicker to cook and they have that fantastic chewiness which the dry noodles won't have. If you use the dried udon noodles, pre-cook them according to the instructions but subtract 1 minute from the cooking time.
- Do I have to use udon noodles? For this chicken yaki udon recipe, yes you need to use udon noodles.
- Do I need to pre-make the teriyaki sauce? Yes, I highly recommend pre-cooking this sauce before you make the yaki udon. Browning the garlic and ginger is essential to making the teriyaki sauce flavorful.
- Cooked chicken (or any leftover meat. Approx. 2 cups, shredded or chopped)
- 1 brick of Frozen Sanuki Udon Noodle
- 2 cups Cabbage (approx. ¼ of a small cabbage, finely sliced)
- 1 cup carrot (finely sliced into matchsticks)
- 1 medium onion (sliced)
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
Corn Starch Slurry (To Thicken Sauce)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons water (cold)
- Wash and peel (optional) the carrot, and cut them into thin slivers and set aside
- Wash and cut the cabbage into half, and then cut each half into half again so you get ¼ of a cabbage. Use only ¼ of the cabbage. Cut out the core of the cabbage and cut them into thin slices and set aside
- Cut off the ends of the onion and then peel it. Cut the onion in half and then place the onion flat side down on the cutting board and cut them into thin slices and set aside
- Peel and finely chop the garlic. Set aside 1 tablespoon for the sauce and set the rest of it a side for the stir fry.
- Grate the ginger and set aside later for the sauce
- Hand shred, or thinly slice the leftover chicken and set aside
- Place a frozen brick of udon noodles into a colander and run it under cold water to melt the ice. Once the noodles are soft and pliable (it should take about 1-2 minutes), they are done. Set it aside
Making the Teriyaki Sauce
- Set a small pot on the stove on medium-low heat
- Add a bit of oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add in the garlic and ginger and toast it until it is brown (approximately 1-2 minutes)
- Once the garlic and ginger has browned, add in the soy sauce, water and honey and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes
- While the sauce is simmering, mix corn starch and cold water together to make a corn starch slurry and set it aside.
- Once the sauce has simmered for a few minutes, stir the sauce quickly with a utensil while adding in the corn starch slurry slowly. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Once the sauce thickens, set it aside for later.
Putting Everything Together
- Use a large frying pan and set the stove to medium to medium high heat.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the frying pan and wait for it to get hot.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add in the onions and cook them until they are soft (approximately 1-2 minutes)
- Then add in the carrots and cabbage and stir fry it with the onions. Try to leave it on the pan for 20-30 seconds without touching it every minute to give the cabbage a bit of a char. Cook everything for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes - we put the garlic last so it doesn't burn.
- Add in the chicken and mix everything together and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the noodles and cook for 1 minute
- Add in the sauce and cook everything for 1 minute
- Once everything is all cooked, plate it and enjoy!
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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