Kimchi udon is a quick and delicious noodle stir fry that combines chewy udon noodles, spicy kimchi, fresh vegetables, and an incredibly flavorful stir fry sauce. It's just perfect for a simple and satisfying dinner at home!
This kimchi udon stir fry is spicy, flavorful, and packed with vegetables and fresh ingredients. It tastes very similar to kimchi fried rice but uses chewy udon noodles instead of rice. It's an incredibly delicious noodle stir fry that is perfect for anyone who loves Korean dishes such as tteokbokki or dakgalbi.
And the best part is that it is super simple to make! All you need is a few simple ingredients and 25 minutes to whip up this delicious Korean noodle stir fry.
Kimchi Udon Ingredients
To make kimchi udon you'll need the following ingredients:
- Udon noodles: It's best to use pre-cooked udon noodles that are either frozen or vacuum-packaged. Dry udon noodles that need to be cooked don't turn out as thick and chewy. They are thinner and similar to other regular stir fry noodles. But if you prefer thin noodles, you can use dry udon noodles.
- Aromatics: You'll need garlic and green onions to make this noodle stir fry. They make this dish flavorful and delicious, so be sure to use them!
- Kimchi: Kimchi is one of the key ingredients in this recipe. I generally recommend using homemade kimchi if you can. It's usually more flavorful and tastier than store-bought kimchi. If you don't have any homemade kimchi on hand, feel free to buy some. Just make sure that the kimchi you use is sour and well-fermented. It's best to use kimchi that has been in the refrigerator for a few weeks already.
- Vegetables: Mushrooms and carrots taste delicious in noodle stir fries and are recommended to make this kimchi udon stir fry. But you can substitute them with other vegetables that you like or that may be sitting in your refrigerator.
- Stir fry sauce: For the stir fry sauce, you'll need gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes), gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), kimchi juice (the juice in the container that your kimchi is stored in), dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, and honey. You can find all ingredients in most Asian grocery stores as they are very commonly used.
- Toppings (optional): Adding toppings is optional but I think that kimchi udon tastes even better when you add sesame seeds, chopped roasted nori, and a fried egg on top of your serving.
How to make kimchi udon
Prepare the sauce. First, whisk together all sauce ingredients until combined. Then set the sauce aside.
Detangle the udon noodles. Place the udon noodles in a pot or bowl with boiling water. Wait until the udon noodles can be entangled easily. Remove them from the water and set them aside.
Sauté the aromatics and kimchi. Preheat some vegetable oil in a pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and white green onion parts and sauté until fragrant. Then add the kimchi and sauté for 1 minute.
Stir fry the vegetables. Next, add the carrots and mushrooms. Stir fry everything over medium heat until the vegetables are soft.
Combine. Add the udon noodles, remaining green onion parts, and stir fry sauce to the pan. Toss and continue to stir fry until everything is combined and the sauce clings to the noodles.
Garnish (optional) and serve. Garnish the kimchi udon with chopped roasted nori, sesame seeds, and a fried egg. Enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Stick to the ingredient list for the stir fry sauce. There are some minor changes that can be made, such as picking another type of sweetener to replace the honey. But be sure to use gochujang, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, kimchi juice, and some type of sweetener. Otherwise, the final dish may be too salty, lacking flavor, or taste very unbalanced.
- Use kimchi that is well-fermented and quite sour. To make the most delicious kimchi udon, I recommend using kimchi that has been fermenting in the refrigerator for at least a few weeks. It should be sour and pungent.
- Adjust the spice level to your taste. Generally, kimchi udon is spicy as it uses kimchi, gochugaru, and gochujang. I'd describe this recipe as moderately spicy and enjoyable for anyone who likes a bit of heat. If you prefer it milder, be sure to use mild gochujang, a small amount of gochugaru, and mild kimchi.
- Let the udon noodles sit in boiling water until they detangle and remove them immediately. If they aren't detangled, they can break in the pan, leaving you with very short noodles. At the same time, you don't want to overcook them as they continue to cook in the pan, which could turn them into very mushy noodles.
- Protein: You could add bacon, chicken, shrimp, ground turkey, pork, and many other types of protein to this dish! Kimchi udon tastes great with most types of meat.
- Vegetables: There are many vegetables that can be used to make delicious noodle stir fries. I love to use mushrooms and carrots. But you can use this recipe to use any leftover vegetables.
- Noodles: Thick and chewy udon noodles are super delicious! But if you prefer another type of noodle for stir fries, feel free to replace the udon noodles.
How to serve kimchi udon
- Garnish with chopped roasted nori for some extra flavor. Roasted nori can often be found in small packages. If you've never tried roasted nori sheets before, I recommend buying some! They taste really delicious and definitely add to the taste of this dish.
- Add some sesame seeds to your kimchi udon. I love sesame seeds for some extra texture. Plus, you can keep them in your pantry and use them whenever you make stir fries.
- Fry an egg and serve it over the noodles. Nothing beats a runny egg yolk served over spicy and saucy kimchi udon! Eggs are also great for adding protein to your meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kimchi udon is very similar to kimchi fried rice. It is made with udon noodles, kimchi, a gochujang stir fry sauce, and fresh vegetables. You can also add some type of meat or serve it with a fried egg. It's an amazing dish that is perfect if you love kimchi and flavorful noodle stir fries!
A common variation is adding meat such as bacon. This recipe is meat-free but you can add any type of meat that you like!
This kimchi udon recipe is spicy but in an enjoyable way! It's not overly spicy but still packs some heat, so it may not be for you if you prefer very mild dishes. There are ways to make it less spicy (use mild gochujang, no gochugaru, mild kimchi) but it will still be slightly spicy.
Sure! Just make sure to use vegan gochujang, vegan kimchi, vegan oyster sauce, and sugar instead of honey.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat them in a pan with some water or in a microwave.
More simple and delicious stir fry recipes
I love to make stir fries as they are super simple, delicious, and packed with vegetables and protein. The following recipes are favorites of mine that I recommend checking out if you love to make stir fries, too!
- Ground Beef Stir Fry Noodles
- Chicken Yaki Udon
- Shrimp Chop Suey
- Dakgalbi (Korean Chicken Stir Fry)
- Cashew Chicken
- ½ tablespoon gochugaru adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon gochujang
- 1 tablespoon kimchi juice
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- ½ tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Stir Fry Ingredients
- 2 7-ounce packets pre-cooked udon noodles vacuum-packaged or frozen
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 - 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 green onions white and green parts separated, cut into 2-inch pieces
- ⅔ cup kimchi
- 1 carrot cut into matchsticks/julienned
- 4 mushrooms sliced
- sesame seeds, chopped roasted nori sheets, fried egg (optional, recommended) as topping
- First, whisk together all stir-fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Then set the sauce aside.½ tablespoon gochugaru, 1 tablespoon gochujang, 1 tablespoon kimchi juice, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon mirin, ½ tablespoon honey, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the udon noodles in a bowl or pot filled with boiling water. Let them sit until they are easy to detangle. Remove them from the water and set the noodles aside. The udon noodles shouldn't be cooked fully at this point as they will be stir-fried later.2 7-ounce packets pre-cooked udon noodles
- In the meantime, preheat some vegetable oil in a pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and white green onion parts. Sauté until fragrant. Then add the kimchi and sauté for 1 minute.1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 - 2 garlic cloves, 2 green onions, ⅔ cup kimchi
- Next, add the carrots and mushrooms. Stir-fry everything over medium heat until the vegetables have softened.1 carrot, 4 mushrooms
- Now add the udon noodles, remaining green onion parts, and stir fry sauce. Toss and continue to stir fry until everything is combined and the sauce is sticking to the noodles.
- Garnish with chopped roasted nori, sesame seeds, and a fried egg (optional). Enjoy!sesame seeds, chopped roasted nori sheets, fried egg (optional, recommended)