This shrimp udon stir fry recipe is perfect for making a tasty udon noodle stir fry at home that tastes just as delicious as the restaurant version. It has chewy udon noodles, juicy shrimp, fresh vegetables, and the best stir fry sauce ever!
Udon noodle stir fries are among my favorite types of dishes as they are incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. That’s why my chicken yaki udon and Korean-style noodles are go-to recipes whenever I want to prepare a quick, simple, and delicious meal.
This shrimp udon stir fry is another stir fry recipe that I love to make for myself and my family! It perfectly combines thick and chewy udon noodles with fresh vegetables and a flavorful soy-based gochujang stir fry sauce.
It truly never disappoints and will be perfect for you if you love shrimp, noodles, and umami-rich stir fry sauces!
Shrimp Udon Stir Fry Ingredients
To make the shrimp udon stir fry you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Shrimp: You can use any type of shrimp that you like. I recommend using big shrimp as they don’t overcook as quickly. Just make sure that they are peeled, deveined, and thawed if you decide to use frozen shrimp.
- Udon noodles: I highly recommend using pre-cooked udon noodles that are vacuum-packaged or frozen! Dry udon noodles are usually thinner after being cooked, so if you prefer thick and chewy udon noodles be sure to use pre-cooked udon!
- Aromatics: You’ll need garlic and green onion to make this udon noodle stir fry taste flavorful and delicious.
- Vegetables: I used green cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and bok choy for this shrimp udon stir fry as these vegetables go really well with the noodles and sauce. However, you can certainly replace any of these vegetables with other options that you may prefer.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used for the shrimp marinade. I recommend keeping some in your pantry as it is often used in stir fry recipes!
To make the stir fry sauce you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Dark soy sauce: Be sure to use soy sauce that says „dark soy sauce“ on the label. It has a very different taste than Japanese soy sauce (what most people probably use as soy sauce). Dark soy sauce has a deeper flavor, more color, and doesn’t taste as salty. That’s why I don’t recommend substituting dark soy sauce with regular soy sauce. And if you love to make stir fries at home, buying a bottle of dark soy sauce will definitely be worth it!
- Oyster sauce: Oyster sauce is another key ingredient to make the stir fry sauce.
- Gochujang: Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) is a staple in Korean cuisine that is spicy and packs a ton of flavor, which makes it perfect for upgrading the stir fry sauce. If you don’t have any gochujang on hand or can’t find it, you can make the stir fry sauce without it.
- Honey: Honey balances the sauce, thickens it, and adds some sweetness. If you prefer brown sugar, feel free to use it.
- Mirin: Mirin is a sweet cooking wine used in many East Asian recipes. Make sure to use it to make the sauce!
- Red chili flakes: Red chili flakes add some spice and flavor. You can use as much as you want to adjust the sauce to your taste.
How to make this shrimp udon stir fry
Marinate the shrimp. First, place the peeled and deveined shrimp in a bowl and add all marinade ingredients. Toss and set aside.
Prepare the stir fry sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together all stir fry sauce ingredients. Set the sauce aside.
Let the udon noodles soak in water. Place the udon noodles in a bowl and fill it with hot or boiling water. Let the udon noodles sit until they are easy to detangle. Then drain and set aside.
Sear the shrimp. Preheat some vegetable oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Then sear the shrimp from both sides until they are cooked through. Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan.
Sauté the vegetables. Add more vegetable oil to the pan. Then sauté the garlic and white green onion parts until fragrant. Then add the cabbage, carrot, mushrooms and bok choy stems. Sauté until softened.
Combine and toss. Add the udon noodles, cooked shrimp, bok choy leaves, remaining green onion parts, and stir fry sauce to the pan. Toss and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add toppings (optional) and serve. Garnish the shrimp udon stir fry with sesame seeds and other toppings of your choice and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Let the udon noodles detangle naturally in water. When you try to forcefully break them apart, the udon noodles break and you end up with short noodles. They should become loose when you let them sit in boiling water.
- Be sure to use dark soy sauce. Regular (Japanese) soy sauce has a very different taste and your final dish probably won’t turn out as you imagined. So make sure to use dark soy sauce and I’m sure you will love the final shrimp udon stir fry!
- Prepare all ingredients before you start cooking. Cooking stir fries can be stressful when you don’t prepare the ingredients in advance. So before anything hits the pan, have all ingredients prepped and ready to go!
- Make it spicy. Although this recipe uses gochujang and red chili flakes, I wouldn’t call it spicy. So if you prefer some extra heat, I recommend using fresh chili peppers or more red chili flakes.
- Use different vegetables. The great thing about stir fry recipes is that you can use a variety of vegetables to switch things up or clean up your refrigerator. So definitely feel free to use other veggies and aromatics, such as bell peppers, bean sprouts, yellow onion, snow peas, or ginger.
- Use other types of protein. Chicken, beef, and tofu are great options for substituting the shrimp in this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although this recipe uses gochujang and red chili flakes, it’s not what I’d call spicy. So depending on your preferences, you can skip the red chili flakes to make it very mild or use more to make it spicy.
Yes! Just use tofu instead of shrimp and vegetarian oyster sauce to make this dish vegetarian.
Udon noodles are very thick wheat noodles, soba are thin buckwheat noodles, and lo mein are egg noodles that are thinner than udon. If you wanted to replace the udon noodles, lo mein would be a delicious alternative!
The great thing about pre-cooked udon noodles is that they are very easy to prepare! When you stir fry them, you can just let them sit in boiling water until they detangle and then finish them in the pan. If you want to use them for soups, you can place them in the soup pot and let them cook for about 3 minutes. That way, you always have perfectly cooked udon noodles that are thick, chewy, and delicious!
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in a pan or microwave. Use a small amount of water as needed.
More quick and delicious stir fry recipes
Stir fry recipes are a total favorite of mine as they are packed with protein, vegetables, and flavor! Here are some more recipes that I love to make and recommend trying.
Shrimp Udon Stir Fry
- ½ pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
Stir Fry Sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- ¾ tablespoon gochujang
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- ½ - 1 teaspoon red chili flakes such as gochugaru
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 7-ounce packets pre-cooked udon noodles vacuum-packaged or frozen
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 - 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 green onions sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 carrot cut into matchsticks/julienned
- 4 brown mushrooms cut into slices
- 1 bok choy chopped, stems and leaves separated
- First, marinate the shrimp in a bowl and set aside.½ pound shrimp, 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- Next, whisk together all stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set the sauce aside.2 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, ¾ tablespoon gochujang, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon mirin, ½ - 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the udon noodles in a bowl and fill it with hot or boiling water. Let the udon noodles sit until they are easy to detangle. Then drain and set aside.2 7-ounce packets pre-cooked udon noodles
- Preheat half of the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Sear the shrimp until they are cooked through (5-8 minutes depending on the size). Then remove them from the pan and set them aside.1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Next, add more oil to the pan. Sauté the garlic and white green onion parts until fragrant. Then add the cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, and bok choy stems. Sauté until the vegetables start to soften.1 - 2 garlic cloves, 2 green onions, 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 carrot, 4 brown mushrooms, 1 bok choy
- Now add the udon noodles, cooked shrimp, bok choy leaves, remaining green onion parts, and stir fry sauce to the pan. Toss and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!
- Be sure to use dark soy sauce for the stir fry sauce. Otherwise, the sauce will lack flavor and color and turn out overly salty. I personally love and recommend the Lee Kum Kee dark soy sauce!