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Udon Stir Fry

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We love udon noodles in Hawaii! This popular stir fry udon dish is simple and full of flavor. There's Spam, cabbage, and lots of black pepper. It's easy to make with pantry ingredients and very flexible. Feel free to switch up the meat and veggies. Hope you enjoy ^_^

Prepared udon stir fry in a pan, ready to serve and eat!
Udon Stir Fry, ready to eat!

Why This Recipe Works

Ready for udon stir fry? ^_^

This is one of my favorite easy lunch or dinner dishes to make. It's so simple but hearty and feels like a complete meal.

Udon stir fry is very satisfying and packed with different textures from the chewy udon noodles, crunchy cabbage, and the Spam, of course!

This recipe calls for common pantry ingredients and can be prepared in 15 minutes.

It's also flexible - feel free to change up the meat and vegetables. If this is your first time making udon stir fry, I recommend preparing the recipe according to directions. Then the next time, you can adjust the sauce proportions and change anything else you like. You can even make vegetarian udon by omitting the meat.

It's a forgiving recipe and open to endless adaptations. The main thing is that you enjoy making and eat this dish!

P.S. This dish is similar to Yaki Udon (which has different sauce flavoring and ingredients). You'll find both dishes in Hawaii.

Ingredients for udon stir fry laid out on a counter (udon, cabbage, spam, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, black pepper).
Ingredients for Udon Stir Fry.

Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for the dish:

  • Udon noodles
  • Green cabbage, thinly sliced - Green cabbage works best for this recipe, but you can substitute any other cabbage. We sometimes make this with napa cabbage.
  • Spam - sliced into matchsticks. Use regular or low sodium Spam. Don't use any of the flavored Spam options (there seem to be so many different flavors now).
  • Garlic, minced
  • Oyster sauce - Make sure to get the premium oyster sauce and not the flavored oyster sauce.
  • Soy sauce - Aloha (less salty) and Kikkoman (more salty) are the two most common brands in Hawaii.
  • Sesame oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Black pepper - I LOVE black pepper and use a lot of it for this recipe. Feel free to use less (though its really good with lots).
Fresh udon noodles in a colander.
Fresh udon from Sun Noodle (on Oahu).

Udon Noodles

Udon noodles are thick round noodles made with wheat flour. They can be found at all Japanese markets. If you're in Hawaii, you can find udon at pretty much every supermarket (and even local drugstore) in town.

You can use fresh or frozen udon for this recipe. We love to keep several packages of frozen udon in the freezer, it often comes in handy for last minute meals.

For this post, we used fresh udon noodles from Sun Noodle.

Tip: you can buy udon and other noodles straight from Sun Noodle factory warehouse if you are in Honolulu, it is super neat! Here's a look from our visit.

Prepared udon stir fry in a pan, ready to serve and eat!
Finished and ready to be plated.

Step by Step Directions

Ready to start cooking?

Prepare the udon noodles.
Heat a bowl of water for 2 minutes in the microwave. Remove and place the udon in the bowl of hot water for 1 minute to help loosen the noodles. Drain the water and set aside the udon.

Prepare the sauce.
Next, make the sauce. Mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. We will use this sauce for seasoning the dish in the last cooking step.

Cook the cabbage and Spam.
In a pan over high heat, add the cabbage. Stir fry the cabbage for 4-5 minutes until the cabbage has softened and is charred in spots.

Add the Spam and garlic, and then stir fry for 2-3 more minutes.

Add the udon noodles and sauce.
Then add the drained udon noodles and the prepare sauce mixture. Turn the heat down to medium.

Cook and toss for 1 more minute, making sure that the sauce evenly coats all the noodles. Then it’s ready to eat.

Time to eat!
Slide the finished dish onto a plate (or bowl) and enjoy. I like it best piping hot from pan, but it's already very good at room temperature.

A plate of udon stir fry, ready to eat!
A plate of udon stir fry, ready to eat!

FAQs and Tips

How long does this dish keep?

Best enjoyed right after you make it, but it will also keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Microwave for 1-2 minutes to reheat.

How many does this recipe serve?

This recipe makes for one very generous serving. You can also make a vegetable side dish (like Green Beans with Sesame Dressing (Gomaae) or Garlic and Fish Sauce Ong Choy) and split the noodles between two people.

Popular substitutions or additions?

Oh yes, there are many. Here are a few ideas:
- In place of (or in addition) to the Spam, you can use shrimp, cubed tofu, or thinly sliced pork. You can also use char siu which we often do in Hawaii.
- I feel cabbage goes best with this dish, but other popular vegetables include bean sprouts, carrots, and green onions. You can even add all these vegetables if you'd like!

Udon Stir Fry Recipe

See below and enjoy ^_^

Udon stir fry in a pan, ready to serve and eat!

Udon Stir Fry

Yield: 1 generous serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

We love udon noodles in Hawaii! This popular stir fry udon dish is simple and packed with flavors. There's Spam, cabbage, and lots of black pepper. Easy to make with pantry ingredients and very flexible. Feel free to switch up the meat and veggies. Eat and enjoy ^_^

Instructions

  1. Heat a bowl of water for 2 minutes in the microwave. Remove and place the udon in the bowl of hot water for 1 minute to help loosen the noodles. Drain the water and set aside the udon.
  2. Next, make the sauce. Mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a pan over high heat, add the cabbage. Stir fry for 4-5 minutes until the cabbage has softened and is charred in spots. Add the Spam and garlic, stir fry for 2-3 more minutes.
  4. Then add the udon and the sauce mixture. Turn the heat to medium. Cook and toss for 1 more minute, making sure that the sauce evenly coats all the noodles. Then it’s ready to eat.
  5. Slide the finished dish onto a plate (or bowl) and enjoy!

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