Udon vs. Yaki Udon vs. Yaki Soba: What’s the Difference?

The traditional Japanese noodle made from wheat flour, Udon (うどん/饂飩), is a staple food in Japan. And in recent years, the noodle dish has gained wide popularity in many countries.

As you may already know, Japan has various Udon dishes, but most are noodle soups or come with a light soy sauce-based dashi-rich broth.

Udon vs. Yaki Udon vs. Yaki Soba noodles

Yaki Udon (焼きうどん)Yaki Udon

However, there is an exception called Yaki Udon (焼きうどん), which is broth-less.

Although its name includes the word Udon, the dish is very much like Yaki Soba (焼きそば).

Meaning of Yaki (焼き)

The prefix that Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba have in common in their names, Yaki (焼き), refers to the cooking method using fire or heat, such as baking, grilling, or frying in English.

So unlike other Udon varieties, Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba are cooked by stir-frying noodles with other ingredients in a frying pan with oil.


A Typical Bowl of Udon Noodle SoupUdon Noodle Soup

With that said, Yaki Udon is a type of Udon, so as with representative Udon noodle soups, you can prepare various forms of Udon noodles for the dish, such as fresh, dried, chilled, or flat.

On the other hand, the noodles used in Yaki Soba aren’t buckwheat noodles but are usually oil-coated steamed wheat noodles.


Unlike usual Udon noodle soups garnished with toppings such as fresh green onions, wakame seaweed, sliced Kamaboko fish cake, Aburaage deep-fried tofu, Tempura, or raw eggs,

Typical ingredients for Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba are bite-size pieces of pork belly, cabbage, onions, and bean sprouts.


Yaki Soba (焼きそば)Yaki Soba

As guessed by now, you can make Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba with the same ingredients (except for noodles) using the same cooking method. 

The noodles are stir-fried with other ingredients and flavored with seasonings, such as Japanese Worcester sauce, soy sauce, salt & pepper, and oyster sauce. 

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 焼きうどん )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

1 Response

  1. This is an interesting comparison between Udon, Yaki Udon, and Yaki Soba. It’s great to learn about these unique Japanese products and culture!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.