Udon vs Yaki Udon vs Yaki Soba : What is the Difference?

“Udon (うどん, 饂飩)” is a traditional Japanese noodle made of wheat flour, which in modern times has been becoming popular in many countries.

In Japan, there are many varieties of Udon noodle dishes, most of which basically consist of somewhat thick chewy wheat noodles in a light soy sauce based Dashi-rich hot broth.

The Difference between Udon, Yaki Udon, and Yaki Soba Noodles

Yaki Udon (焼きうどん)Yaki Udon

However, in Udon there is an exception called “Yaki Udon (焼きうどん)” which has no broth. Although Yaki Udon includes the word Udon in its name, the Udon dish is very much like “Yaki Soba (焼きそば)”

The Meaning of “Yaki (焼き)”

The Japanese prefix that Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba have in common in the names, “Yaki (焼き)” means the cooking method using fire or heat, such as “bake”, “grill”, and “fry”.

In fact, unlike typical Udon dishes, both Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba are cooked by stir-frying noodles and other ingredients together with some oil.


A Typical Bowl of Udon Noodle SoupUdon Noodle Soup

Since Yaki Udon is a type of Udon dish, as with normal Udon noodle soups, various forms of Udon noodles, such as fresh, dried, chilled or flat ones, can be prepared for Yaki Udon.

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


Different from Udon noodle soups which are typically topped with uncooked fresh green onions, Wakame seaweed, Kamaboko fish paste, Aburaage deep-fried bean curd, Tempura, raw eggs, and so on, the main ingredients in Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba are pork belly, cabbage, onion, bean sprouts, and so forth.


Yaki Soba (焼きそば)Yaki Soba

As you can guess from the above, Yaki Udon and Yaki Soba can be made with the same ingredients except for the noodles.

The noodles are stir-fried with other ingredients, and seasoned typically with Japanese-style Worcester sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper.

(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.

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