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)
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 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)
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 )