This quick and easy udon noodle soup is ready in just 30 minutes and can be easily customized to a variety of ingredients to suit what you have on hand.
Why you’ll love this easy udon noodle soup
This easy udon noodle soup recipe is the perfect for when you just want a warming pot of hearty soup … in a flash. No strict ingredient list here, so you can look at this one as more of a framework, than a recipe :) This udon soup is endlessly adaptable to whatever you have in your fridge to add to it.
Start with frozen or shelf-stable udon noodles, a carton of broth of your choice and then add what you like or what you have. Make it spicy. Or not. Make it vegetarian. Or not. This soup is a blank canvas just waiting for you to customize it.
This is a great soul-soothing, cure-what-ails-you kind of soup, with great warming flavours and hearty noodles to fill you up, that you can make easily whenever you feel the need.
Udon noodles – you can use either frozen or shelf-stable udon noodles here. For frozen udon noodles, there is no need to thaw. Simply add to the soup frozen and then allow to cook until tender in the broth. I prefer frozen udon myself, so I would recommend them, if you have that option.
(This is an udon soup recipe, so while udon noodles would be needed to make udon soup, if you prefer to use another type of noodle soup here, have at it. Just make sure the noodles don’t need pre-cooking and can be added directly to the soup broth to cook.)
Broth – you’ll need a carton (about 4 cups) of broth for this soup, but you can use chicken, beef, vegetable, mushroom, pho, Dashi or whatever broth you have on hand.
To make as shown, you will also need – Mushrooms, baby spinach, green onion, cilantro, lime, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil
Instead of mushrooms – brown some ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken, tofu or tempeh. Or finely dice a piece of chicken breast, or thigh or that lone pork chop that is in your freezer.
Instead of chicken broth – use vegetable broth, beef broth, mushroom broth, pho broth or Dashi (traditional udon soup broth).
Instead of spinach – use kale, bok choy or other leafy greens and/or pea shoots.
Instead of Asian chili garlic sauce – use Sambal oelek, Sriracha, Chili oil, additional red pepper flakes.
Additionally – You can also add things like broccoli, or asparagus or finely diced carrots or bell pepper to the broth while the noodles are simmering, if you like or have odds and ends that need using up.
How to make this easy udon noodle soup: Step-by-Step
Step 1: Brown mushrooms (or ground meat or tofu/tempeh) well. Don’t rush this step, as browned equals flavour. Remove from the pot and set aside. (We’ll add them back into the soup towards the end of cooking, after the noodles are cooked, so we don’t end up with soggy mushrooms :)
Step 2: Add broth and season with some flavourful aromatics, to taste.
Step 3: Add noodles and allow to cook until tender in the flavourful broth.
Step 4: Add the greens (I used baby spinach and pea shoots here) and allow to wilt or soften with the broth and noodles.
Step 5: Return the mushrooms (or whatever you browned) and allow to cook with the soup for a few minutes.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy!
- Don’t forget to taste and salt your soup, if needed. Generally, the broth and soy sauce provides a good bit of seasoning, but it may still need a touch more to bring all the great flavours together.
- Don’t hesitate to add a bit more broth or water to your soup if the noodles seem to have soaked too much of it up. Likewise, if your soup has been refrigerated, the noodles will continue to soak up the broth, so adding more will loosen it back up.
- If everyone seems to have a different tolerance or preference for spiciness, you can skip adding the Chili Garlic Sauce to the soup and just serve it on top, as shown here, that can be adjusted to taste and stirred into each bowl of soup.
Storing the soup
Refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days. The noodles will continue to soak up the broth, so you may need to add a bit more broth or water to loosen it up when re-heating.
Get the Recipe: Quick and Easy Udon Noodle Soup
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- 8 oz cremini or white mushrooms, sliced or *see Note 1 for alternatives
- salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste, or 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
- Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- 4 cups chicken or other broth, *see Note 2 for alternatives
- 2 Tablespoon soy sauce, can add more, to taste
- 2 teaspoon fish sauce, or mirin
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 400 g frozen or shelf-stable udon noodles, 2 blocks frozen or 2 individual packages of shelf stable 400-500g total
- 2 cups baby spinach, and/or other greens *see Note 3 for other options
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup cilantro, leaves and tender stems, coarsely chopped
- 1-2 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce, plus more, to taste (optional) *see Note 4 for alternatives
- Juice of 1/2 lime + lime wedges to serve
- Additional salt, as needed
- Add cooking oil to a large soup pot and heat over medium-high heat on the stove top. Add the mushrooms and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until golden. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pot, add a touch more oil, if it is dry, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger (or ginger paste) and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil. Bring the broth to a simmer. Add udon noodles and cook until tender (frozen udon will take longer than shelf-stable).
- Add spinach (or other greens) to the pot, together with the reserved browned mushrooms, green onion and cilantro. Stir in Asian chili garlic sauce, if using, to taste. Cook soup a bit longer to allow the flavours to blend. *If soup becomes too thick, add a bit more broth or water, as needed.
- To finish, add juice of 1/2 lime to the soup. Stir in. Taste soup and salt well, as needed (and/or alternately, add a bit more soy sauce, which will add some saltines to the soup, as well).
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls and serve with additional green onion, cilantro, sesame seeds and additional Asian chili garlic sauce.
Quick and Easy Udon Noodle Soup Web Story