Yaki Soba Vs. Yaki Udon | Are They The Same?

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Japan is popularly known for its different varieties of noodles, and you will be surprised to learn that traditional Japanese noodles are made from wheat flour. 

yaki soba and yaki udon

The two very common wheat flour noodles dishes consumed in Japan are – Yaki soba and yaki udon. Many of us get confused between them, so let’s thoroughly discuss yaki soba vs. yaki udon.

Yaki soba and yaki udon are made from wheat flour. The ingredients used in both dishes are the same. They both have crunchy vegetables like – carrots, broccoli, onions, and pepper.

They both have meat and are seasoned with almost the same sauce and spices. 

Still, they are two different types of noodles. You can say that they are like two siblings who are similar to each other but possess different personalities.

On the one hand, yaki soba has a Savory and salty flavor with light sweetness, and then, on the other hand, yaki udon is sweet, savory, and tangy. Yaki soba is denser and chewier, whereas yaki udon is nutty and chewy.

The noodles of yaki soba are thinner, making them more tempting and flavorful as compared to the thick noodles of yaki udon.

Today, we will unfold all the vital information and differences between the two. They have the same ingredients yet possess different flavors, so this discussion will be filled with interesting facts and information. 

At the end of this, you will not only be an expert in these two types of noodles but also know how to make them at home. Let us start by having an overview of the significant differences between them.

Yaki Soba vs. yaki udon | The difference table

Basis Of DifferencesYaki SobaYaki Udon
Type Of NoodleThin and light wheat noodlesThick and bouncy wheat noodles
FlavorSavory, salty, and lightly sweetSweet, savory, and tangy
IngredientsYakisoba sauce, vegetables, meatYaki udon sauce, vegetables, meat
TextureFirmer and chewier noodlesTender and chewy noodles
Made InWok (high-smoke oil)Wok (high-smoke oil)

What Is Yaki Udon?


Those who have tried Japanese food or are familiar with Japanese cuisine know that udon is thick Japanese noodles made from wheat flour. When udon noodles are stir-fried, then they are called yaki udon.

So we can say that yaki noodles are nothing but udon noodles, meat, vegetables, and sauce, which are stir-fried together. Yaki udon is a staple food of Japan that is mainly consumed as a late-night snack.

If we talk about the history of yaki udon, this dish originated in Southern Japan after world war 2. That was a tough time for the citizens of Japan, and food was a real challenge.

They used to put together anything and everything available at the time, and hence yaki udon came into existence. Another backstory for yaki soba is that the owner of a noodle shop had to use udon noodles to prepare the famous dish yaki soba because of food scarcity after world war 2. 

Now when we are done discussing the accidental existence of yaki udon, let us talk about other things like taste and flavors. The very evident flavor of yaki udon is the savory flavor because of the sauce.

The sauce for yaki udon is made from soy sauce and mirin. Apart from savory flavor, yaki soba also has an umami, sweet and tangy taste.

The yaki udon is made from udon noodles with a nutty and earthy flavor, making a good pair with the meat, vegetables, and savory sauce. Another exciting taste of yaki udon comes from the duck fat used by many instead of regular oil to stir fry the noodles.

What Is Yaki Soba?

yaki soba

Yaki soba, as the name goes, is not made from soba noodles. Yes, you read it right. They are made from wheat flour and are Chinese noodles and not buckwheat flour which is used to make soba noodles. The meaning of yaki soba is grilled or stir-fried noodles.

This is considered comfort food, and much like yaki udon, it can be found as a typical street food. 

Yaki soba is prepared with wheat flour noodles, pork, and vegetables like cabbage, onions, bean sprouts, and carrots. Then the main ingredient that enhances the noodles’ flavor is the yaki soba sauce.

You may confuse yaki soba with yaki udon, but they are different, which we will learn further as we move ahead. 

The flavor of yaki soba is mainly because of the sauces used: Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. The exciting ingredient in yaki soba is ketchup. In many recipes, ketchup is added to bring out the sweet, savory, and deeper flavor notes.

Even if ketchup is not used, the traditional yakisoba sauce pairs well with meat, especially chicken and vegetables.

The yakisoba noodles are thin and chewy. The thin noodles add a more satisfying mouthfeel, and the vegetables provide the required crunch making yaki soba a very delicious and addictive noodle. 

Yaki Udon Vs. Yaki Soba | Similarities 

soba vs udon

Now there are so many things we can find in common in yaki udon and yaki soba recipes which are listed below –

1. Ingredients 

When it comes to the ingredients, both noodles are made with meat and vegetables. The traditional recipe of yaki soba and yaki udon includes elements like bite-sized pieces of pork belly, cabbage, onions, and bean sprouts that are stir-fried with the noodles.

2. Seasoning

You already know that the ingredients used in both types of noodles are almost the same, which also means that the seasoning used is quite similar. The noodles are stir-fried with vegetables and seasoned with Japanese-style sauce, soy sauce, salt pepper, and oyster sauce. 

Yaki Udon Vs. Yaki Soba | What Are The Differences Between The Two?


1. Type Of Noodles 

The very clear difference between yaki soba and yaki udon is the type of noodles used. Although they are both made from wheat noodles, the yaki udon has thick and bouncy wheat noodles, whereas the yaki soba has thin and light wheat noodles.

The noodles of yaki udon are nutty and chewy. When it comes to yaki soba, they are denser and chewier. 

2. Flavor

Now you may think that the ingredients added in yaki soba and yaki udon noodles are the same, so how do they differ in flavors? They do differ in taste as yaki soba has a Savory and salty flavor with light sweetness, whereas yaki udon is sweet, savory, and tangy. 

3. Texture

Both yaki soba and yaki udon noodles have similar textures except the texture of noodles. The noodles used to make yaki udon are thicker and chewy, whereas the noodles used in yakisoba are thinner and chewier. Yaki udon also has a nutty and earthy texture.

4. Uses

Both yaki soba and yaki udon have the same ingredients and seasoning, so their serving style may not differ much. However, in most cases, yaki soba is served dry or with little sauce. When it comes to yaki udon, the sauce can be prepared in many ways.

For the noodles, you can go with simple and thick noodles.

How to make yaki soba ?

yaki soba in a bowl

For yakisoba, you will need the yakisoba noodles, which are thin wheat noodles or Chinese noodles. First, make your yakisoba sauce.

For the sauce, you will need soy sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, sugar, and Worcester sauce. Mix them in a bowl and keep them aside.

Now cook your noodles as per the instructions given in the packet. You can also make these noodles at home by combining wheat flour, eggs, salt, and water. Season the wok with the oil, and then add chicken. Let it cook for about 5 minutes until it is light brown.

Keep on stirring in between, and let the chicken caramelize. Now add your vegetables. Throw in red bell pepper, carrot, green onions, yellow onion, and broccoli. Let the veggies and meat cook well. Now add your boiled noodles. Sprinkle salt and pepper.

Add a pinch of MSG to enhance the flavor. Pour the sauce you prepared. Mix everything well and cook it for about 2-3 minutes. Garnish it with your choice of ingredients. 

 How to make yaki udon?

yaki udon recipe

Yaki udon has similar ingredients and steps as yaki soba. First, you need to prepare the sauce. You will require dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and white wine vinegar for the sauce. Mix them in a bowl and keep them aside.

Now in a pot, add some water and salt. Cook your yaki udon noodles. Until the noodles are cooked, in a wok, add some oil. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped or minced ginger and garlic. Cook them until golden brown.

Now add the meat and let it caramelize over medium flame. When the meat is almost done, put the vegetables like bok choy, cabbage, carrot, and onions and cook them well. Make sure that you do not overcook meat and vegetables.

Now, add your noodles and combine them well with the meat and vegetables. Add the sauce, salt, pepper, and a pinch of MSG. Combine everything really well. Now add the scallion and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Serve it hot, and enjoy.

Yaki Soba Vs. Yaki Udon | Which is healthier? 


Both the noodles are made from wheat flour and almost similar vegetables, so there is not much difference between the nutrients.

However, the yaki udon sauce has rice wine vinegar and mirin along with oyster sauce and soy sauce which has extra nutrients as compared to the yaki soba sauce made from the oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Therefore, on a personal note, yaki soba is healthier than yaki udon.

Yaki Soba Vs. Yaki Udon | Which is Tastier? 


The fundamental difference between these two noodles comes from the texture of the noodles used. Both are wheat flour noodles, but yaki soba has thinner noodles as compared with yaki udon noodles.

The thin noodles complement the sauce, vegetables, and meat, making the yaki soba very addictive. So we can easily conclude that yaki soba is tastier than yaki udon.

Yaki Soba Vs. Yaki Udon | Which is More Versatile? 


When it comes to versatility, yaki udon gets more points as it can be made and served with anything and everything. You can easily play with ingredients and create your own version of yaki udon. Remember the fact how yaki udon was created?

Yes, you understood it well. So we can say that yaki udon is more versatile than yaki soba.

Yaki Soba Vs. Yaki Udon | Which is Better? 


Clearly, yaki soba is better as they are easy to make, and the thin noodles actually make them addictive. The ingredients used in both noodles are almost the same. If I had to choose between both, I would definitely go with yaki soba.

So yes, we can say that yaki soba is better than yaki udon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are yaki soba noodles made from soba noodles?

No, yaki soba is not made from soba noodles. Instead, they are made from wheat flour.

Is seasoning important while cooking yaki soba and yaki udon?

Yes, the traditional recipe includes the seasoning of yaki soba and yaki udon before stir-frying.

How long do yakisoba and yaki udon last? 

Yaki soba and yaki udon are made from almost the same ingredients, and their shelf life is also the same. They can last up to 1-2 days if you properly store them in the refrigerator.


We have reached the end of the discussion, and as tempting as this was, I am sure this was helpful too. Yaki soba and yaki udon came into existence around the same period. However, the history of yaki udon is very interesting as it was accidental.

When we talk about yaki soba, many will think it is soba noodles stir-fried with veggies and meat, but again, a twist – they are wheat noodles.

 Now any of us will say that the same ingredients and serving, why two different names? Then my friend, now after this whole discussion and thoroughly comparing both on various aspects, you know that indeed they are different.

As much as you liked reading about the two savory and tangy noodles, I also enjoyed sharing the profound and exciting insights. 

Now I think it is time to make these noodles. Try it yourself and share your experience below. We will be back with a more interesting discussion. Until then, have some yaki soba and enjoy.

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