Food / Main Dishes / Vegetarian

Spicy Udon Noodle Stir Fry With Shiitake Mushrooms

A quick stir fry is always a winner; add plump, chewy udon noodles to the equation and you’ve got a damn champion. This spicy udon noodle stir fry with shiitake mushrooms is nutritious, substantial, and takes only 15 minutes to make! Which is especially awesome when you’ve got a big appetite and little time.

This seems to be everyone’s dilemma these days: having little time. Which is why making time for yourself is oh-so-important.

And today just happens to be National Self-Care Day.

I didn’t know National Self-Care Day was a thing until I saw the hashtag trending on Twitter this morning. Great timing, seeing as how this post is part recipe and part me unloading about the importance of putting yourself first.

If you’re just here for the udon, I got you. Scroll on down to the recipe.

That damn work week hustle.

My focus here at Killing Thyme is to come up with healthy recipes that are both tasty and approachable. Eating well shouldn’t be a struggle—but due to being overworked, many folks don’t have the time or energy to cook at home. I hope to encourage it when and where I can, but I totally get it. Even as someone who’s self-employed and working from home, sometimes I suffer because I’ve been conditioned to overwork myself. No matter how much yoga I do or how dedicated I am to practicing everything I’ve learned from The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F#$%, things add up. And if I don’t set time aside for self-care, shit starts to take a toll on me.

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

Last week I had an emergency visit with the dentist. I was in excruciating pain and was convinced that I’d developed an abscess at the root of my tooth. It actually turned out to be some hefty inflammation in my jaw and cheek bones due to grinding and clenching my teeth in my sleep. The dentist told me this was caused by intense stress.


This is when I realized I needed to wake up and start cutting myself a break, starting by cutting down my work load.

I recently stumbled upon an article about a two-month experiment that took place in New Zealand. A company paid it’s employees for a five day work week, but only had them work four. Staff stress levels decreased, work-life balance improved and, as a result, people were more productive and motivated. The company decided to continue on this path and make the changes permanent.

I think that says a hell of a lot.

What are your self-care go-tos? Do you treat yourself to a tantalizing sushi dinner? (Maybe bring it home so you can gobble it up in sweatpants while binging your fave show?) Book some time at the spa? Take a book out to a quiet place for an afternoon? Tell me in the comments.

Spicy Udon Noodle Stir Fry With Shiitake Mushrooms.

Any time I’ve purchased shiitake mushrooms, they’ve been pre-sliced. I’ve never seen them in full form until this last batch, and my goodness, they’re beautiful!  They’re also incredibly aromatic.

As for the other veggies thrown into this mix, you’ve got free reign. In my world a good stir fry always includes crunchy broccoli, but if you have other seasonal veggies kicking around feel free to use this as an opportunity to let them shine.

Spicy, sweet, salty, and saucy.

This sauce is pretty light, but it can be spicy depending on your tolerance for heat. So proceed with caution and adjust the amount of chili sauce to you preference.

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations, and you could be featured in my monthly newsletter <3

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4.62 from 13 votes

Spicy Udon Noodle Stir Fry With Shiitake Mushrooms

This Spicy Udon Noodle Stir Fry With Shiitake Mushrooms is perfect for busy weeknights. It's quick, delicious, and hearty.
Servings 2
Author Dana Sandonato


  • 2 8 oz packages of fresh udon noodles
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 heaping cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 2 scallions, sliced into 1-inch pieces

Spicy Soy and Ginger Sauce.

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp liquid raw honey
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp mirin (or rice vinegar)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP chili sauce, like sambal oelek

Optional Garnishes.

  • Sesame seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Extra scallions, sliced


Spicy Soy and Ginger Sauce.

  • Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk them until the sauce is well blended. Set aside.

Udon Noodles.

  • Cook the udon noodles as per the instructions on the package. Fresh udon noodles don't have to be cooked long; you're looking at a cook time of about 2 minutes. When they're done cooking, strain them and rinse them with cool water, then set them aside.
  • Heat 2 TBSP of sesame oil in a large wok or skillet. Once the oil has heated up, add the garlic, mushrooms, and broccoli. Give everything a quick toss and stir so that the garlic doesn't burn. Sauté these ingredients until tender, stirring occasionally. This should only take about 3 minutes. If you're wok seems to dry out, carefully add a splash or two of warm water to it. This helps loosen things up and prevents sticking and burning.
  • Once the veggies are tender, add the carrots and scallions. Stir the veggies to combine them and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Finally, add the udon noodles to the pan. If the udon noodles seem to be sticking together before adding them to the pan, rinse them under cool water again to loosen them up beforehand.
  • Once you'd added the udon noodles to the pan, pour the sauce mixture over the contents in the pan and give everything a toss until all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Plate the noodles and veggies, and garnish with your choice of garnishes. (Tip: if you're adding bean sprouts, add them to the wok when you add the udon noodles. This way they warm up a bit without losing their crisp.)


  • Calandra
    June 29, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    3 stars
    After wishing more of the comments referenced the recipe before the commentary, I would say that this was ok. The preparation instructions were immaculate but the sauce hit a little flat for me and my family. The Aji-Mirin I used might have been the culprit, but in my opinion it needed more acid to lift the flavors above the general saltiness and we didn’t have any lime. Any suggestions on how to lift the sauce?

    • Killing Thyme
      July 4, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      Hey Calandra! Sorry this recipe fell flat. It’s had such mixed reviews that I think I simply need to revisit it and play around. Thanks for taking the time to stop in with feedback!

  • Chef Girl
    September 13, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    2 stars
    Followed the recipe and was very disappointed. It was too salty and too much sesame oil! We had to add more vegetables to try and make it palatable and not waste the ingredients already used. I would not make this again.

    The comments were so difficult to read on this site due to it’s opacity. Had I been able to tell that most people were just commenting on the visuals rather than the actual recipe, I would have used another website.

    Wanted to love the recipe but was disappointed.

    • Killing Thyme
      September 14, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      Sorry you didn’t like the recipe! Did you use two packs of the noodles (16 oz total)? I’m not sure why the sesame oil would have come out so strong. I’ll revisit the recipe sometime. We’ve made it a few times in this house and it’s never been too salty or strong on the sesame. I hope I can figure out what happened. Thanks for stopping by with the honest feedback!

    • Patricia A. Blake
      February 9, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      5 stars
      I make this a few times during the month. We love it. And it’s easy to put together after aing day at the office.

    • Andres
      February 13, 2020 at 9:51 am

      5 stars
      We make this about twice a month. It’s never been too salty. Very tasty.

  • […] anxiety, but since I *just* touched on the importance of self-care and being kinder to ourselves in this blog post, I’m determined to train myself to be more chill. So, I walked away from my laptop. I lifted […]

  • Donna
    August 1, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh I need to get in on this self care, I am the WORST! My husband and kids bought me a voucher for a facial for mothers day and I still haven’t used it, and I cant even remember the last time I took some time for myself and had my hair done!! Im sorry about your medical emergency, but thats great that it made you take a step back and re-evaluate everything! And this noodle dish – amazing!! Spicy, mushrooms and noodles – I am in!!

    • Killing Thyme
      August 7, 2018 at 8:52 am

      Thanks Donna!
      Ha—it seems more common that not to be gifted something like a spa day and take *ages* to actually use it! But sometimes I think we’re subconsciously waiting for that perfect time; that week that just sucks the life right out of us and leaves us frazzled beyond belief and in dire need for some pampering. And hair, girl. Haha. I hear you. I was going for trims every 8 weeks for years, and this past Feb I ended up with SUCH a bad layered cut, and I’ve mostly been wearing my hair in a ponytail since to try and grow out the bad, shaggy layers. So here I am, six months later, finally going to a new salon to get some life breathed back into my hair next week.

  • Sean@Diversivore
    July 31, 2018 at 1:17 am

    5 stars
    Ahhh self-care. I mean, I want to say something cute and funny about it, but I’m kind of doing that thing where you gaze shiftily from side to side going “hahahah, uh, who me? I mean… me? What? No….”

    So yeah. Probably something I need to focus on a bit more. But food is always a good place to start. I love to cook so much, but honestly given that I make it for a living I guess that a good bit of someone else’s cooking is a special way to take care of myself. Sushi, my friend. SUSHI. Now that being said, there’s nothing like a good noodle to get me going too, and this is a GREAT noodle. Carbs for life. So thanks for the awesome recipe, and for the reminder to take care of yo’ (my) self. Cheers friend.

    • Killing Thyme
      August 7, 2018 at 8:58 am

      Thanks, Sean!
      Food must be a good place to start, because I always seem to start a self-care bout with something comforting to eat. Before I moved to the US, I was working in an incredibly toxic office but couldn’t really go out and get another job because I was moving to the US, so I just had to stick it out (for what felt like way too many months). So on Friday’s, I’d pick myself up some sushi on my way home, put my comfies on, crawl into bed with my laptop, and just Netflix it up with my sushi. In my lovely little femmecave. My sweet little Friday nights are what got me through the week. After food, it’s a couple of pints with a good friend, some pampering, and ok—a little retail therapy never hurt ;)
      Do you ever do anything solo for yourself as, like, “Dad alone time”? Like go to the movies by yourself just to savor some quiet? I’ve heard of people doing that, and I think it’s so important when you have little kids, for each spouse to be able to have a *thing* they can go do alone sometimes.

  • Marisa Franca
    July 30, 2018 at 8:44 am

    5 stars
    You got me at stir fry and then when I saw 15 minutes I was smitten!! We love our noodles and mushrooms but we don’t eat enough udon noodles. I’m putting them on my grocery list ASAP. I’m inviting our son over for dinner and this would be a great meal to serve — he loves stir-frys.

  • Carmy
    July 29, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    5 stars
    I totally feel you on setting time aside for self care. I bought a suitcase full of face masks with the intention of putting one on before bed but somehow I end up passing out at night a lot before I even get to it! Anyways, this noodle dish looks like the BOMB. I love the mushrooms, they look perfect, crispy but moist without being dried out!

    • Killing Thyme
      August 7, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Thanks, Carmy!
      Face masks are amazing! I rotate between two every other night which seems excessive, but I’ve always had problem skin, and doing a mask every night has done wonders—not to mention the fact that it’s like, automatically “relax time” when you put one on. Which reminds me… I have to order some more. Haha.

  • Stef
    July 29, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    5 stars
    Wouldn’t it be nice if all companies valued work/life balance like the one you talk about here. Sometimes I think it’s even harder when you work for yourself. I am my own boss and have trouble sometimes giving myself the time off that I need. Anyway, I can’t leave her without tell you how amazing this noodles dish looks. This looks like something that might go into regular rotation around here.

    • Killing Thyme
      August 7, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Thanks, Stef!
      And yes. Heck yes. I’ve always said that the work week should be four days—with errands and housework you just can’t wind down and enjoy it because before you know it, it’s Sunday night and you’re thinking about the coming work week and how it’s already here. I think being able to have that required downtime would benefit employers too, because staff would be rejuvenated, have a better morale, and be more productive. Which is exactly what that whole project proved. But as I read the article and found myself nodding, I thought, okay so I work for myself. Why haven’t I given myself the required time off? :| It is SO HARD when you’re self-employed.

  • Anne|Craving Something Healthy
    July 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    5 stars
    This looks totally delicious and I’m making it next week! I just realized I’ve never seen whole shitake mushrooms either. I’m self-employed too so I completely understand your stress :) I still prefer self-employed stress to working for someone else stress!

    • Killing Thyme
      August 7, 2018 at 9:07 am

      It’s true, I’d rather be self-employed too ;)
      Thanks, Anne!

  • Julia
    July 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    5 stars
    I love the lighting on the photos and your description of the chewy noodles – oh yum! But I mostly wanted to share a personal anecdote about over-working… I am a SAHM right now but I used to work in an office in a very (very!) high-paced environment. The company had different offices around the world and at one team meeting they were discussing how there were talks in Europe to restrict work hours and replying to work emails after 6pm or so. I am actually not sure if it happened or not but at that point it was being discussed. Everyone from my office (in North America) was complaining about that restriction, saying how terrible it would be because they MUST work after 6 pm. It was their desire to work. I remember I just listened quietly and thought to myself that it’s crazy… I am glad you are making yourself take a pause! It’s something I also struggle to do now that I am staying home.

    • Killing Thyme
      August 7, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Thanks, Julia!
      I do believe we’ve been conditioned to think we need to overwork ourselves and I think, subconsciously, it’s where us North Americans put our self worth.

      I can imagine how tough it is working from home AND being a SAHM. But you’re doing it! I’ll probably come to you for advice when I’m in that boat ;) I still remember a post somewhere, where you mentioned going to the movies alone and it was so liberating and amazing because you got some quiet time to yourself. I hope you’re doing things like that regularly enough! The simple things <3

  • Tina
    July 27, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    5 stars
    I love udon noodles, so chewy and fun to eat. I think the earthiness of mushrooms looks great in this recipe, saving this. My husband will likely make me throw shrimp in there, he’s a shrimp-a-holic. I hope your clenching resolves, I had to get a night guard for my clenching. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Killing Thyme
      August 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Thanks, Tina!
      Shrimp would be fabulous in here! Let me know if you try it.
      And it seems like the mouthguard is helping! I can’t believe how debilitating a toothache can be.

  • Gloria
    July 25, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    5 stars
    You can never go wrong with a great noodle dish any night of the week. I just happen to have some udon noodles in the cupboard. I love pairing noodles with mushrooms. This recipe would be perfect for an easy entertaining dish for company. Add some wine and egg rolls…dinner is served.


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