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

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.
5 from 10 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 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.)