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The 5 Best Substitutes for Udon Noodles

Have you ever tried udon noodles? Udon noodles are one of the most interesting, unique, and delicious noodles found in Asian cuisine.

These thick and chewy noodles can be cooked in a variety of ways, from boiling the soup to stir-frying with vegetables.

Often topped with a flavorful broth or spicy sauces, udon noodles make a great addition to any meal.

If you don’t want to use udon noodles, there are other options to choose from.

In this article, we will look at the five best substitutes for udon noodles that can be used to make a similar dish.

What are Udon Noodles?

Udon noodles are a type of Japanese noodle made from wheat flour.

Originating in China, they have been a staple of the Japanese diet since the Heian period between 794 – 1185 CE.

Udon noodles have a chewy and resilient texture with an irresistible umami flavor that is suitable for all kinds of dishes.

From simmering them in dashi broth and adding vegetables to create zaru udon or Sanuki udon to tossing them in sesame peanut sauce to make yaki udon stir-fry, udon noodles can be served hot or cold and can even be deep-fried for tempura udon.

With its rich flavor and versatility, it’s no wonder why udon is so beloved across the globe.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Udon Noodles

If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious alternative to udon noodles, then these five substitutes are a perfect choice.

1 – Ramen Noodles

For those looking for an easy, affordable meal, ramen noodles can’t be beaten.

The light wheat-based noodles have a distinct taste and texture that is incredibly versatile – they are delicious in broth dishes from all over the world.

In fact, ramen can easily substitute for udon noodles in Japanese cuisine.

All you need to do is add a bit more seasoning or dashi soup stock for an authentic flavor profile.

Ramen noodles are easy to cook with and make for a delicious, filling meal every time.

2 – Soba Noodles

Soba noodles have a reputation for being the ideal noodle to have with Japanese food.

With its nutty flavor and springy texture, this noodle adds an amazing depth to dishes like soups and hotpots.

Soba noodles can be used as a substitute for udon noodles in dishes such as stir-fries or curry, introducing an interesting dimension of flavor to meals normally categorized as more comforting fare.

It’s important to note that soba cooks in less time than udon — just three minutes — so keep an eye out when preparing these delicate strands of goodness.

3 – Lo Mein Noodles

Lo Mein noodles are a type of Chinese egg noodles that are thin and soft.

Their special preparation process gives them their distinct, chewy texture and robust flavor.

Though they traditionally come in long, ribbon-like shapes, they can come in the form of short, round noodles as well.

If you’re looking for an alternative to udon noodles, in particular, Lo Mein noodles make an excellent substitution.

Soaking them overnight will achieve the same desired chewy quality as udon.

The next day you can stir-fry or sauté your Lo Mein with vegetables and whatever proteins you desire for a delicious meal.

4 – Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional wheat-based udon noodles.

They have a slightly sweet taste, and their light, the cylindrical shape gives them an interesting texture that is both delicate and toothsome.

Compared to the heartiness of udon noodles, they can be used as a way to lighten up any dish or stir-fry.

To use rice noodles as a substitute for udon noodles in recipes, soak them in warm water for 5 minutes before adding them to dishes.

This short soak helps soften the rice noodles, so they easily incorporate into the other ingredients making them ideal for stir-fries or warm soups.

5 – Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki noodles are a unique ingredient that many cooks have discovered to be the perfect substitute for udon noodles.

These low-carb, Asian-style noodles are made from a type of Konjac yam and have an interesting texture and taste.

The noodles have a firm yet spongy consistency that can absorb whatever flavors you combine with them, making them great for sauces and stir-fries.

The mild flavor also makes it ideal for those who are trying to cut down on their sodium intake since they don’t contain added salt.

Additionally, shirataki noodles can easily be used as a healthier alternative to udon noodles in most recipes, allowing chefs to enjoy the same heartiness but with fewer carbs.


In conclusion, udon noodles are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes.

However, if you’re looking for a healthier or unique alternative to udon noodles, then consider one of these five substitutes: ramen noodles, soba noodles, lo mein noodles, rice noodles, or shirataki noodles.

Each of these noodles offers their own unique taste and texture, allowing you to easily switch up your usual recipes and explore different flavors.

With so many options to choose from, all of your noodle dishes can be made delicious and nutritious.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Udon Noodles

The 5 Best Substitutes for Udon Noodles
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Ramen Noodles
  • Soba Noodles
  • Lo Mein Noodles
  • Rice Noodles
  • Shirataki Noodles


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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