This bacon and egg yaki udon recipe makes my idea of a deliciously-hearty Japanese noodle breakfast for the weekend. It takes inspiration from classic Japanese fried udon noodles and tamago kake gohan or Japanese egg on rice. The udon noodles are fried with bacon and mushrooms and served with a raw egg yolk stirred into the piping-hot noodles before eating, although you could certainly use cooked eggs.
My bacon and egg yaki udon recipe is this week’s edition of Weekend Eggs, our 12-year-old series of recipes for egg dishes from around the world. Not a traditional yaki udon, this breakfast or brunch dish was inspired by cravings, my indecisive nature, and the need to use some leftover mushrooms and bacon.
I was craving both this Korean spicy noodles recipe made with udon noodles, kimchi, bacon and eggs, and tamago kake gohan or Japanese egg on rice, but couldn’t decide which to make. I’d read that in Japan, tamago kake gohan made with European ingredients such as Italian Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano has become popular since our last trip, so I thought why not?
Incidentally, if you made and enjoyed our Korean spicy noodles recipe and our recipe for tamago kake gohan, then I have no doubt you’re going to love this bacon and egg yaki udon recipe. While it’s delicious as it is, it’s also versatile, so see what you need to use up in the fridge and tweak away.
If you’re visiting us for the first time in a while, last week we resumed our Weekend Eggs series after a short hiatus, with my full English breakfast recipe for a one-dish British fry-up for two to share, which I make in the lid of a Dutch oven and present shukshaka-style, and we’ve got lots more new recipes to share over coming months.
You can expect more new egg recipes for breakfast eggs, brunch eggs, lunch eggs, and breakfast for dinner eggs, as well as classic recipes we’ve loved from places we’ve lived in, travelled to and spent time in. We only publish recipes from cuisines and places with which we have a personal connection.
If you’ve arrived here for the first time, we started Weekend Eggs back in 2010 when we launched Grantourismo with a yearlong global grand tour aimed at promoting slow, local and experiential travel, more sustainable, ethical, engaging, and immersive forms of travel.
On that 12-month trip we spent two weeks in each destination, staying in apartment rentals and holiday homes to get an insight into how locals lived, and in each place we settled, we explored the local food, connected with local cooks and chefs, and learnt to cook local specialties, which we shared in a series called The Dish, as well as Weekend Eggs.
If you’re an eggs lover and particularly a lover of breakfast eggs dishes, we encourage you to dig into our Weekend Eggs archive (link above) for inspiration and ideas or browse our collections of our 21 best breakfast recipes and our all-time 12 most popular Weekend Eggs recipes in 12 years of Grantourismo, which we compiled as part of Grantourismo’s 12th birthday celebrations earlier this year.
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Bacon and Egg Yaki Udon Recipe for Japanese Fried Udon Noodles for Weekend Eggs
‘Yaki’ means ‘fried’ in Japanese and ‘udon’ are delightfully chewy, dense white wheat noodles. For this breakfast or brunch yaki udon, the noodles are stir-fried with onion, bacon and mushrooms (first stir-fried in bacon fat) and a savoury sauce prepared with Japanese soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, bonito flakes, and sesame seeds.
Inspired by one of my favourite Japanese rice dishes, tamago kake gohan or Japanese egg on rice, the dish is topped with a raw egg yolk, which you quickly stir into the piping-hot noodles, thus ‘cooking’ the egg in the same way you do with an authentic Italian carbonara.
If you can’t eat raw eggs, you could always slide some fried eggs with runny yolks onto the dish as I do with this Korean-style or pop some soft jammy boiled eggs on top.
Filling and comforting, this bacon and egg yaki udon is the perfect late breakfast or brunch if you intend to have a lazy weekend, because you won’t feel like doing very much apart from loafing around on a comfy sofa after a bowl of this delicious stuff. It’s also a fantastic hangover cure!
Tips to Making this Bacon and Egg Yaki Udon Recipe for Japanese Fried Udon Noodles
Just a few tips to making this bacon and egg yaki udon recipe as it’s very straightforward, so let’s start with the sauce, which I recommend making first to reduce the time that the udon noodles sit around.
I prepare the source in a small dish or this little mixing jug with spout and then set it aside. Japanese ingredients such as Japanese soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, katsuobushi bonito flakes, and sesame seeds are essential.
We use fresh udon noodles, which we can buy at our local supermarket here in Siem Reap – they have a huge selection of Japanese and Korean products thanks to a sizeable population of expats from Japan and Korea.
We’re lucky to have access to a few different types of udon noodles, including locally made noodles in a no-name packet, as well as vacuum-packed fresh udon noodles from Japan and Korea.
For udon noodle soups, the instructions on both the Korean and Japanese udon noodles advise boiling the noodles first, however, for fried udon noodle dishes they both recommend frying the udon noodles directly from the packets.
If you don’t have fresh udon noodles so readily available, look for a specialist East Asian supermarket or grocery store. I’m to understand from friends in Australia you can source vacuum-packed fresh udon noodles, whereas readers in the USA have said they have an easier time finding frozen noodles.
If I find my noodles are super-fresh after cutting open the packet, I’ll empty the udon noodles straight into the wok and stir-fry them gently until the noodles separate easily.
However, recently I’ve found the bricks of noodles have been harder and more challenging to untangle, hence my suggestion in the recipe to soak them for a couple of minutes in warm water (not hot or boiling water), which I’ve been doing with success.
If I’ve already done my prep and will be using the noodles in a few minutes, I simply set them aside, otherwise, I’ll finish all my prep so after untangling the noodles I can add my sauce and other ingredients and continue to stir-fry the dish. That’s why I recommend making the sauce first.
Dried udon noodles are also an option, although I’ve never tried these so can’t offer advice. I recommend following the instructions on the manufacturer’s packet: they usually call for the noodles to be boiled or soaked for a couple of minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the bacon out of the pan, as you want to save that bacon fat to cook the mushrooms in. I use fresh shiitake mushrooms.
If you can eat raw eggs, make sure to use pasteurised eggs and keep eggs refrigerated to reduce the risk of possible salmonella infection from raw eggs.
Work quickly, as the hotter the noodles are, the faster they will ‘cook’ the raw egg yolk, which is what will happen when you place the yolk into the shallow well at the centre of the noodles. By the time you sit down to eat it, the egg will have firmed up a little, then you can break it with chopsticks and stir it into noodles.
If you prefer to cook your eggs, we use one of these small single-egg frying pans and fry the eggs, not only to maintain the round shape, but also to control the doneness of the eggs, which you can’t do with egg rings in a larger pan.
We like to cook the whites but leave the yolks soft and runny, partly because that’s how we prefer them, but do as you prefer. Jammy soft-boiled eggs are also delish. See Terence’s guide to boiling perfect eggs.
While there’s plenty of flavour in the dish thanks to the sauce and onion, bacon and mushrooms, I still like to sprinkle on more bonito flakes and sesame seeds to add a little more crunch and texture.
This bacon and egg yaki udon recipe will make you two very generous-sized bowls of noodles – or 3-4 smaller bowls. Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.
Further Notes on Raw Eggs
if you don’t like raw eggs or can’t eat raw eggs, then do use fried eggs or boiled eggs. If you do eat raw eggs you probably know this already, but to reduce the risk of salmonella infection, wash your hands, cooking utensils and working area thoroughly with hot soapy water before handling raw eggs, use pasteurised eggs, make sure that the noodles are piping hot, and stir the egg through the noodles as soon as possible.
This is not a medical site – it’s a food and travel site where we share recipes and tips purely for your entertainment and information – so we cannot provide medical advice, however, you’ll find more information here about using raw eggs safely in cooking, symptoms of salmonella infection, and diagnosis and treatment of salmonella poisoning. The American CDC has a comprehensive salmonella section on its website.
Bacon and Egg Yaki Udon Recipe for Japanese Fried Udon Noodles
- 2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp mirin
- 1 tsp katsuobushi bonito flakes
- 1 tsp black and white sesame seeds
- 400 g udon noodles
- 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil such as soybean
- 60 g white onions - roughly diced
- 4 rashers of bacon - sliced into 1cm-wide strips
- 50 g shiitake mushrooms - sliced
- 1 tbsp finely sliced scallions or spring onions – green parts only
- 2 eggs - yolks separated from whites if using raw – or fried or soft-boiled
- more bonito flakes
- sesame seeds
- sliced scallions/spring onions
- To a small dish, combine two tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce, one tablespoon of sesame oil, one teaspoon of mirin, one teaspoon of katsuobushi bonito flakes, and one teaspoon of black and white sesame seeds, stir to combine, and set aside.
- To a large bowl of warm water, add the brick of fresh udon noodles and leave to soak to loosen the strands of noodles so that they can easily be untangled. If vacuum-packed, the noodles should easily separate in 2-3 minutes. If frozen, it will take longer for the noodles to thaw so that they can easily be pulled apart. Once ready, drain the noodles and set them aside.
- In a flat-bottomed wok over medium-high, heat the cooking oil until shimmering, add the onions and fry a few minutes until soft and fragrant, add the bacon and fry until cooked, then add the mushrooms, turning to ensure they’re covered in the bacon-infused oil. Let everything sit a little so the onions and mushrooms brown and bacon begins to crisp up, then turn the mushrooms over to brown before giving it all a final stir-fry and remove the wok from the heat.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop the crispy bacon, onion and mushrooms out and into a small dish so that the bacon oil stays in the wok.
- Transfer the udon noodles to the wok and over medium-high heat, stir-fry the noodles so that they’re coated in oil, add the sauce, the scallions/spring onions, and two-thirds of the bacon, onion and mushrooms, and continue to stir-fry until combined and the noodles are hot. Don’t over-fry or the noodles will soften too much and stick to the wok.
- Distribute the noodles between bowls, top with the remaining crispy bacon, onion and mushrooms, and press a tablespoon into the centre of the bowl to create a shallow well.
- Carefully separate the egg yolk from the white and gently place the raw yolk in the centre of the bowl – or fry the eggs to your liking and slide the eggs into the well – and serve immediately with small dishes of sliced scallions/spring onions, bonito flakes and sesame seeds.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make this bacon and egg yaki udon recipe for Japanese fried udon noodles as we’d love to know how the dish turns out for you.