20-Minute Beef Udon

Happy New Year! After taking a 2-month hiatus to heal & recharge myself, I’m back to recipe blogging! This 20-minute beef udon recipe is my first recipe of 2022. I love beef udon and it is definitely cost effective to make this dish at home, with a better cut & more generous servings of beef. I cooked the beef separately in the pan to use it for topping the udon noodles. In this way, the beef is more flavourful than thin slices of shabu shabu beef scalded in hot water. The same cooked beef also makes a delicious topping for salad or (simplified) gyudon.

See Also:

20-Minute Beef Udon Recipe


Cut of Beef

Gyudon Beef Cut
The cut of beef is really important in this recipe. I bought this try of “gyudon beef” from Don Don Donki for S$10 (200g). This cut of beef curls beautifully when the beef is cooked, comes with a flavourful amount of fats and is less likely to overcook than other cuts of thinly sliced beef.

Aromatics – Scallions & Ginger

Japanese Scallion & Ginger
I am using Japanese scallion (leek). Cut the white section diagonally for frying and the green section thinly for garnish. You can also use yellow onion in place of Japanese scallion. Slice some ginger thinly for frying with the beef.


I am using only 100g of meat for taking the step-by-step photos. I’m saving the other half of the beef for another recipe. 

1. Cook the beef

Beef Udon Recipe (Step-by-Step Photos)
Heat some oil & fry the scallions (white part) briefly until they start to soften.

Beef Udon Recipe (Step-by-Step Photos)
Push scallions to the side of the pan. Fry ginger briskly until aromatic.

Beef Udon Recipe (Step-by-Step Photos)
Add beef and stir-fry briskly until 70% cooked on surface.

Beef Udon Recipe (Step-by-Step Photos)
Drizzle soy sauce, mirin (pictured), sake & water over the beef.

Beef Udon Recipe (Step-by-Step Photos)

Cooked Beef (For Topping Udon)
Mix the contents well, cover with lid and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste and the beef is done!

2. Cook udon + soup

Frozen Udon

Cooking Frozen Udon
If you love thick and chewy udon, use frozen udon. Add frozen udon directly to a pot of boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes.

Instant Udon Broth
Make a 1-minute udon broth by boiling water with instant soba sauce.

3. Serve

20-Minute Beef Udon Recipe
Add cooked udon to serving bowl. Pour hot broth over the noodles and garnish with the cooked beef, green scallions, egg and Japanese 7-spice chilli powder.

20-minute Beef Udon Recipe

I recommend the “gyudon beef” cut for this recipe. I bought mine from Don Don Donki (SG). The right cut of beef curls up beautifully after cooking & is less likely to overcook than other sliced beef.

Besides udon & noodles, the cooked beef also makes a delicious topping for rice (to make simplified gyudon) as well as salad.

Check out the ingredients and step-by-step photos on the previous page.


  • 1/2 tbsp + 1 tsp cooking oil divided
  • 200g sliced beef for best results, use ‘gyudon’ cut
  • 3 ginger slices julienned
  • 1 Japanese scallion aka “negi” (white portion) cut to short diagonal sections
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 bundles frozen udon
  • 450 ml water (for boiling udon)
  • 2 tbsp tsuyu (soba sauce) to taste; add more if needed
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced Japanese scallion aka “negi” (green portion)
  • 1 boiled egg halved
  • sprinkle of nanami togarashi (Japanese 7-spice powder) to taste


  1. Cook the beef. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a wokpan. Add scallions & stir-fry until they start to soften, then push them to the side of the pan. Stir fry ginger with 1 tsp oil until aromatic. Then add beef & stir-fry briskly until the beef is 70% cooked on the surface. Drizzle soy sauce, mirin, sake and water over the beef. Mix everything well and stir-fry briskly until the beef is no longer pink. Cover with lid and simmer for 1-2 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Boil the udon. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add udon and cook for about 3 mins (or according to package instructions). Drain the udon and divide into 2 serving bowls.
  3. Make quick udon broth. Rinse the pot. Add 450ml water water and soba sauce. Bring to a boil and pour over the 2 bowls of udon.
  4. Garnish and serve. Top each bowl of udon with cooked beef. Garnish with green scallions, egg and 7-spice powder.

Cooking Note(s):

  1. In place of Japanese scallions, you can substitute with half yellow onion, cut to thin wedges.
  2. If you love thick and chewy udon, use frozen udon, specifically Sanuki frozen udon. Otherwise you can use regular fresh or dried udon.