JOIN! 12 Weeks for $1

Udon Noodles with Spicy Meat and Mushroom Sauce

6 Servings

50 minutes

Made This Recipe? Write a Review.
Thank you for submitting your review! A member of our team is confirming the review meets our site's Community Guidelines. It will be posted on the site shortly.

This meaty, umami-rich sauce from “Japanese Home Cooking” by Sonoko Sakai is a perfect match for thick, hearty udon noodles, whether you use homemade or store-bought. A salty fermented chili-bean paste called toban djan provides the spiciness; use the smaller dose if you’re sensitive to chili heat. If you’ve used the larger amount and still want more heat in the sauced noodles, offer a bottle of chili oil at the table.




Don’t forget to stir the cornstarch-water slurry before adding it to the sauce. Upon standing, the starch settles to the bottom of the bowl, so stirring is necessary to recombine. After adding the slurry to the sauce, be sure to return to a simmer while stirring so the sauce thickens properly and doesn’t form starchy lumps.

50 minutes


  • 2

    tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 8

    ounces 80 percent lean ground beef


Pardon the interruption

You need to be a Milk Street Digital Member to see the full recipe


and get access to all of our recipes and articles online, as well as in print.

How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your subscription. We will use it for customer service as well as other communications from Milk Street. We will not share, or rent your email address.

Jennifer B.
March 23, 2024
Best udon of my life
Agree with other reviewers? This recipe was inspired. The saki and mixing gave it a little kick and the consistency was perfect. The fresh vegetables made me think this was healthy.
Thomas G.
January 15, 2023
Fantastic recipe
Followed the instructions, but substituted ground turkey for the beef/pork mix (trying to reduce saturated fat intake). I can say it worked really well — clingy sauce and had everyone coming back for seconds.
Heather G.
March 22, 2023
Delicious and quick
This dish was easy enough to prepare and is so flavorful
Raymond H.
July 21, 2022
Udon Dan Dan Style Rocked Our World
I’ve eaten a lot of Udon and this was by far the best Udon I’ve had. Technically Dan Dan sauce is Chinese, but what a great partner for Japanese Udon. Savory, slightly spicy, a little crunchy due to the bamboo shoots, cucumber topping a great cooling touch. I often buy frozen Udon at Japanese markets, and that will work great, but lately I’ve decided fresh Udon are simply too easy to make, there’s no excuse not to — much easier than fresh Italian sfoglia. The technique here is perfect and if you can get Japanese flour even better. BTW, I bought the Sakai cookbook, from which this comes, it’s awesome but note Milkstreet reduced the broth in the recipe from 4 to 2 cups — an absolutely correct alteration, 4 would be too soupy, not as noodle clingy. This recipe is a keeper! Milkstreet rocks.
Shannon J.

I have Sonoko Sakai’s cookbook and it’s a gem. This recipe is unreal. So, so good. It’s fun to make the noodles and the sauce is very flavorful. I look forward to making this again.

Diana L.

I made this today. It was pretty good. I could not find the CHILI-BEAN SAUCE in my grocery store. I also did not make fresh noodles. I have used dry noodles I got from the store (I have used 9.5 oz package then added 1 more buddle from another 9.5 oz package. Brand: Hakubaku Organic Udon Noodles). Because of dry noodles, I added only 1 cup of water. Of course, I forgot to add the cornstarch :) , however, without it .. it was just as creamy.