Black Pepper Udon with Beef – Carmy


This black pepper udon with beef is the perfect weeknight dinner. It comes together quickly and is packed full of flavor. Thick, chewy noodles coated in an irresistible black pepper sauce with tender beef and spinach, this beef udon will definitely hit the spot.

If you’re looking for an easy dinner recipe that has everything, then this is it! You’ve got your noodles, meat, and a vegetable all in one bowl! This black pepper udon is based on my favorite black pepper soy chicken but instead of baking the chicken coated in the sauce, it’s coating thick, chewy udon noodles and sliced beef.

A bowl of black pepper udon with beef topped with sesame seeds and green onions surrounded by garnishes in bowls and a drink.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It comes together pretty quickly! Thinly sliced beef doesn’t take long to cook and the udon noodles take only a minute to cook. Then you simply combine everything together. Easy peasy.
  • Most of the ingredients needed to make this black pepper udon are pantry staples. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand to make this recipe.
  • These noodles keep well, so they also make for a great meal prep.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make black pepper udon with beef.
  • sauce ingredients — you’ll need soy sauce, dark soy sauce, dark brown sugar, coarse black pepper, cornstarch, and broth. You can use chicken, vegetable, or beef broth. For the dark soy sauce, if you don’t have that, you can use use regular soy sauce instead.
  • udon noodles —  I use frozen udon noodles, but you can use any type! Udon noodles are a type of thick noodle made from wheat flour, commonly used in Japanese cuisine.
  • oil — I use olive oil to cook the beef in.
  • sliced beef — I use a package of thinly sliced ribeye steak. You can also use frozen shabushabu meat. If using shabu shabu beef, you can use it directly from frozen or thaw it.
  • spinach — I prefer using baby spinach as baby spinach is more tender and sweet.
  • oyster sauce — a bit of oyster sauce at the end adds a wonderful savory flavor and gives the noodles a beautiful glossy look. Check out my post on what is oyster sauce if you want to learn more about the ingredient and recipes using it.

How to Make Black Pepper Udon with Beef

Set of two photos showing sauce mixed in a bowl and noodles cooked and drained.
  • In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, dark brown sugar, coarse black pepper, cornstarch, and chicken broth.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the udon in the pot of boiling water according to the package’s instructions. Mine takes 1 minute to cook. Drain the noodles and set aside.
Set of two photos showing sliced beef browned halfway.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the beef to the skillet.
  • Saute until halfway cooked.
Set of two photos showing sauce and noodles added to the skillet and tossed to combine.
  • Give the sauce a quick stir again and then add the udon noodles and sauce to the skillet.
  • Toss to combine and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
Set of two photos showing spinach added to the skillet and wilted in the pan.
  • Add the spinach and toss to combine. Once the spinach has wilted into the udon noodles, add the oyster sauce and toss to combine.
  • Serve as is or garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
A close up view of a bowl of black pepper udon with beef.

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • It may seem like a lot of spinach, but once it wilts from the heat, there’s just enough for the dish! You might have to add the spinach in batches if your skillet isn’t large enough to toss everything together without overflowing.
  • For a little bit of extra kick of heat, add sriracha sauce to the sauce or a sprinkle of gochugaru or shichimi togarashi. Chili oil is a great option as well.
  • Make sure not to overcook your noodles, or they’ll become mushy! Double-check the instructions on your package of udon noodles. I have bags that require 5 minutes of cook time and bags that require 1 minute.
  • If you do not have the same thinly sliced beef available, you can cut up a steak! I recommend freezing the steak for 10 minutes before you slice it so that you can get clean, thin cuts. Make sure to cut the steak against the grain, so each bite is tender.
A meal prep container with black pepper udon with beef topped with sesame seeds and green onions.

Make Ahead Tips

  • Meal prep: once cooled, store the cooked beef udon in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
  • Reheat: reheat the black pepper beef udon stir fry in a skillet or microwave until warm. You can add a splash of water to help loosen the noodles.
Types of udon.

Types of Udon Noodles

There are a lot of options when it comes to buying udon noodles. Here are the ones that I see readily available in stores.

  • Shelf Stable Udon Noodles: There are udon noodles that you find on the shelf at the store. It really depends on the brand when it comes to the shelf-stable ones, as I find some to have a robust aftertaste to them, so I’m not a huge fan. (The first one pictured)
  • Fresh Udon Noodles: If you can find fresh udon noodles in the refrigerated section. I like using these noodles when possible, but they expire relatively quickly, so I can’t stock up on them! I usually have to use them within the week of purchasing them. (The second one pictured)
  • Frozen Udon Noodles: Frozen noodles is my favorite choice if you cannot find fresh udon noodles. As they’re frozen, I can always keep them in my freezer and have them on hand 24/7! (The third one pictured)
  • Dried Udon Noodles: Not pictured above, but dried udon noodles look similar to dried spaghetti noodles. These are convenient as you store them like you would pasta. However, they’re not my favorite as they’re not as plump and chewy as fresh or frozen udon noodles.

All of these noodles are great options for black pepper udon or any udon recipe. Pick your favorite or most convenient one for this udon stir fry. It’s meant to be a quick and easy recipe that you can throw together quickly, so don’t stress out if you can get a specific type of udon noodles.

A bowl of black pepper udon with beef topped with sesame seeds and green onions surrounded by garnishes in bowls and a drink.

Black Pepper Udon with Beef

This black pepper udon with beef is the perfect weeknight dinner. It comes together quickly and is packed full of flavor. Thick, chewy noodles coated in an irresistible black pepper sauce with tender beef and spinach, this beef udon will definitely hit the spot.

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