Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles

31 reviews / 4.8 average

I mean, why not greet you with a big plate of this right in your face? WHY. NOT.

You guys, I know I say this a lot, but I really love this one. Noodles just speak to me. Something about all the twirling of the forks and the soakage of the sauces... it's like we were made for each other.

This week I made a special grocery trip to a local co-op for a little something different and exciting in my life. Party! I went there instead of my local grocery store in part because I wanted to buy some trustworthy, local, good quality beef for a recipe that's coming up in a few, but also if I'm being honest it was partially because our neighborhood chain grocery store is changing to a new chain grocery store and therefore it's a total mess where there is pop in the produce section and the coconut milk shelves have been bare for months and it makes me cray cray.


Noodles steaming in a pot.

When I was at the local co-op, I made lots of new food friends (no, literally, I mean Food that I would now consider like a new hipster friend) and among them was a very significant New Noodle Discovery: UDON.

Actually, I've been thinking about udon noodles for the last, um, seven months, ever since I tried thee mooost amaaazing udon noodle tempura shrimp bowl at an adorable little Japanese bistro in Minneapolis. If you live even remotely close to Minneapolis, you'll need to check this gem out. It's called Obento Ya. When you go, Bjork and I will be the ones sitting in the booth talking about things like The Bachelorette and WordPress plugins and Michael Scott, and eating our usuals: vegetable tempura, miso soup, the summer roll, and the sushi bento box. Hard to miss.

So when I saw udon noodles staring me down in the tiny little aisle of the local co-op, I wasted 0.0 seconds getting them in my cart and home to a boiling pot of water. And things went well.

Noddles and greens in a pan.

I am so in love with this recipe on so many levels.

  1. It's sneakily easy. 30 minutes, start to finish.
  2. Pantry ingredients. Mostly. The only exception is those udon noodles which I demand you go hunt for because they're so good. I've seen them at the co-op but also at regular grocery stores now that I've been looking.
  3. Tofu. ❤ It's kind of a new thing for us, especially tofu cooked at home. But I got brave after that honey ginger stir fry and now it's a new thing that we love.
  4. This will take things in your refrigerator that you are avoiding (carrots. mushrooms. broccoli. other foods that people avoid.) and turn them into a meal that tastes amazing. You can also add meat if you must. But please see #3.
  5. It's just pretty. If you make this please snap a pic and tag me on Insty/Twitter because I will get an inappropriate amount of joy out of seeing your beautiful, colorful, texture-ful food.
Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles on a plate.

We are now T-2 days until Bjork and I head up to the cabbie with my family for the best two weeks of summer. Boating and sun and fresh air for days! This seems like a good time to tell you that I, uhmm, wakeboard. I know. It's not really like me, but it's the single cool, extreme sport thing that I have mastered. I do it ONCE every summer, even if I have to go early in the morning or on a really cold day, just to say I can still do it. Proud much? And lest you should get the wrong idea about me based on this once yearly extreme sport thing, I always almost die when I jump in the cold water, I have a paralyzing fear of sunfish biting my toes, and I make my dad drive the boat like 2 miles per hour (thumbs down! thumbs down! slower slower slower! Daaaaad!). Because what if I fall? Ouch.

We basically spend the whole two weeks outside, except for at night when we gather round to watch TV series marathons. We started our first year at the cabin with the show 24, but it quickly spiraled out of control in the way only 24 can spiral out of control, and it became way too scary and violent for my younger sibs (read: me) so we quit.

Now I will ask for your help: I would luv it if you could suggest a show that we could become obsessed with while we're there. I just love the late nights, big bowls of popcorn, and “one more episode!” vibe that we have when we're there. The hard thing is that the show sort of has to be family friendly (12 year old up in the house), and sometimes family friendly shows don't have the same pull that intensely violent counter terrorism unit shows tend to have. But if you've got sumthin, comment plz!

Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles in a pan.

Super good news: I'm going to be posting while we're at the cabin because - joy of all joys - I'm a blogger now so I can work from anywhere! SO dreamy! and the cabin is one of my favorite places to cook and bake because there's always a crowd to enjoy the food with, so expect yums.

But honestly, why are we still talking.

I cannot wait until you make these black pepper stir fried noodles. Just hurry up already.

Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles on a white plate.
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A picture of Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles

Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles


These Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles are like whoa yummy! 30 minutes to prep with simple, vegetarian friendly ingredients.



For the Black Pepper Sauce:

  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 5-6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 1 1-inch piece ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water

For the Stir Fried Noodles:

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 8 ounces udon noodles (rice noodles would also work)
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 10 ounces extra firm tofu
  • sesame seeds for topping


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes (they should NOT be all the way cooked - just enough to barely soften). Drain and rinse with cold water - this removes starch and helps them stir fry without turning into a big blob. Set aside.
  2. Place all the sauce ingredients in the food processor and give it a whirl. When it's smooth, taste it and adjust to your liking. Cut the tofu into slices and press out the excess moisture several times with paper towels. Cut the tofu slices into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet. When the oil is shiny, add the tofu. Stir fry very gently (breaks apart easily) for 5-10 minutes until deep golden brown. Add a tiny splash of black pepper sauce, a tiny splash of water, and 1/2 tablespoon oil and shake the pan around - everything will be all sizzly and awesome. When the tofu is cooked to your liking, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in the skillet. When the oil is shiny, add the noodles and black pepper sauce. Add a splash of water if the sauce becomes too thick. Stir fry until the noodles are softened completely, covered with sauce, and piping hot. Remove from heat and toss with the spinach and tofu. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.


You can use more tofu (a whole block is 16 ounces) or more veggies - I just wanted mine to have a high noodle-to-extra-ingredients ratio.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Keywords: stir fry noodle, black pepper noodles, noodle recipe

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    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      It’s like the coolest feeling in the world combined with all my fears about water and injury and everything else. 🙂

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m with you…love noodles! And, this one looks easy and yummy! Now for the TV series part– how about Downton Abbey for a family friendly choice. LOVE it! But, unfortunately my other choices probably aren’t for the young ones. I have recently binged on The Borgis and The Tudors (yelp this is a trend) and then there is House of Cards (oh, my).

    Enjoy your vacation and snap some pics of the great outdoors! Oh…which reminds me…your family might enjoy the tree hugging game I described in my blog. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Second that, Julie…Hi…Downton Abbey is great and best watched as a marathon..for a more intense topic, Newsroom is good..but has some profanity i guess..

      Lindsay, have you watched these two already?

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    You know, I started out thinking I wouldn’t be interested in this recipe, but I have to say – you sold me! Now I must hunt for udon noodles. (BTW – we made a version of your Healthy Rigatoni the other night and my family ate KALE!! It was yummy!)
    On another note – sometimes we do the family TV/Movie marathon thing too. So fun! Our tradition started with the Harry Potter movies, then we moved on to Seinfeld with the big kids, and – actually – don’t judge – we love Modern Family with the big guys too. Any of those movies that have the long running sequals work though – Star Wars (not a huge fan myself), Iron Man, X-men, Captain America (or a combo of all – throw in the new Superman one too – which I will not name bc I don’t know how to spell steel/steele/steal?) Anyway – you know. . . . Lots of options. 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love udon, but never cook with it at home. This is making me seriously consider it because it looks SO delicious!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    You are right! That is just one big plate ‘o pretty! I am still playing with the idea of tofu being yum central in my head…but the carby deliciousness of those udon noodles is really starting to win me over. Pinning!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love co-ops! We don’t have any around here, but I remember visiting a great one in MT one time and now must visit everytime we go back. Love the udon noodles and everything about this recipe including the reference to sitting in a booth talking wordpress…haha such is a blogger’s life!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    That recipe looks amazing! TV suggestions – check out either Psych or White Collar. They’re both USA shows and they’re great. Totally family-friendly and addictive.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, I’ve gotta say I am not a huge fan of tofu, cause I always think it has no flavour, but yours looks so so delicious. You’ve me inspired to cook with tofu. This dish is gorgeous 😉

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks so tasty!

    For family friendly shows, I’m thinking Chuck would be a good choice. It has some spy action, but a lot of humor and family in it.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I went to Obento Ya way back when I was in college. It was tasty, but I think I need check it out again. Crescent Moon across the street is really good too!
    Enjoy time at your cabin – the best thing about Minnesota summers!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    We love Person of Interest. It’s action filled, but not as violent as I imagine 24 to be.

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I agree. I love this recipe, but next time, I’ll probably make it with half the pepper.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Ok, well I bought them dried, but the ones I had at the restaurant that I adored so much were most definitely fresh because they were big, plump, chewy, and amazing. So dried can work (it’s what I used here) but if a person HAD fresh ones, go for that instead!!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    1-That gem of a restaurant in Minneapolis sounds AWESOME!
    2-I have never tried UDON -and now Uhavemecurious
    3-Tofu and I are besties so this sounds great – even if I have no clue what the udon tastes like!

    Have a wonderful and safe trip (specially while wake-boarding) and my daughter and I once watch 2 seasons of NYPD blue and Nashville – and if that fails there’s always the Gilmore Girls! 🙂

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    That looks straight forward and SO good. Going to add this to my ever-growing list of recipes to try. Enjoy your trip! 🙂