Made with noodles similar to lo mein, a yakisoba recipe is easy to prepare. Yakisoba is a popular and inexpensive Japanese dish served at neighborhood restaurants and is also often purchased from street vendors.
A Simple Yakisoba Recipe
Sometimes called "junk food" because of its high grease content, yakisoba is a favorite among kids of all ages as well as adults. This dish translates to mean fried buckwheat noodles and has its origins in China, although the Chinese used chow mein noodles. Contrary to its name, however, in Japan yakisoba is made with wheat flour noodles which hold a similarity to ramen. Vegetables are stir-fried with the noodles, a sauce is added, and the food is served on a plate and eaten with chopsticks. Shredded seaweed or a blend of seaweeds is often sprinkled on top of the noodles for added flavor. A potent red ginger is also part of the garnish for yakisoba.
Ingredients for Yakisoba Recipe
- 1 pound of lean pork, sliced against the grain
- 4 carrots, sliced thin, length-wise like matchsticks
- 1 head of a small cabbage, chopped
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 12 ounces of ramen or thicker wheat flour noodles or chuka noodles
- 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
- 3 scallions, finely sliced
- 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons of aonori (shredded seaweed)
- Kizami shoga (red pickled ginger that is available at Asian markets)
For the Sauce
- 1/2 cup of shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1/3 cup of rice wine
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar.
- Stir until dissolved. Set aside.
- Cook noodles in a pot of water. Bring to boil and let boil for about 10 minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- Under medium heat, add oil to a large frying pan or to a wok.
- Add pork. Stir while frying.
- Add onions, ginger, garlic, and carrots.
- Stir well while cooking and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in the cooked noodles and soy sauce mixture.
- Make sure everything is coated with the sauce.
- Let simmer for five minutes.
- Serve on a plate with a seaweed and red pickled ginger garnish on top.
- This recipe serves four to six people.
You may also add other ingredients, or substitute some of the vegetables for those you like best. Pork can also be substituted for another type of meat or seafood. Some ideas include:
- 1 cup of bean sprouts
- 1 cup of shrimp or prawns
- 1 pound of sliced beef (in lieu of the pork)
- 1 cup of thinly sliced green peppers
Bottled Yakisoba Sauce
At your grocery store, or local Asian food store, you may find yakisoba sauce in a bottle. There are different brands and kinds, so check to see what suits your tastes. Some prefer tonkastu sauce in their yakisoba. This thick brown sauce comes in a bottle as well and can be purchased at your Asian market or in the Asian section of your grocery store.
Since yakisoba is so popular, there is an instant version which is made of dehydrated noodles and vegetables. Boiling water is added to the container, and after five minutes, the noodles are tender. Contents from a flavor pack are mixed in, and seaweed is provided in another packet to sprinkle on top. Often this instant yakisoba is enjoyed by children after school or as part of a lunch menu.
Now that you know how to make yakisoba, why not give the recipe a try? Young children in your household may enjoy this easy to make Japanese dish, especially if they are fond of noodles.