It is so hard not to fall for Yakisoba when you hear that sizzling from the delicious yakisoba sauce poured over noodles on a hot plate. Do you want to know how to achieve that with your frying pan in your kitchen?
What is Yakisoba?
Yakisoba is now a well-known Japanese word in English speaking countries but just incase you don’t know what it is, Yaki = grilled/fried and Soba = noodles. It is a classic Japanese street food that is cooked on a huge iron plate! Although it’s called Yaki Soba, it is actually made from ramen noodles, not soba noodles. The noodles are grilled along with pork or other protein source and vegetables then coated in flavourful Yakisoba sauce.
Which Noodle is the best suit for Yakisoba?
There are many different types of noodles out there, and you may be confused which noodle to use for making Yakisoba. The noodles we use in Japan are wheat based noodles. They look the same as egg noodle but they are not. They look like they contain egg but it is because of the addition of an alkalising agent called “Kansui”, which is a water that’s rich in sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. Yakisoba noodles are usually sold as steamed noodles in Japan. If you are interested in the Asian noodles, read SBS’s “Know your noodle:The ultimate guide to Asian noodles”
Special Yakisoba Sauce and Garnishes
I love Otafuku brand yakisoba sauce, which is specially made for seasoning Yakisoba. Yakisoba is also known as Sauce Yakisoba. Please don’t quote me on this but I think it is because using Worcestershire sauce is somewhat special in Japanese cuisine so they say Sauce first. Anyway Yakisoba sauce is based on Worcestershire sauce. You can make this sauce at home. I shared the recipe previously.
I usually, and often many shops, garnish Yakisoba with Beni-Shoga (red pickled ginger), Bonito Flakes, and Aonori Flakes . All of these garnishes are commonly used for garnishing popular Japanese street food such as Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki. All those street foods are kind of brownish in colour so red pickled ginger definitely makes it prettier and bonito flakes and aonori sea weed flakes give more flavour kick to already delicious Yakisoba.
3 tips to make perfect Yakisoba !
We want to make same Yakisoba that you buy from street food market that is cooked on a huge iron plate (called “Teppan”). I will give you 3 tips to achieve street food like Yakisoba at home with your frying pan!
1. Stir fry the noodle first till it is browned
Loosen the noodles by pouring hot water over the noodles. Using a pair of chopsticks or by your hand, loosen it and drain water in a sieve. Stir fry the well drained noodle over medium to high heat in a frying pan first, push the noodle with a egg flipper to brown the noodle. Turn the heat off and set aside the noodle in a bowl.
2. Steam cook the cabbage with noodles placed over the cabbages
After you cook and brown the pork, add the cabbage and capsicum and cover the vegetables with already cooked and browned yakisoba noodles. Use the noodles as a lid to steam cook the vegetables for a few minutes over medium heat.
We don’t want to make soggy Yakisoba. I have 26cm (10inch) frying pan and I cook one yakisoba noodle at a time (above photo I cooked for two) to make NOT soggy Yakisoba and cook it over high heat and as fast as I can after pouring the Yakisoba sauce.
Sounds great so far? Isn’t it great if noodle and yakisoba sauce comes in one packet? Japanese is known for its great customer service and it’s the same in the food industry too! You can purchase two or three noodle balls and sachets of powdered yakisoba sauce in one packet. You can buy those Yakisoba set from Japanese or Asian grocery stores.
Here is my recipe for Yakisoba and If you liked it, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
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Yakisoba is a popular Japanese dish made from grilled/fried ramen noodles tossed with meat and vegetables and flavoured with a delicious Yakisoba sauce!
- 1 yakisoba noodle ball
- 80 g thinly sliced pork belly
- 100 g teared cabbage
- 50 g green cupsicum
- 50 g Yakisoba sauce *1
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red pickled ginger
- 1 tsp Aonori flakes
- 2 tbsp dried bonito flakes shaved katsuobushi
Open the packet of noodle and pour boiling water to loosen the noodles with chopsticks, drain the water well and set aside.
Boil water in a large pot and cook the ramen noodles. Once cooked, drain the water and set the noodles aside.
Tear the cabbage with hands and slice thinly the stems with a knife.
Cut the capsicums into bitesize chunks and set aside
Cut the thinly sliced pork belly to about 3cm long strips and set aside.
Heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add well-drained noodles to the pan.
Using an egg flipper, press the noodles down against the bottom of the pan to brown the noodle over medium to high heat.
When the noodle is browned and cooked after about 5 minutes, remove the noodle to a bowl to set aside.
Place the frying pan back on the medium to high heat and add another 1/2 tbsp of olive oil into the pan.
When the pan starts to smoke, add the pork and once it is cooked add the vegetables.
Cover the meat and vegetables with cooked and browned noodle in order to steam cook the vegetables underneath.
When the volume of the vegetables sink, stir and fry to combine noodle, vegetables, and pork for a few minutes.
Pour over the sauce and mix it in over high heat for 30 seconds.
Trun the heat off, serve the noodle on a plate.
Garnish the noodle with red pickled ginger, bonito flakes and Aonori flakes.
Pork can be replaced with thinly sliced beef or chicken.
Cabbage can be replaced with Chinese cabbage and also many different vegetables can be added