Yakisoba is a popular street food often served in okonomiyaki and takoyaki joints. It consists of ramen or wheat noodles slathered in a sweet-savory sauce topped with whatever you desire. It’s a speedy dish and it’s very simple to follow. So ditch the instant packaged stuff and whip up this quick-to-make recipe at home. This recipe makes use of simple ingredients that can easily be found in any Japanese pantry or grocery store. The key to achieve a flavorful yakisoba is to allow the noodles to stir-fry with the sauce so all the ingredients can absorb it, making each bite of the dish bursting with flavor.
You will be able to find many of the ingredients in your pantry. Though I understand not everyone keeps Japanese seasonings on-hand. If you have trouble finding the sauce ingredients, you can hack them by mixing equal amounts of ketchup, worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce and sugar to taste. It won’t have the exact kick as the original, but it will definitely do the trick! Use dry sherry or white wine if ever you lack sake in your pantry.
Topping your yakisoba with aonori (powdered seaweed) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes) provides an unbelievable boost in flavor. So if you lack these in your pantry, I highly suggest you add them! These dried ingredients come in handy for many Japanese dishes such as dashi, furikake and, of course, okonomiyaki. Similar to okonomiyaki, make it as you like. Add more vegetables such as bean sprouts or bell peppers. Or if you’d like, add some more of that delicious sauce. There’s no wrong way of doing this so, by all means, be creative!
Yakisoba can be enjoyed in several ways. Some of my favorite styles of eating it is by adding it to an omelet to make omusoba or combined with an okonomiyaki.
- 12 oz prepared wheat (ramen) noodles
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 white onion
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- 4 oz thinly sliced pork belly
- 2 oz cabbage
- 1/2 carrot julienned
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup sake
- 2 tbsp yakisoba sauce
- 2 tbsp okonomiyaki sauce
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp aonori
- 1/2 tbsp katsuobushi ground to a powder
- beni shoga (optional)
- Reconstitute the shiitake mushrooms by submerging them in boiling water for 20 minutes. Once ready, thinly slice and set aside.
- Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until transluscent. Add the ginger and saute until fragrant. Finally, add pork belly and stir constantly until the pork turns white.
- Add the carrots and cabbage and stir constantly until the carrot has cooked through and the cabbage has turned into a brighter green.
- Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the sake, yakisoba sauce and okonomiyaki sauce and cook stirring constantly until the alcohol from the sake burns off.
- Add the prepared wheat noodles and stir continuously until all the sauce from the pan has been absorbed—about 2 minutes
- Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with black pepper, aonori and the katsuobushi and serve immediately with beni shoga on the side.