What is Yakisoba?
What do you think of when you hear the word “Soba”?
Most people might think of Japanese soba noodles, but with Yakisoba (焼きそば), you don’t use soba noodles at all! Instead, you use Chinese egg noodles and then stir-fry it. In fact, other than the pickled ginger and bonito flakes (which are optional) you can make this authentic Japanese dish with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen!
Here are the most common ingredients used to make Yakisoba:
The History of Yakisoba
As some of you may know, Yakisoba is a classic Japanese street food.
It’s been said that Yakisoba was served during the 30’s in Tokyo, so it has a pretty long history.
Because it’s easy to make it outside, Yakisoba is often served at outdoor occasions such as festivals, sports day, fireworks festivals, cherry blossom festivals as well as being made at home and at casual diners.
Traditionally, Yakisoba is cooked with Worcestershire sauce (ソース焼きそば) but these days simply cooking with salt and pepper (塩焼きそば or Shio-yakisoba) is popular too.
Japanese people love instant Yakisoba as occasional quick naughty meal too.
Not only that, but different regions have started their own spin-offs of Yakisoba and even compete nationwide as a B-class gourmet (B級グルメ). B-class gourmet are down to earth dishes that use inexpensive ingredients but taste absolutely delicious!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is yakisoba a ramen?
In a sense, yes because the noodle they both use are more or less the same but I wouldn’t categorise Yakisoba as Ramen as Yakisoba does not have soup. It’s more of a stir-fry dish.
Are yakisoba noodles healthy?
If you’re talking about instant Yakisoba, definitely no. I wouldn’t also call home cooked Yakisoba as healthy meal or unhealthy.
This is a typical dish that people would eat for lunch in Japan.
How do you eat yakisoba?
In Japan, most people eat Yakisoba with chopsticks. Sometimes it’s in hotdog buns as well (Yakisoba pan)
What’s the difference between yakisoba and Yaki Udon?
Yakisoba uses Chinese style egg noodles, whereas Yakiudon uses Udon noodles. Also, they typically use different kinds of sauce.
Check out our video for How to Make Japanese Yakisoba ｗith Easy Homemade Sauce
I hope you enjoy making and eating this tasty authentic Japanese Yakisoba from scratch, here’s the recipe!Print
How to make classic Japanese Yakisoba recipe
For the noodles:
- 120g thinly sliced pork belly (see note)
- 1/4 white onion
- 3 layers white cabbage
- 100g beansprouts
- 1/2 carrot
- 200g egg noodles (if you use dry noodles you’ll need to boil them first)
- 1 tbsp oil (vegetable or sunflower)
- Pickled ginger (optional)
- Bonito flakes (also called katsuoboshi, optional)
For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1/2 tbsp sake
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Start by making the sauce, mix 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp ketchup, 1/2 tbsp sake, 1/2 tsp sugar, a pinch of black pepper and 1tsp of sesame oil in a small bowl until well incorporated. Set aside
- Cut the white onion into thin slices and roughly chop the white cabbage into medium sized pieces.
- If you are using ‘straight to wok’ style noodles then rinse them in cold water. If you are using dried noodles, cook them for a few minutes less than the instructed time and pour into a cullender, rinse with cold water.
- Heat the wok or frying pan on a medium high setting and add one tbsp of oil (vegetable or sunflower).
- Add the noodles to the wok and cook until the underneath is brown but not burnt.
- Flip the noodles and brown on the other side too.
- Once done, put the noodles into a bowl and set aside.
- Next, put the thinly sliced pork belly into the same wok. (Add more oil if it’s dried out)
- Cook through until lightly brown.
- Add the cabbage, onion and carrot into the wok together with the pork belly.
- Once the vegetables are slightly softened, put the noodles back in.
- Add the sauce and use cooking chopsticks or tongs to pull apart the noodles. (As they cool, they stick together, the sauce and heat will allow you to separate them again)
- Add the beansprouts and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Dish up and garnish with bonito flakes and pickled ginger (optional)
If the taste is not strong enough, add a little more oyster sauce. 1/2 tsp at a time and taste test.
If you can’t thinly slice the pork belly, unsmoked bacon is a great substitute. Pork is the most traditional choice of meat for this dish, but you can try it out with chicken or for a delicious vegetarian option you could use fried tofu!
- Category: Noodles
- Method: Stir fry
- Cuisine: Japanese
Keywords: Yakisoba,soba,stirfry,Japanese,street food,Japanese street food,stir-fry,stir fry, Japanese cooking,Yaki Soba,Yakisoba sauce,Yakisoba recipe