Yakisoba is a classic Japanese meal that so many people in the world know. Yakisoba is most famous for being served as a festival food such as at school festivals, summer omatsuri (summer events), or as street food.
Have you ever had yakisoba? I think lots of people have had this meal at least once.
Yakisoba means Japanese stir-fried noodles and it began as Sauce Yakisoba(ソース焼きそば). Some people still call it that but most use the shortened name Yakisoba. Yakisoba uses Chinese stir-fry noodles as the base, then add sweet and savory sauce, some vegetables, and meat. It is known as a festival food. If you ask Japanese people, what are the top 3 festival foods, most of them choose yakisoba as their favorite. It’s also popular in every household because it is super easy and quick to make.
Which noodle should I use for Yakisoba?
When we make yakisoba, most people use Myojo (明星) and Maruchan (マルちゃん) yakisoba set. Myojo and Maruchan are the most popular Yakisoba brands and they contain Yakisoba noodles and sauce in a bag. They include three packs and each pack is for one person. In Japan, it is one of the cheapest meals you can cook. You can buy it for under 2 dollars and it feeds 3 people which is amazing!
So It is super easy to make Yakisoba if you only want to flavor it with the sauce that comes from the package, but homemade sauce is even more amazing!
Where can I buy noodles?
You can probably find them in your local grocery store. I live in NYC and there are so many local grocery stores that have Asian or noodle sections. If not, you can probably find them by going to an Asian or Japanese grocery store!
Is there a substitute for the noodles?
This is a common question. If you want to, you can use other noodles to make this dish.
The substitute noodles are:
- chow mein
I personally recommend using chow mein. Chow mein is the same type of noodle as Yakisoba, Chinese-style noodles, and can found easily at local grocery stores.
What is the difference between yakisoba noodles and chow mein
So both are the same chu-ka men(中華麺) which means Chinese-style noodles. The big difference is Yakisoba noodles are steamed noodles. After stirring, the noodles are softer and fluffy. Also, the Yakisoba noodles are oiled already. This is so when you stir them while frying, it is easy to keep them loose.
Chow mein is raw and covered with flour to prevent stickiness. It is often used for making ramen.
Yakisoba ingredient options
There are a lot of ingredient options for Yakisoba depending on the household and area.
The classic ingredients :
- sliced pork
- bean sprouts
But you can also add or replace with :
- green onion
Q&A : There are a lot of Yakisoba recipes. I don’t know which one I should follow.
I understand how confusing it is to find the ‘Classic Yakisoba Recipe’. If you are new to making Yakisoba, you might want to try following the instructions that are written on the back of the Yakisoba set. The more you cook Yakisoba, the more you will want to try other people’s Yakisoba recipes.
For example, some recipes don’t add water to loosen the noodles and they use oil instead. Or there are some people whose rules for making Yakisoba are very different from what most people do.
My recipe is a classic way with homemade Yakisoba sauce. Yakisoba sauce is super easy to make!
How to make Yakisoba with homemade sauce
Yakisoba with homemade sauce
- 1 pack Stir-Fry Noodles HERE to buy
- 60 g meat 60-70g of your choice of meat. I used thinly sliced pork but you can pick bacon, beef, or chicken. If you don't want it, you can skip meat.
- 30 g cabbage 30-40g
- 30 g carrot
- 30 g onion
- 30 g bean sprouts 30-40g. If you can get.
- 1/2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 30 ml water
- 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- egg make fried egg
- green onion
- Cut the meat into the size you prefer.
- Cut the cabbage into large chunks.
- Cut the carrot into thin strips.
- Slice the onion thinly.
- Sauce : In a small bowl, add Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, sugar*1 and oyster sauce. Mix everything.
- In a medium pan, turn the heat to medium. Add about 1/2Tbsp vegetable oil and sliced onion. Cook until the onion gets soft and clear.
- Put the onion aside and add cut meat. Cook until the meat is cooked thoroughly. Combine onion and meat.
- Add cut cabbage and carrot to the pan and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add 1/2Tbsp sesame oil, noodles, and 1/4cup water into the pan. Loosen the noodle while cooking.
- After the noodles are all loose, add bean sprouts and the sauce. Stir well for 4-5 minutes.
- If you prefer, adding fried egg, seaweed, or green onion is great!