Yakisoba (焼きそば) is the Japanese version of stir-fried noodles. The noodles are cooked with sliced pork and plenty of vegetables (cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, onion and shallots/scallions), then coated with a special sauce. Chicken or beef would also work well instead of pork. You can also use different vegetables that are suitable for stir fry.
Please see the video at the end of this recipe card.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
Add all the Yakisoba Sauce ingredients into a cup or a bowl and mix well. Set aside until required.
Boil a sufficient amount of water in a sauce pan and boil the noodles for 1 minute.
Drain and sprinkle sesame oil over the noodles and mix until all noodles are coated. This is to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
Heat oil in a wok or a large frypan over medium high heat. Add the pork and sauté until the pork is almost cooked through (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the carrots and stir fry for 30 seconds, then add the cabbage and shiitake mushrooms.
Stir-fry for about 1 minute until the cabbage is nearly cooked, then add the shallots and bean sprouts.
After stir-frying for 30 seconds, add the noodles. Mix the noodles and vegetables well (note 9).
Add the Yakisoba Sauce and mix quickly to ensure that all the noodles are coated with the sauce, and the colour of the noodles is consistent, without any light-coloured patches.
Transfer the noodles onto serving plates, piling them into a mound.
Sprinkle aonori over the noodles and add the benishōga on the top or the side of the noodles or serve in a separate bowl/plate for individual to add topping themselves.
1. Yakisoba noodles are the same as ramen or Chinese yellow noodles. The thickness of yakisoba noodles is about 2mm / 1/16", but you could use thicker noodles. See the photo in my post of the noodles I used.
I would not recommend very thin noodles as they will overcook easily and become doughy. I would not use Hokkien Noodles either as they are quite oily and too heavy for yakisoba in my view.
2. Any cut of pork suitable for stir-fry is fine. I happened to have pork scotch fillet. I sometimes use thinly sliced pork belly. It makes yakisoba a bit richer, but I like it.
You can use chicken or beef, although pork is the most popular meat.
3. I randomly cut the cabbage into bite size pieces. The size of the piece is about 5cm x 3cm / 2" x 1¼". The shape does not have to be rectangular at all.
4. You can adjust the quantity of each ingredient to your liking. I used the Bulldog branded sauce, but you can use other brands if you like.
5. You can buy Bulldog sauces at Asian/Japanese grocery stores.
6. The dashi seasoning powder is used to add umami to the sauce. It is an instant dashi powder that you can buy at Japanese/Asian grocery stores or possibly at supermarkets (see Home Style Japanese Dashi Stock for samples).
Alternatively, you can add 2 tablespoons of bonito flakes when mixing the sauce with the noodles.
If you don’t have either of them, you can omit this.
7. Aonori is quite different from yakinori (焼き海苔, roasted seaweed sheets used in sushi rolls). It is green and chopped into teeny tiny pieces. It is used not only as a topping for Yakisoba but also for Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake). It is sometimes added to the batter for Tempura.
You can buy aonori at Japanese grocery stores. See the post for a sample pack.
Although the flavour is quite different, you could substitute aonori with yakinori (roasted seaweed sheet). Julienne a small sheet of yakinori into about 2.5cm/1' long strips.
8. Benishōga is red pickled ginger. It comes either in sliced or julienned pieces in a packet/bottle. If you have red pickled ginger slices, you can just julienne them.
You can buy benishōga at Japanese/Asian grocery stores and perhaps at some supermarkets. See the post for a sample pack.
Do not substitute the pickled ginger used for sushi for the red pickled ginger. The flavour of the pickled ginger for sushi is quite different and does not go well with Yakisoba.
9. From this step onwards, if the wok or frying pan is not large enough to cook the yakisoba at once, cook in batches in individual serving portions or half the quantity. You will get a much better result than trying to cook a huge amount of noodles in a small wok/frying pan. I actually cooked my yakisoba in batches.
When cooking in batches:
Before you add the noodles, take out the stir-fried meat and vegetables, leaving one serving portion in the wok/frying pan. Then add one serving of noodles and continue the following steps using one serving of the sauce. Repeat for the other servings.