The magnetic charm of chicken yakisoba is truly captivating. This delightful dish used to be my go-to during Japanese culinary adventures, long before the allure of sushi took over. Nowadays, a glimpse at the yakisoba on a Japanese diner’s menu evokes deep nostalgia. Feeling that familiar tug at my heartstrings, I felt compelled to recreate this cherished chicken yakisoba in the heart of my own kitchen.
Choosing the Right Yakisoba Noodles
Yakisoba noodles are the soul of the dish. Their unique texture, slightly chewy yet soft, is truly remarkable. If you’re seeking a recommendation, Sun Noodle company’s yakisoba (as well as their ramen) stands out prominently. Although they aren’t sponsoring this mention, their noodles deserve the limelight. Sometimes, these noodles might be entangled in a compact “brick” form, making stir-frying challenging. To combat this, simply immerse them in hot water for a brief moment. This step ensures they separate gently and are stir-fry ready post-draining.
A Flavorful Twist in the Recipe
One might raise an eyebrow at the inclusion of Worcestershire sauce in a traditional yakisoba. Interestingly, this sauce consistently appeared in numerous versions of this dish, hinting at its pervasive influence in the western adaptations. And, believe it or not, this ingredient infuses an unforgettable tangy essence, making the dish irresistibly authentic.
- 12 oz. fresh yakisoba noodles (340g)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 oz. sliced chicken thighs or breast (225g)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons oil (plus 2 teaspoons, divided)
- 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium carrot (julienned)
- 2 cups cabbage (julienned)
- 2 scallions (julienned)
- Submerge yakisoba noodles in a bowl of hot water, allowing them to separate effortlessly. Once done, drain and set aside.
- Blend soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar in a bowl. Separately, coat the chicken slices with cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of oil. Keep aside.
- In a heated wok with 1 tablespoon of oil, lay the chicken evenly. Sear for a minute before stir-frying for another. Once cooked, transfer to a plate.
- Introduce 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok, followed by shiitake mushrooms. After 2 minutes, incorporate onions, carrots, and cabbage. After another couple of minutes, add noodles, chicken, scallions, and the previously prepared sauce. Stir-fry until the dish is heated uniformly. Serve hot and enjoy!
Chicken yakisoba doesn’t just satisfy your hunger; it takes you on a flavorful journey. Whether you’re reminiscing about your favorite Japanese diner or trying it for the first time, this recipe promises to be a memorable experience. It’s a blend of tradition and innovation, culminating in a dish that’s simply hard to resist. Happy cooking!