Vegetable Yakisoba can be either a main course or a side dish in Japan and is a type of noodle stir-fry that typically includes veggies and sometimes meat. Typically prepared in Japanese homes, this meal is also widely available at restaurants, snack bars, and even street carts.
Yakisoba is typically prepared by stirring ingredients together on a flat griddle or hot plate with paddles that appear designed for the drywall spackle. Although it may seem counterintuitive, this method allows chefs to efficiently prepare vast quantities of yakisoba by simply folding the ingredients together.
We cooked this yakisoba in a wok at home, but a large griddle, cast iron skillet, or nonstick wok would work just as well. We found that a large wok spatula or a set of tongs worked best for tossing the ingredients together.
WHAT KIND OF NOODLES ARE YAKISOBA?
You may already be aware that the Japanese word “soba” designates buckwheat noodles. Such noodles come in a dark gray or brown color and are typically served in a broth or dipping sauce.
On the other hand, Yakisoba noodles don’t look like buckwheat noodles. Their distinctive yellow color comes from the alkaline dough created with wheat flour, water, and kansui (lye water).
They remind me of a freshly prepared version of the instant ramen we ate in college. You must be careful to only purchase noodles branded “Yakisoba.” Fresh ramen noodles could be better because they’re designed to be used in soup.
- 1 pound of fresh yakisoba noodles
- 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 3 scallions (julienned)
- 1 peeled small onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 medium carrot (julienned)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (julienned)
- 1 cup of julienned green cabbage
- 2 tablespoons of mirin
- 2 tablespoons of ponzu sauce
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Combine the mirin, Ponzu sauce, oyster sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Put the shiitake mushrooms and 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok and stir-fry over high heat until the mushrooms are tender. The onions, carrots, cabbage, and bell pepper should be added after 2 minutes of stir-frying.
- Add the noodles and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Toss the noodles with the sauce. They will be easier to break up in the liquid.
- Stir-fry the ingredients for a further two to three minutes or until the noodles are hot. Stir-fry for an additional minute after adding the scallions.
- If desired, sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top before serving.