Yakisoba is a popular Japanese dish, usually eaten during snack and/or lunch. Literally meaning “fried noodles”, yakisoba is believed to have originated in China. However, during the early 20th century, fried noodles made a debut in food stalls in the Japanese country. Yakisoba noodle is made from wheat flour, although ‘soba’ is buckwheat in English. This dish is commonly sweetened and thickened with condiments similar to that of the oyster sauce.
Yakisoba is widely served as a main dish or side dish placed on a plate. However, yakisoba’s most popular preparation and serving is through piling the fried noodles into a bun that is sliced vertically at the middle (like that of hotdog buns) and then added with mayonnaise and some shreds of preserved ginger. This is extensively known as the yakisoba-pan (‘pan’ meaning bread). This food is usually offered in various Japanese festivals and convenience stores. Some yakisoba are rolled with omelets.
If you are worried that yakisoba is not readily available from wherever you are, then try making one on your own. Here’s an easy recipe for making yakisoba-pan at home.
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 slices bacon, cut into strips
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 small carrot, cut into thin strips
- ½ small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 x 3oz (85g) packets instant egg noodles
- 2–3 tbsp yakisoba sauce, plus extra for garnishing
- 4 white hot-dog buns, split open
- Strips of pickled ginger, to serve
Homemade Yakisoba Sauce
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp superfine (caster) sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- At a medium-high temperature, heat a pan and add enough amount of vegetable oil. Then, fry the cut bacon strips until they start to reach a crispy texture. Remove pan from the stove and set aside.
- Fry the vegetables until they start to color, and then remove them from heat. Set aside.
- In the meantime, heat noodles following the packet instructions at the back and drain.
- Add the drained noodles to a pan with little oil. Stir continuously until they begin to be crispy in some parts. Add the yakisoba sauce. Mix the vegetables and bacon thoroughly; make certain that the pan is hot enough.
- Pile the noodles into the bread buns and add the yakisoba sauce, some shreds of pickled ginger and some dried seaweed, if desired.
Yipee! Your easy-to-prepare yet absolutely yummy Japanese dish is now ready to eat.