Savor the symphony of flavors in our Yakisoba Noodles! This classic Japanese recipe is a perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy notes, promising a flavorful explosion for every bite!
I like to keep things pretty basic when making this Yakisoba stir-fry noodles recipe, mostly because I whip it up when I’m feeling really lazy.
However, you can elevate it beyond the basics, as this is one of those fantastic Japanese noodle recipes to have on hand for using up all those completely random vegetables in your fridge. If you’re craving more Japanese recipes, give Japanese Cheesecake, Chicken Yakisoba, Ginger and Garlic Edamame Beans, and Easy Okonomiyaki a try.
Table of Contents
What are Yakisoba Noodles?
Yakisoba noodles are a staple of Japanese cuisine. It has a rich history that intertwines with the evolution of Japanese food culture. Originally derived from Chinese chow mein, the Japanese have adapted and embraced Yakisoba as a distinct dish. The noodles, known as “mushi chukamen,” are made using “kansui,” an alkaline mineral water and wheat flour that gives them their characteristic texture and slight yellow hue. Unlike traditional ramen, Yakisoba noodles are usually fried after boiling.
In its classic form, Yakisoba is seasoned with a savory sauce and often garnished with “aonori,” a type of green seaweed, and “katsuobushi” or bonito flakes, which add a smoky, umami-rich flavor. “Beni shoga,” or pickled ginger, is another common topping, providing a tangy counterbalance to the dish’s hearty nature. Over the years, Yakisoba has become a popular street food and a fixture at festivals. It symbolizes the fusion of traditional Japanese flavors with influences from abroad.
Reasons to Love Yakisoba Noodles
- Yakisoba Noodles only require a quick preparation. It is ideal for busy schedules, making it a go-to for quick, delicious meals.
- Its unique sauce offers a perfect blend of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.
- Reminiscent of vibrant Japanese street food, Yakisoba offers an authentic Japanese taste.
- This noodle dish is packed with vegetables and protein options. It’s a wholesome choice that doesn’t compromise flavor.
- Easily adaptable to what’s available in the pantry, Yakisoba is a practical dish for last-minute cooking.
- Yakisoba Noodles: Provides the base for the flavors to meld.
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce: A key ingredient in the sauce and adds a rich, savory depth.
- Cabbage: A traditional vegetable in Yakisoba that contributes texture and a mild, sweet flavor.
- Onion: Adds sweetness and a slight crunch and enhances the overall taste profile.
- Scallions: Bring a fresh, slightly pungent flavor. It adds taste and garnish to the dish.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Vegetable Medley: Brighten and nourish your Yakisoba by adding shredded carrots, green onions, bean sprouts, or sliced red bell pepper for vibrant color and vital nutrients.
- Adding Crunch: Bring a fresh, crunchy element to your Yakisoba with diced zucchini or snap peas, perfectly contrasting the softer textures.
- Plant-Based Protein: Add a vegetarian twist to your Yakisoba with firm or silken tofu, a great plant-based protein that enhances the dish.
- Protein-Rich Variations: Boost your Yakisoba’s protein content by including chicken breast, chicken thighs, or shrimp. Explore a mix of chicken and shrimp, or try other meats like thinly sliced pork, pork belly, or beef for varied flavors.
- Greens Galore: Enrich your Yakisoba with a mix of greens like broccoli, bok choy, or spinach, each contributing distinct flavors and ample nutrients.
How to Cook Yakisoba Noodles
Step #1: Follow the package instructions to heat and separate the noodles.
Step #2: In a small bowl, combine the yakisoba sauce ingredients: soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and water. Whisk to combine.
Step #3: Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes until softened.
Step #4: Add the prepared yakisoba noodles and toss well.
Step #5: Pour the yakisoba sauce into the pan and toss to coat the noodles. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until heated through.
Step #6: Turn off the heat and add the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve hot.
- Avoid Sticky Noodles: To avoid your Yakisoba noodles becoming sticky, rinse them in a colander under cold water immediately after cooking. This step helps to remove excess starch that contributes to stickiness. Ensure you drain the noodles well to remove any residual water. Additionally, adding oil to the pan before stir-frying can prevent the noodles from sticking.
- Select the Right Oil: Use oils with a high smoke point, like vegetable, canola or peanut oil, to withstand high-heat cooking without burning.
- Stir-Fry Veggies Correctly: Cook vegetables in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. This method ensures each piece is perfectly cooked and retains its texture.
- Richer Sauce with Broth: Use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water in your sauce for a deeper, more complex flavor profile.
- Mindful Stirring: Stir-fry with a balance of swiftness and gentleness to avoid breaking the noodles or mashing the vegetables, keeping the dish’s integrity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Certainly! To make gluten-free Yakisoba, substitute traditional wheat noodles with gluten-free alternatives like rice noodles or gluten-free soba noodles. Additionally, ensure that the soy sauce and other condiments used in the savory sauce are gluten-free.
Yakisoba translates to “fried noodles” in Japanese. “Yaki” means fried or grilled, and “soba” typically refers to buckwheat noodles, but in this case, it refers to wheat noodles.
While both dishes are stir-fried noodle recipes, Yakisoba originates from Japan and uses a soy-based sauce. On the other hand, Chow Mein is a Chinese-style noodles dish that typically includes a mix of soy sauce and oyster sauce and can be served with crispy or soft noodles.
Yes, adding a scrambled egg or a fried egg on top of your finished Yakisoba is a delicious way to add extra protein.
Absolutely! A large skillet is an excellent alternative to a wok for making Yakisoba. It provides ample space for stir-frying the noodles and vegetables evenly, ensuring all ingredients are flavorful and well-cooked. Just keep the ingredients moving in the skillet to prevent sticking and achieve an even cook.
To store Yakisoba noodles, place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. While freezing is possible, it may alter the texture of the noodles and vegetables. For reheating, it’s best to use a skillet or pan on medium heat, adding a small amount of water or broth to refresh the noodles and prevent drying. Microwave reheating is also an option, but it may result in noodles that are less evenly heated.
15 Minute Easy Yakisoba Noodles Stir Fry Recipe
For The Sauce
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water or broth
For the Noodles
- 2 5.6 ounce packages of yakisoba noodles* - (See notes below.)
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion - vertically sliced
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 2 scallions - chopped
- Sesame seeds as optional garnish
- Follow the package instructions to heat and separate the noodles.
- In a small bowl, combine the yakisoba sauce ingredients: soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and water. Whisk to combine.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes until softened.
- Add the prepared yakisoba noodles and toss well.
- Pour the yakisoba sauce into the pan and toss to coat the noodles. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until heated through.
- Turn off the heat and add the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve hot.