Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Fried noodles. やきそば。

Despite the name, these are not soba or buckwheat noodles, but ramen-style noodles, made from wheat flour, salt, water and kansui (alkaline mineral water).

The noodles are stir-fried on an iron plate with slivers of pork or seafood and vegetables (usually cabbage, carrots and onions, but there is a lot of variation possible). The yakisoba can be flavored with yakisoba sauce, and in that case it is called sosu yakisoba. Garnishes are usually aonori (green seaweed powder), beni-shoga (pickled ginger) and sometimes also katsuobushi (bonito flakes).

Yakisoba is a very popular dish, often made at home, but also available in canteens, okonomiyaki restaurants, izakaya and street stalls during festivals.

Due the its popularity, yakisoba is also sold in instant form in Japanese supermarkets and convenience stores, such as long time favorite Sapporo Ichiban. You have to add vegetables and meat yourself. A complete instant meal is offered by Nisshin's UFO, sold in a container to which only hot water has to be added.

Surprisingly, yakisoba is also eaten on buns as yakisoba-pan - these are again available in convenience stores. And, I hasten to add, they are surprisingly delicious as well. Yakisoba is also added to okonomiyaki "Hiroshima-style" and to Osaka's variant of these, modan-yaki.

[Yakisoba by Ad Blankestijn]

Yakisoba recipes