Yakisoba (焼きそば): So simple it’s ridiculous!

Yakisoba is one of the more popular dishes among foreigners here in Okinawa. 1525124_804517792896439_797604441_nThe reason is undoubtably because yakisoba is a pretty straight forward dish. In other words there is no element of surprise and you’re not likely to chomp down on an unfamiliar ingredient.

So what’s in yakisobaYakisoba consists of ramen style noodles, carrots, onions, cabbage and an optional meat of your choice. The whole thing is topped off with yakisoba sauce and can be garnished with a variety of other ingredients like katsuobushi, sausage and mayonnaise.

One of the things that I like about yakisoba is that it is simple to make, affordable and handles a few days in the fridge well making it the perfect meal to make in a big batch and enjoy throughout the week. It can also be customized to please even the pickiest of eaters in your family

Now that we’ve gone on and on about yakisoba let’s talk about how to make it so that you and your family can get in on the noodle action! As the title of this posts suggests making yakisoba is super simple. In fact for me the hardest part about making yakisoba is deciding whether I want to walk or drive to the grocery store.

Once you’ve figured out your preferred mode of transportation and arrived at the store it’s time to grab the ingredients that you will need. There are a variety of ways that yakisoba can be made but for the purpose of this blog post we’re keeping things super simple which means you’re looking for a whopping 2 items.

Item number 1 is noodles. There are a variety of noodles that you can purchase to make yakisoba but the type that I prefer come in a package that looks a little something like this:


The reason that I prefer this type of yakisoba noodle is because it is cheap, coming in at under ¥200 per package, and easy to use. Each package includes 3 packets/servings of noodles and 3 packets of yakisoba sauce. This makes it relatively food proof and perfect for someone trying to make this dish for the first time. 

Item number 2 on the list is vegetables. As I mentioned above yakisoba usually contains cabbage, carrots and onions. You can go ahead and pick up each individually and cut down into bite sized pieces or if you’re in a rush (or lazy. . . . it’s ok , admit it. . . . we’ve all been there) you can pick up a bag of veggies that looks a little something like this:


This little beauty is a bag of sliced vegetables that can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store. Although the packaging sometimes varies they usually include the same type of mix which happens to be perfect for yakisoba (or a variety of other uses) including carrots, cabbage, onion and in this case green peppers. One of these bags, which comes in at under ¥200, is enough to make an entire batch of yakisoba.

At this point you have everything that you need to make a basic batch of yakisoba. However, if you want to add something like chicken or beef you can do that. You can also choose to put in as much or as few veggies as your heart desires. Be creative!

Now that you’ve checked out and are looking at your receipt in amazement because the grand total was under ¥500 it’s time to get home and make the noodle magic happen! As “difficult” as searching for the ingredients was turning them into yakisoba is even easier! In fact it’s as simple as putting everything in a frying pan, adding a few tablespoons of water and mixing until the sauce is evenly dispersed and the veggies are cooked to your liking. The only additional step is if you decided to add meat to your yakisoba in which case you want to cook that up in the frying pan first then dump everything else in. That’s it. . . .  you’re done!

Once you’ve got the hang of making a basic batch of yakisoba you can go wild and enjoy the ability to customize it however you like. You can add more sauce, add more veggies or even garnish with a variety of delicious options!





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