using my noodle…

Yakisoba is a Japanese noodle dish with Chinese origins. Literally meaning “fried noodles”, it is a menu staple on most Japanese restaurants.

Just like its cousin, the yakisoba is stir-fried and can have a variety of ingredients. The noodles used are similar to those of the chow mein’s and can be made from soba (buckwheat) or wheat. You can also use udon noodles, which then transforms the dish to “yaki-udon”.

Here in the Seattle area, all teriyaki fast-food restaurants serve yakisoba so finding them is hardly a problem. Unfortunately, they all put in the same overly sweet, goopy sauce that ruins the entire dish. They make it even more achingly sweet by topping the whole thing off with an overly-sweet, goopy teriyaki sauce!

That’s why I make my own.

As for what I put in my version, it pretty much depends on what I am feeling that day. Last night, it was surf-n-turf: chicken, pork, shrimp, and calamari. It also included the typical stir-fry vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and onions. You can top the dish with shredded gari (the pickled ginger often served with sushi) and scallions.

Commercial yakisoba sauce is readily available, but can be easily made at home. All you need is ketchup (the kind you dip your french fries in), Worcestershire sauce, and a little bit of honey. This is the same sauce used for the crispy-fried Japanese pork or chicken cutlets called tonkatsu.

Steamed rice is sometimes served on the side when you order yakisoba at a restaurant. Since I’m already getting my carbs from the noodles, I don’t even touch the rice.

And yes, I ate the whole bowl pictured below…

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