How to Make Yakisoba at Home

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Yakisoba is a flavorful stir-fried Japanese noodle dish filled with crisp and tender vegetables. Add grilled tofu, pork or chicken for a protein-packed finish to this one-pan meal.

Yakisoba is a popular noodle dish from Japan, characterized by its chewy noodles, vegetables and tangy sauce. Like a ballpark dog with grilled onions and peppers, these noodles are often enjoyed as stadium food at sporting events. It’s also commonly made for a simple lunch and can be easily cooked ahead and packed in a bento box.

The word yakisoba literally translates to “grilled noodle” and is similar to Chinese chow mein. It’s a highly adaptable dish that can be customized to satisfy many taste buds, and is quick and easy to make.

How to Make Yakisoba Step by Step

Yakisoba Ingredients chicken yakisoba recipeMegan Barrie for Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 package fresh yakisoba noodles
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cup mushrooms (white button, shiitake, trumpet or cremini will all work)
  • 1/4 green cabbage
  • 2 sprigs green onions
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt

For the Yakisoba Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha, optional

Editor’s Tip: You can top yakisoba with furikake, a staple seasoning found in Japanese kitchens.

Directions

Step 1: Slice the vegetables

chicken yakisoba recipe Vegetables For YakisobaMegan Barrie for Taste of Home

Begin by preparing the vegetables. Slice the onions, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and green onions into long thin strips.

Step 2: Rinse the noodles

chicken yakisoba recipe noodlesMegan Barrie for Taste of Home

Open the package of noodles and give them a rinse under hot water in a colander, carefully running your fingers through to separate the noodles without breaking them. Let the noodles drain.

Step 3: Make the sauce

Mix all of the yakisoba sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisking sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, ketchup and sesame oil until the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust to your liking. If you’d like the sauce to have a kick of spice, add a splash of sriracha!

Step 4: Stir-fry the yakisoba

Place a wok or wide nonstick pan over medium-high heat; add a teaspoon of neutral oil. First, add the onions, stirring until they become slightly translucent, cooking for about two minutes. Then add carrot and cabbage along with a pinch of kosher salt to season. Cook until vegetables are tender, about three minutes.

If your pan is dry, add another drizzle of oil, then add mushrooms and bean sprouts and give the vegetables a stir, cooking for a minute or two—until tender.

Add noodles to the pan and stir with tongs gently to prevent the noodles from breaking while mixing in the vegetables. After one to two minutes of pan-frying, pour the yakisoba sauce on top, stirring to coat the noodles and vegetables completely.

Step 5: Garnish

Plated Yakisoba chicken yakisoba recipeMegan Barrie for Taste of Home

Turn off the heat and plate yakisoba in bowls. Top noodles with garnishes like sesame seeds, furikake, nori or pickled ginger, and enjoy. Then find a Japanese dessert to serve!

Tips For Making Yakisoba

Where do I buy yakisoba noodles?

Yakisoba noodles are found in the refrigerated aisle where you typically find tofu and premade spring roll wrappers. Easy-to-find brands include Fortune, Wel Pac and Myojo.

The noodles are precooked and require you to give them a rinse in warm water before adding to the pan, no boiling necessary. Look for packages of noodles only, the sauce packets that come with them aren’t as flavorful or healthy as the sauce in this recipe.

What can I use instead of yakisoba noodles?

If you can’t find yakisoba noodles, the best substitute is another fresh refrigerated noodle, like ramen noodles. If your refrigerated aisle doesn’t have any fresh noodles, then in the Asian aisle you can typically find dried noodles like udon or somen.

Surprisingly, spaghetti noodles also work just fine! Prepare all of these dried alternatives in boiling water according to package directions and be sure to drain and rinse in cold water before adding to your pan.

If you’ve heard the word “soba” before, this dish actually doesn’t use soba noodles, which are made from buckwheat flour. Instead, the soba in yakisoba refers to wheat noodles, similar to ramen noodles.

Can I add in protein like chicken, pork or tofu?

Yes! If you’d like to add a protein like chicken, tofu, shrimp, pork or beef, slice a quarter pound into small cubes and cook before any of your vegetables with a teaspoon of oil. Cook on medium-high until thoroughly cooked, then add vegetables as described above.

What is yakisoba sauce made of?

Perhaps surprisingly, yakisoba sauce is a mixture of American and Asian sauces. Depending on the style of yakisoba you’re trying to make, you might add Worcestershire, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and ketchup to a base of soy sauce and sugar. The flavor profile you’re going for is both savory and sweet, with a touch of tang. If you’re gluten-free, you can substitute tamari for soy sauce, and despite its name, you can find vegetarian oyster sauce as well.

If you’re in a rush, Otafuku sells a premade sauce, but I recommend trying to make it from scratch!

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Megan Barrie
I'm a home cook, instructor, and recipe developer focused on celebrating seasonal, comforting, Japanese-y food. I founded a platform called Seasoned Cook to give people the building blocks to make cooking approachable and enjoyable every day. My recipes are currently featured on Harvest Queen and Taste of Home.