Yakisoba is the Japanese equivalent of fast food. It is sold by street vendors as well as restaurants and is popular for lunch and as a late night snack. Soba noodles are cooked al dente and then quickly fried with seasonings and shredded vegetables for a prompt meal on the go. Yakisoba is traditionally made with Tonkatsu sauce but most recipes in America use soy sauce as the main ingredient. Other flavorings commonly found in American versions include worcestershire sauce, chili paste, rice vinegar, and even ketchup. Though not traditional, I like to add a topping of toasted sesame seeds because they add a nice crunch. Try using black sesame seeds for an interesting color contrast!
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8 ounces soba noodles
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sambal oelek or other hot chili paste
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 head of cabbage, cored and shredded
4 scallion tops, chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Cooking Instructions

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles in the boiling water for about 2 minutes or until they are just cooked through. Drain the noodles, rinse lightly with cold water and drain again.

Combine the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, chili paste, sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, garlic, carrots, and cabbage. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly. Add the soba noodles and the soy sauce mixture and cook just long enough to reheat the noodles and thoroughly coat them in the sauce. Serve garnished with the chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Makes 4 servings



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To keep the cooked soba noodles from sticking to each other, rinse with cold water and toss to separate every couple of minutes. Cooking the noodles just to the al dente stage will help prevent clumping as well.

It is best to use a nonstick pan when making this dish because the noodles may stick otherwise. I prefer to use a wok anytime I am stir-frying because it distributes heat more evenly. It also requires less oil, particularly if you use a nonstick wok.

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