Laura Edwards

Yakisoba and yakiudon are both stir-fried noodle dishes; yakiudon uses udon, of course, but yakisoba, confusingly, does not use soba. This is because soba is an antiquated catch-all Japanese word for noodles, since for many centuries, soba was effectively the ‘default’ noodle. Yakisoba actually uses Chinese-style egg noodles or ramen; soba’s brittle nature makes them unsuitable for stir-frying. Whether you go with egg noodles or udon is completely up to you – it all depends on preference.

Not difficult to make and even less difficult to devour


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 rashers streaky bacon, cut into small chunks
or 60g lardons
2 onions, sliced about 5 mm thick
1 carrot, cut in half lengthways and then thinly sliced on the bias
1/4 cabbage, cut into 1 cm strips
300g bean sprouts
200g shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon dashi powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons see method for ingredients
or worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sake
4 portions cooked egg noodles, ramen or udon
40-50g red pickled ginger
toasted sesame seeds
1 sheet nori, shredded with scissors
50g crispy fried onions, (optional)
60g japanese mayonnaise, (optional)
small handful katsuobushi, (optional)


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or big frying pan (skillet) over a high heat, then add the bacon or lardons. Stir-fry until lightly browned, then add the onions and carrot. Fry for a few minutes, until the onions are beginning to colour, then add the cabbage, bean sprouts and mushrooms. Fry for another few minutes until the bean sprouts soften and shrink, then add the sesame oil, dashi powder, pepper, soy sauce, tonkatsu or Worcestershire sauce, mirin and sake.
  2. Let the liquid reduce to a thin syrup, then add the noodles, ginger and sesame seeds. Cook for a few more minutes to let the noodles soak up the sauce, then portion into bowls and top with the nori, and the fried onions, mayo and katsuobushi, if using.
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