I love the simplicity of Japanese cuisine and how easy it is to replicate some of the dishes that are commonly served at Japanese restaurants. Many of the recipes are often simple enough with a relatively short list of ingredients, and the dishes can be prepared in a short amount of time. Yakisoba, which is a Japanese fried noodle dish, usually contains cabbage, meat and other vegetables, and is topped with aonori, which are green seaweed flakes. The noodles are flavoured with yakisoba sauce, which is a thick and tangy version of Worchestershire sauce. I used to think that soba (buckwheat) noodles were used for this, but in fact, it uses wheat noodles, similar to ramen or chinese egg noodles. You can buy yakisoba noodles that come packed in individual serving sizes. They don't need to be boiled, but can be added directly into the pan and sitr-fried with the other ingredients. That makes it such an easy and fuss-free dish to cook.
If you can't find yakisoba noodles, you can substitute with thin egg noodles or ramen. Try making your own yakisoba sauce (see recipe below) as it tastes just as good as the store-bought ones. The main thing that defines the yakisoba is the sweet and tangy sauce, and the rest of the ingredients are really up to your fancy. This quick and easy one-dish meal is healthy, tasty and ideal for busy weeknights (or lazy weekends)!
Adapted from Japanese Cooking at Home by Hideo Dekura
300g fresh yakisoba noodles
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 cup sliced red/green peppers
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced thinly
1 cup roughly chopped cabbage
100g mixed seafood (or substitute with sliced pork fillet)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp super dashi (or subsitute with a pinch of dashi powder and 1 tbsp water)
1 tbsp honey
Aonori (green nori flakes)
Red pickled ginger
Heat up 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the garlic, ginger, onion, red/green peppers, mushrooms and cabbage. Once the cabbage starts to soften, add the seafood and fry until cooked. Season with salt and pepper. Add noodles and yakisoba sauce to the pan while stirring. Mix well. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with aonori and picked ginger. Enjoy while it's hot!