What is Yakisoba?
Yakisoba is a Japanese recipe that is the literal translation of “fried noodles”. It derives of the Chinese chow mein and gained popularity in Japan after World War II, and remains a popular dish until today – easy to make at home or eat as cheap street food. In this article, we will share an easy Japanese Recipe of Vegetarian Yakisoba
Yakisoba has been one of my favourite dishes since I was a child, as my family has Japanese origin. I’ve seen several recipes with Worcester sauce or ketchup as an ingredient for the sauce, but I kept mine simple, just as we’ve always made at home in Brazil.
This is a vegetarian yakisoba recipe, where we substitute meat, pork or chicken with paneer (white cheese) or tofu. It’s quite easy to make, and we adapted this ingredient as we currently live in India, where we eat vegetarian meals most of the time. A large part of the Indian population is vegetarian (including our family) and it’s an important part of the Indian culture.
Another difference from my original recipe is that, in Brazil, we use carrots, but in India we don’t, because Indian carrots are too sweet, and our only attempt to use them turned out quite disastrous! In the original recipe, cabbage, carrot and onions are a must, but you can add others and adapt according to your wishes and availability of ingredients.
If you are reading this in India, you can use hakka or chow mein noodles as options for ramen noodles, but beware to not overcook, or they will stick! Another option is spaghetti, although I’ve never tried it myself.
Ingredients for Japanese Recipe – Vegetarian Yakisoba (for 2 people):
- 250g of ramen-style noodles
- 1 Small broccoli
- 1/2 Green bell pepper
- 4 Mushroom
- 1 Medium onion
- 1/2 pack of paneer or tofu
- 1/4 of a small cabbage.
- Butter or sesame oil
- Soy Sauce
- Corn Starch
How to make vegetarian yakisoba–Step by Step Guide
1- In a big pot, add water and put it in the high flame until it boils.
2- Meanwhile, chop the onion, mushroom, bell pepper, broccoli and paneer/tofu in big pieces. Keep each separately, do not mix them. Chop the cabbage in small pieces.
3- Add the noodles in the boiling water. While the noodles are cooking, add the sesame oil/butter in a deep frying pan.
4- You should start by frying the hard vegetables first. In this case, it would be the broccoli, then the onion and bell pepper.
5- After the onions turn gold, add the cabbage, and wait for it to lose water and size.
6- Add the mushrooms after the cabbage is soft.
7- Once the noodles are cooked, remove them from the stove and drain the water. Rinse the noodles with cold running water, so they won’t stick.
8- Add the chopped tofu/paneer to the pan with the vegetables.
9- Add a little water and half a cup of soy sauce to the frying vegetables.
10- In a cup, add one tablespoon of corn starch and half a cup of water. Mix it until the starch completely dissolves.
11- Slowly add some of the starch mixtures to the frying pan, and mix it with the vegetables and soy sauce. Wait for a few seconds until it starts to thicken.
12- Add the drained noodles to the pan and keep stirring for a few minutes, until they are completely mixed with the paneer, vegetables and sauce.
13- In case the gravy is too thick, add a bit more water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more of the starch mixture. Taste for salt. In case it is bland, add more soy sauce or a pinch of salt.
Your vegetarian yakisoba is ready! Hope you enjoy it! If you like this recipe and you wish to try it at home, do pin this image below on your food and drinks or recipes board on Pinterest.