Yakisoba literally means ‘fried buckwheat’ in Japanese, and is traditionally a street food dish made of fried noodles with veggies (and sometimes meat) and flavoured with a delicious sweet and slightly tangy sauce. It’s super easy and pretty cheap to make (which explains the street food element) and for these reasons it’s definitely one of my go-to weekday dinners for myself and Mr H, especially if I don’t have heaps of time on my hands.
I first tried yakisoba at Wagamama years ago and to be totally honest I wasn’t too amazed by it and didn’t order it again. It was kind of bland and oddly enough their soba noodles are made of wheat and not buckwheat, so it’s not gluten free like the traditional version. BUT, when Mr H and I visited Japan I tried it street food style (when in Rome and all that) and it was just so tasty. The noodles and veggies were perfectly fried, and the sauce was a fabulous combination of nutty, salty, sweet, tangy and bitter.
I mean of course I know that the roadside version probably wasn’t the healthiest thing on offer and probably had a lot of sugar and a dollop of MSG as well as a bit too much oil, but if you don’t indulge on holiday when can you? Plus if I never had tried it I never would have been inspired to create a healthy version, so technically it was all in the name of research. Speaking of which, I’ve researched the traditional recipe and tweaked it to make it super nourishing and delicious without compromising on flavour. It’s full of vitamins and minerals thanks to the rainbow of veggies involved and the noodles mean it’s really filling too. All in all I think it’s a hit, but let me know what you think too!
- 80g (1/3 pack) soba noodles
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper pepper, chopped into small chunks
- 2 cups beansprouts
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 cups kale, washed and any big stems removed
- 2/3 cup shelled edamame beans
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- Juice of a lime
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- Optional: coriander, chilli flakes and sesame seeds to garnish
Add the noodles to a saucepan of boiling water and cook for about five minutes. Drain and set aside and wash and prepare the vegetables.
Finely chop the garlic cloves and ginger and pop them in a frying pan along with the sesame oil. Fry for a couple of minutes on a low heat until they start to brown. Then add in the onion and the maple syrup and fry for a further few minutes until the onion is soft. Chuck in the other veggies as well as the lime juice and tamari and continue to cook for a few more minutes (until the veggies have softened) stirring well. Finally add in the noodles and give it all a big stir so that everything is combined.
Serve it up and decorate with coriander and sesame seeds, and some chilli flakes if you fancy a little kick!
Love, Mrs H xx