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April 15, 2021 3 min read

If you love simple to make, full of flavor meals, you'll love this take on authentic Japanese street food! This easy chicken yakisoba recipe is perfect for mid-week meals.

Yakisoba (焼きそば) or Japanese stir fry noodles originated in Japan in the 1930s as So-su (= Sauce) Yakisoba (ソース焼きそば). Later, it became a popular snack for children, mainly available at mom-and-pop candy stores (dagashi-ya 駄菓子屋 in Japanese) in the late 1950s.

Since yakisoba's early days, it has been served at homes and Teishoku-ya (Japanese diners). Back then, it was a staple as Japanese street food since it was easy to cook over a hot stove. You'll see Yakisoba food stalls all over Japan, all of them with a long line of hungry diners!

Let's explore the ease and tradition of this popular dish by touching on some critical and helpful points:

  • What is Yakisoba?
  • Adaptations of this classic Japanese noodles recipe.
  • Discussing vegetables and sauces

Are you getting hungry yet for chicken yakisoba? Get ready to take care of that hunger with this amazingly simple and delicious dish!

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Chicken Yakisoba Recipe FAQ

What is Yakisoba sauce?

Yakisoba, translated, literally means "fried buckwheat" or "grilled noodles." Although soba means buckwheat, the main ingredient of yakisoba noodles is wheat flour. There are similarities between yakisoba and chow mein because both require stir-fried wheat noodles.

The difference between yakisoba stir fry noodles and chow mein (a Chinese dish) is in frying the noodles. Yakisoba is not a Japanese fried noodle dish; the noodles are heated but still soft. You fry chow mein noodles until they become crisp and then add it to the vegetables.  

Which brand of yakisoba is best?

Yakisoba noodles have a particular chewy texture that makes the dish so popular. The Sun Noodle Company is arguably one of the best yakisoba noodle brands. They also make equally popular ramen noodles. So if you love a good brand-name noodle, give them a try!

What are yakisoba noodles like out of the package?

When you take yakisoba noodles out of the package, you'll notice that it is a brick of slightly soft noodles. They can stick together, but with a quick rinse or soak in hot water and a gentle pulling apart with a fork, they'll easily separate. Drain them and set them aside for stir-frying.

Can I use other types of noodles to make this dish?

You can easily substitute the yakisoba noodles for ramen noodles. Yakisoba noodles are softer than ramen noodles when they come out of the package. However, a quick soak in hot water and the ramen noodles become soft enough to use just like the yakisoba noodle.

What is so special about Japanese yakisoba sauce?

There’s one key ingredient in this Japanese stir fry sauce that makes the dish distinct from other saucy noodle dishes: Worcestershire sauce. When you blend this sauce with soy sauce and oyster sauce, it gives the yakisoba its signature flavor. 

Thanks, Worcestershire sauce, for making great yakisoba!

What other vegetables can I use?

One thing that makes this recipe great is the fact that yakisoba ingredients are not set in stone. You can pretty much use any vegetables you have lying around. Shredded cabbage, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms are all great vegetables to use with this Japanese stir fry recipe!

Lastly, here are a few extra notes on making the best chicken yakisoba:

  • Prepare all of your ingredients (vegetables and meat) first, so you can stir-fry everything without much time in between. 
  • A cast-iron wok is preferred, but you can also use a large, deep skillet.
  • Thinly sliced chicken makes for quicker cooked pieces of meat. 
  • Avoid overcooking the homemade yakisoba sauce. You can create a dry dish if you cook or stir fry everything too long. It will take a few tries (or a first-time watchful eye) to ensure you have the soft noodle texture with the crisp vegetables and tender meats.

Chicken Yakisoba: Quick to Make, Quick to Vanish!

With very little prep time and a tiny bit of frying time, your homemade yakisoba is a filling and fulfilling dish. Once you get the hang of making it, you may even find that chicken yakisoba noodles will become your "go-to" dish more than one night a week.

Experiment with different vegetables and your chicken yakisoba will take on a variety of different textures and colors. The important thing is that you make this fantastic dish in one pan to save on cleanup, space, and time. 

This means you'll have more time to enjoy your new favorite food!

Looking for more cast iron wok recipes? Check out these keto stir fry, shrimp pad thai, and linguine with clam sauce recipes!


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