April 29, 2010

For the second time this week I’ve been seduced by the call of the Minimalist. This time, I was thinking about a video from back in February about Yakisoba. He describes the sauce for yakisoba as any number of ingredients — mostly condiments — that make up a slightly sweet and salty, though decidedly Asian sauce.

Yakisoba was a fairly common meal in our house growing up. We’d buy the fresh egg noodles from that Maruchan company (yup, the same people who make every college student’s Ramen stash), stir fry up some pork or chicken, vegetables, and pour on the sauce from the package. Honestly, I still crave that meal sometimes. It’s that good. And in fact, I don’t discourage you from trying it.

Nevertheless making your own sauce is really simple so there’s not a whole lot of reason to not do it. And while yakisoba is made with chinese-style egg noodles traditionally, I actually enjoy the tenderness of Japanese soba noodles, made with buckwheat. You could use any number of noodles that you’d like, including Italian angel hair (in a pinch), but I’d stick with either tradition or soba.


For the sauce:
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. worcestershire sauce
2 T. mirin, honey, or sugar
2 T. ketchup
2-3 dashes (to taste) tabasco sauce PLUS 1 dash or more sriracha if you have it.
1/2 t. dijon mustard

Everything else:
2 T. ginger, minced
1 T. garlic, minced
3 thin-sliced pork chops, cut into strips
2 carrots, finely diced or shredded
1 small head savoy cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups or to taste)
Any other vegetable you love, like snow peas or mushrooms, about the same quantity as carrots.

  • Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside. (boy that was easy)
  • Bring a pot full of salty water to a boil over medium high heat. When boiling, boil noodles according to package until tender. Drain in a colander and toss with a little sesame oil to prevent sticking. Set aside. (see? nothing to it!)
  • In a large skillet or Chinese wok heat 3 tablespoons of peanut oil until hot. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 60 seconds or so.
  • Add pork and saute until it begins to brown. Don’t worry about fully cooking the meat here as it will continue to cook as we continue on to the next step.
  • Add carrots and cabbage and saute for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. You might need a little water in case it starts to stick. I didn’t though.
  • Add noodles and sauce and toss together until well combined and the noodles are warmed through.
  • Serve, garnished with chopped scallions and more sriracha to taste.

Here’s the before and after. Clearly we liked it.

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