Yakisoba Sauce 焼きそばソース

Yakisoba Sauce is a sauce used to coat fried noodles. Yaki 焼き meaning grilled, and Soba そば being a thin Japanese buckwheat noodle. Together Yakisoba 焼きそば means fried noodles.

The sauce has a rich, sweet and tangy flavor with a dark color similar to oyster sauce only not as thick. It does however thicken the texture of noodles as they are grilled over high heat. By the way if you don’t have a teppanyaki or hibachi at home to grill noodles, which I imagine you don’t… that’s okay just use a wok. And I say use a wok because you will need more surface area than a 12″ frying pan, and the material should preferably be thinner than most skillets. Oh and as you may have guessed, you can use this sauce on more than just Soba.

Udon うどん noodles for example are very popular today for fried noodles in Japan as opposed to Soba, in which case the dish may be called Yaki Udon 焼きうどん. You may also find Yaki Udon dishes at Americanized restaurants that serve Asian cuisine (even Nothing But Noodles). The sauce in which Udon noodles are grilled remains the same however, and is still called Yakisoba sauce despite the name change for the dish to Yaki Udon where Udon noodles are used.

I personally recommend Udon noodles for fried noodle dishes, and Soba, Ramen, or Mein for soups although thin-pulled buckwheat noodles are still popular throughout Asia for fried noodle dishes such as the Chinese originate Chow Mein.

Oh and word to the wise, Udon noodles are very thick and heavy. I find them best fried with pork belly or diced ham, complimenting the Yakisoba sauce with the rendered fat and some shiitake (or oyster mushrooms) and green onion!

Anyway what I’m making here is an easy, five ingredient version of the sauce that would typically be used in Americanized restaurants. It will simulate the flavor profile of Japanese fried noodle dishes while also being built for speed and cost.

Remember that while there are different recipes for Yakisoba sauce, and although no where near as many as there are Chow Mein sauces around the world, the point in making this sauce is to help fry your noodles while adding a rich flavor. So in truth this was never intended to be complicated. In fact it was a post WWII street food designed to be fast and cost effective on a large scale cooked on teppanyaki, which are large flat iron surfaces used to grill and fry foods similar to a Hibachi.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Oyster Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/8 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 Cup Sugar

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl.
  2. Combine ingredients and whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Transfer to storage container of choice, and refrigerate. May be kept refrigerated for a maximum of six days at no higher than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Makes 1 Cup (8oz) total.

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