Japanese Soul Cooking
Yakisoba are Japanese-style fried noodles, so what are they doing in this pancake chapter? Tradition, friend. Okonomiyaki joints customarily offer these noodles as a side to the savoury pancakes – both are cooked on a flat-top griddle and use similar season- ings. So who are we to quibble? Yakisoba noodles are like wheat flour ramen noodles but thicker, and they’re steamed. (So you’re frying cooked noodles.) You can find yakisoba noodles in Asian grocery shops (use just the noodles, and throw out the junky instant sauce it usually comes with). You can also boil fresh, regular ramen noodles and achieve simi- lar great results, which is what we do in the recipe below. The secret to yakisoba is stir-frying the noodles and other ingredients with Japanese-style Worcestershire sauce and okonomiyaki sauce, so they all turn out beautifully saucy and loaded with flavour. Feel free to add more of the sauces, too, if you’d like. Yakisoba makes a great side dish, not just with okonomiyaki.
© 2023 Tadashi Ono / Jacqui Small · Reproduced with permission. · Recipe from Japanese Soul Cooking by Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, published by Jacqui Small www.jacquismallpub.com.'
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You Will Need
To prepare the ramen, fill a large stockpot with water and place over a high heat. Ready 4 large bowls on a work surface. When the water comes to the boil, add the noodles. Stir the noodles for about
10 seconds, so they separate and cook evenly. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the noodles are cooked through and tooth- some. When the noodles are ready, trans- fer them to a sieve and cool under cold running water. Set aside.
Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan or enamelled cast-iron pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and pork belly and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 min- utes, until the onions soften and the pork turns white. Separate the pork while you cook. Add the cabbage and sprouts and cook, stirring constantly, until the cabbage turns bright green and the sprouts cook through. Add the sake, Worcestershire sauce and okonomiyaki sauce and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the reserved ramen noodles. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid in the pan
is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the black pepper and the aonori, on the noodles, and serve immediately.