Umami rich, spicy sauce, makes this vegetable yakisoba (Stir-Fry Noodles) a quick and easy go to delight. A recipe of yakisoba sauce is included!
Vegetable Yakisoba (Japanese Stir-Fry Noodle)
I grew up with Japanese yakisoba and love it. The saucy yakisoba noodles stir fry is something pretty much everyone loves in Japan.
Yakisoba is a sort of popular street food people are crazy about. But it’s not just a quick meal in a restaurant or bar, but something that’s also widely made at home!
So, my goal is to share an authentic Japanese yakisoba that’s vegetarian friendly. It’s easy to cook and delicious! You’ll find yourself returning to it over and over. Here is the vegetable yakisoba recipe. Read on!
What is yaksoba noodle?
Yakisoba is a traditional Japanese stir-fried noodle dish. Yaki means fry and soba is noodles. Stir-fried vegetables and noodles are caramelized with yakisoba sauce, which is a Japanese style Worcestershire sauce.
When the sauce is mixed up with the ingredients, the aroma is so appetising, it draws you in every time! It’s no surprise that this quick and easy Japanese comfort food is so well known and popular outside the country.
Shop bought pre-made sauce can be found often at the Asian grocery section at local supermarkets everywhere.
Are they vegetarian or vegan friendly?
Unfortunately yakisoba noodles are usually not vegetarian or vegan friendly. Even veggie yakisoba is rarely plant based because of the ingredients in the yakisoba sauce.
But if you want to try a vegetarian or veganized version of this world famous Japanese comfort food dish, I have the solution! No need to check ingredients in the shop only to be disappointed, just read on!
Why You will Love My Yakisoba
The key to making yakisoba noodles lies in its simplicity. But the variations are endless. Once you master the basics, you can be creative and more adventurous.
This yakisoba dish is:
1. Quick and easy
Yakisoba noodles save both your cooking and shopping times. It can be easily made with some vegetables in your fridge. That’s one of the reasons why this saucy yakisoba is so popular for everyday home cooking.
The approach I take for this recipe has been passed down from my mother.
Some homemade yakisoba dishes can turn out dull with lifeless noodles. Both vegetables and noodles should be vibrant, fresh and full of flavour.
My mother’s cooking tips for yakisoba to avoid this are:
- Cook vegetables and noodles separately, and add the yakisoba sauce to the noodles.
- Cook the noodles until they turn slightly light brown. This means that the sauce bas been charamerised well. The flavour becomes intensified!
These little things are very important! They change this noodle dish and elevate it to the next level! Try adding sake to the noodles. This is another one of my mother’s technique, and it releases the umami flavour of the dish!
3. Savory yakisoba sauce
The key for success in a yaskisoba noodle recipe definitely lies in its sauce. Our yakisoba sauce recipe is super authentic.
I saw frozen yakisoba noodles at Costoco, but I’m not sure their yakisoba sauce is vegan friendly. Maruchan and Nisshin are popular noodle brands you may come across at your local grocery shops. Their noodles are often used as they absorb the yakisoba sauce, but they are not vegetarian or vegan friendly.
When it comes to yakisoba sauce, one of Japan’s famous brands is Otafuku. While they carry a plant based okonomiyaki sauce, their yakisoba sauce is not vegetarian friendly. It’s always good to double check the package tough. It contains Animal product in Japan when I checked it the other day.
The point is, it’s hard to find a plant based yakisoba sauce but super easy and hassle free to make at home! This saucy stir fried noodles recipe include how to make plant based yakisoba sauce instruction.
Vegetable Yakisoba Ingredients
Yakisoba noodles: Fresh or dried, any noodles are ok to use. One thing you need to pay attention to is whether the noodles are for soup or stir-fry cooking. It’s usually written on a package, and you need the one for ‘stir-fry’.
The noodles usually look yellowy, but that’s not because of an egg but kansui, alkaline water. Just double check there’s no egg though. Kansui is the secret used to make the ramen noodle a springy texture.
Beni shoga: This is a must item for Japanese style stir-fry noodles! It’s a Japanese red pickled ginger, and I love it! Check out my home made beni shoga recipe. Our beni shoga has no additives and is naturally coloured by red shiso herb. It’s also easy to make, tasty and can top off various dishes! You can also find it at a Japanese grocery store or on Amazon.
Vegetables for the stir-fry noodles
What kind of vegetables yakisoba is made with is important. I’ve tried various kinds of vegetables. But my favourites for yakisoba are:
- Cabbage (a standard in Japan)
- Onion (add sweetness)
- Carrot (sweetness and the appetizing red colour)
I think that the watery vegetables are not suitable. The texture and taste of the noodles becomes dull.
You can experiment with different vegetables, and I added shiitake mushroom because I like it. Let me know how yours goes!
How to Make Vegegarian Friendly Yakisoba
The first thing you need to do is to make the savory sauce. Here is the quick and easy instruction of how to make yakisoba sauce.
1. Yakisoba Sauce
Add all the yakisoba sauce ingredients into a small container and combine with a whisk. That’s it! Yakisoba sauce is ready!
Make sure you use organic Worcestershire sauce. Anni’s is vegan. Or I use homemade.
2. Cut ingredients
Then the next step is to chop up the vegetables. Each vegetable cooks at a different speed, and so I cut them accordingly to have them cooked at the same time.
I cut carrot finely and onion is little thicker. I prefer to tear cabbage by hand. The key is to chop the onion, carrot and hard part of cabbage thinly along the fibers to make them well mixed up with the noodles.
3. Stir-fry vegetables
Speed is everything here! It’s important to cook the yakisoba vegetables on fairly a high heat. No one likes watery and overcooked vegetables. Heat up a frying pan before you add oil. Then add the oil and chopped vegetables. Set aside.
4. Stir-fry noodles
Cook vegetables and noodles separately. This way, noodles do not absorb the water.
- Heat up a fry pan and add oil. No need to loosen the noodles with chop sticks often. Leave them and flip over with a flat spatula and then loosen up a bit with chopsticks.
- Add the yakisoba sauce into the noodles and quickly stir them all while you enjoy the aroma of the sauce.
- After the noodles are cooked properly, add cooked vegetables and mix them up with noodles.
Just reminding you that fresh noodles are already steamed. You do not need to cook them before cooking them in the frypan. If they are dried noodles follow the instructions and boil in advance.
HOW TO AVOID NOODLES GET STICKY
The problem here is that noodles tend to be sticky on the bottom of the pan. It’s really annoying!
- If you kept the noodles in the fridge, put it in a microwave for one minute before you throw them into the frying pan.
- I also prefer to use a non-stainless steel skillet. Noodles tend to be sticky and burnt on the bottom of a stainless pan. A non-stick pan works.
6. Garnish Yakisoba with
- Mayo (optional)
- Red pickled ginger, beni shoga (this is a must!)
- Aonori (green edible seaweed for more flavour!)
- Sesame seeds (more flavour!)
That’s it! Serve immediately! And let me know how you garnish and enjoy this recipe!
Tips for the Best Vegetable Yakisoba
How to store yakisoba
Please never leave yakisoba in the room temperature more than an hour. Always transfer the leftover into an airtight container ‘immediately’ and leave in the fridge once it’s cooled down. You can keep it for up 3 days.
- Tofu yakisoba (add fried or deep fried diced tofu)
- Shio yakisoba (add salt instead of the sauce)
- Spicy yakisoba (add chili, garlic and black pepper)
- Yuzu yakisoba (add yuzu kosho just before cooked)
Yakisoba vegetable variations
- Green pepper
- Replace brussels sprouts with cabbage
Soba means buckwheat in Japanese, but soba for yakisoba often refers to wheat flour noodles. Replace it with rice or 100% buckwheat noodles.
How to change the amount of ingredients for more people?
The standard recipe is set for two people serving. Click the ‘+’ icon next to ‘SERVING’ on the recipe card and increase the serving number you desire.
How do I change the ingredient amounts to make this for more people?
To alter the serving size click on the serving number and then click + or – to adjust to your desired serving number. As you adjust the serving number the quantities of the ingredients will adjust accordingly in both imperial and metric measurements.
Vegetarian Yakisoba Recipe
- 2 noodles for stir-fry (200g)
- 1 cup cabbage (100g)
- ½ onion
- 4 shiitake mushroom
- ½ carrot
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (each one for vegetable stir fry and noodles)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
Vegegatable Yakisoba Sauce
- 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (vegan friendly)
- 1 tablespoon tomato catchup (vegan friendly)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar (non-bone char processed)
- ½ clove minced fresh garlic (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon sake
- toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- beni shoga (optional)
- Kewpie Mayonnaise (optional or homemade Kewpie Mayo)
- Add all the ingredients for the sauce in a small container and combine them up well with a small whisk.
- Cut carrot, onion and shiitake mushrooms into slices. Shred cabbage by hand. The hard part of cabbage and carrot should be sliced thinly.
- Heat up the skillet well. Place one tablespoon vegetable oil on a skillet. Add sliced onion and carrot first and cook for 2 minute at high heat. Add rest of the vegetables, salt, black pepper and onion powder. Cook them all at a high heat for 1 minute. Once all the vegetables are cooked, transfer them into a plate and set aside.
- Heat up the frying pan. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil, and place the noodles in the pan. No need to loosen them. After the noodles are cooked, flip over with a spatula. It's about one to one and half minute. Then loosen the noodles with chopsticks.
- Make sure the noodles are cooked properly and slightly browned. Add yakisoba sauce. Stir the noodles quickly, and make sure the noodles absorb the sauce well. Then transfer the fried vegetables into the pan.
- Transfer cooked yakisoba onto a plate. Garnish with beni shoga, aonori and sesame seeds.Serve immediately!