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||This article possibly contains original research. (November 2012)|
|Place of origin||China|
|Main ingredients||Noodles (wheat flour), Worcestershire sauce, pork, vegetables (usually cabbage, onions or carrots)|
Yakisoba (焼きそば?), literally fried buckwheat or Sōsu Yakisoba (ソース焼きそば?), the same, but in sauce, is considered a Japanese dish but originated in China and is technically a derivative of Chinese chow mein. It first appeared in food stalls in Japan at some point during the early 20th century. Although soba means buckwheat, typically suggesting noodles made from that flour in mainland Japan, yakisoba noodles are made from wheat flour. It is typically flavoured with a sweetened, thickened condiment similar to Oyster sauce.
It is prepared by frying ramen-style noodles with bite-sized pork, vegetables (usually cabbage, onions or carrots) and flavored with yakisoba sauce, salt and pepper. It is served with a multitude of garnishes, such as aonori (seaweed powder), beni shoga (shredded pickled ginger), katsuobushi (fish flakes), and mayonnaise.
Yakisoba is most familiarly served on a plate either as a main dish or a side dish. Another popular way to prepare and serve yakisoba in Japan is to pile the noodles into a bun sliced down the middle in the style of a hot dog, and garnish the top with mayonnaise and shreds of pickled ginger. Called yakisoba-pan, pan meaning bread, it is commonly available at local matsuri (Japanese festivals) or konbini (convenience stores).
In Okinawa, Yakisoba is popular with Okinawans and U.S. service members stationed on the island alike. After the 1945 hostilities ended on Okinawa, the US military command supplied American food products to the malnourished residents. The preferred Okinawan Yakisoba was prepared from spaghetti, Spam, ketchup, any available vegetable (usually canned), and mayonnaise for frying. Mess halls and other on-base eateries often serve yakisoba. Chopped hotdogs are a popular addition to yakisoba made on Okinawa, in addition to other meats such as ham, chicken, and pork.
Instant yakisoba, such as "UFO", is commonly sold in Japanese supermarkets. It can be prepared simply by adding boiling water.
The Sapporo Ichiban ramen company has long made a variety of instant "yakisoba," which is composed of dehydrated ramen noodles, dried seaweed and a flavor pack which resembles the sauce on real yakisoba. The noodles are rehydrated like regular ramen, then stir fried with the flavor packet, shredded Japanese cabbage and meat and served with the seaweed sprinkled on top. There is also now a variety of this instant yakisoba available in the US made by Maruchan, a popular instant ramen company. The dish features dehydrated vegetables such as carrots, corn, onions, and cabbage, as well as dehydrated instant ramen.
Also, the company Nissin sells yakisoba in Germany. It is called "Yakisoba Deluxe". The composition is similar to the instant ramen of Sapporo Ichiban. It is prepared by putting 250 ml water in a frying pan, boiling it and adding the noodles and vegetables (both dehydrated). Then, let the noodles soften for a minute or two, and add the sauce (which is not dehydrated), then cooking it until there's no more fluid left.
UFO instant "yakisoba" has a unique method of preparation. The foil lid of the shallow square container is meant to be pulled back on one end, from which you extract packets of aonori and sauce. After adding boiling water to the dehydrated noodles and bits of cabbage and meat and allowing to sit, you lift another side of the foil, revealing draining holes that will allow water to pass through, but nothing else. This leaves you with relatively dry noodles.
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