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Yakisoba (焼きそば): Japanese Stir Fried Noodles

Yakisoba (焼きそば) is a very popular common stir fried noodle dish that is eaten commonly eaten all around Japan.

There are many variations of yakisoba, the most common/popular type is known as “Sauce Yakisoba” (ソース焼きそば). Unless otherwise specified, yakisoba typically refers to “sauce yakisoba”.

The word “yaki” (焼き)means frying or stir frying. “Soba” (そば) is a general term for noodles.

“Soba” typically refers specifically to “buckwheat noodles” (e.g. Shinshu Soba), though that is not the case with yakisoba. This can be a bit confusing. Instead, yakisoba typically uses a type of ramen noodles, known as “Chinese Noodles” (chuuka-men 中華麺) in Japan.

Read on for more interesting info about yakisoba:

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classic pork yakisoba

The main ingredients of Yakisoba are:

  • Noodles
  • Various vegetables
  • Meat (optional)

The only required ingredient for yakisoba is noodles. Typically, “Chinese noodles” are used (i.e. Chuuka-men 中華麺), which are the same noodles generally used in ramen.

As mentioned earlier, “soba” noodles (i.e. buckwheat flour noodles like Togakushi soba) are not used to make yakisoba. If udon noodles are used, the dish would be referred to as “yaki-udon” (焼きうどん).

You can use any type of vegetables or meats to make yakisoba. The most common vegetables used are cabbage, carrots, and onions.

The most typical meat is pork, although chicken, beef, and various seafoods (e.g. squid, shrimp) are also commonly used.

The sauce and seasoning can also vary greatly by restaurant/chef. Typically, it is some combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and/or Worcestershire sauce. There are also many pre-made “yakisoba” sauces available for purchase at supermarkets.

Yakisoba is often garnished with benishoga (紅生姜, i.e. pickled ginger), and nori (のり, i.e. dried seaweed) or aonori (青のり, i.e. dried seaweed flakes/powder).

Location / Where to Eat

yakisoba street food stall
Yakisoba is a popular street food and festival food

Yakisoba is eaten all across Japan. It can be eaten in restaurants, and is also a common home cooked dish. It is also a very popular dish found as a street food at festivals or fairs. There are even many popular “instant” yakisoba which you can buy at convenience stores or supermarkets across the country.

Many regions in Japan have their own special variation of yakisoba. The “Big 3” local variations of yakisoba are: Fujinomiya Yakisoba from Shizuoka Prefecture; Yokote Yakisoba from Akita Prefecture; and, Ota Yakisoba from Gunma Prefecture 1

History / Origin of Yakisoba

The history of yakisoba in Japan dates back over 100 years ago to the Taisho period (1912-1926). The original yakisoba is based off the Chinese dish “chow mein” or “chao mian” (炒麵), which literally means “stir fried noodles”.

The modern day version of Japanese yakisoba (i.e. “sauce yakisoba”) is said to have originated sometime in the 1930s, in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. Asakusa was known as a trendy area at the time, and new products would often originate there. A Chinese noodle factory was also located in Asakusa, so restaurants could easily (and cheaply) get the main ingredient.

Interesting: Three of the original yakisoba shops in Asakusa are still in operation today2 Sometaro (浅草染太郎), Denkiya Hall (デンキヤホール), and Daikama Main Branch (大釜本店). If you are in the area, check them out!

The popularity of yakisoba really grew after the war (1950s). Japan was struggling economically at the time, and yakisoba was a cheap / filling (and delicious) dish that people could have.

In the 1960s, and 1970s many instant yakisoba products were released from major food companies like Nissin Foods and Maruchan. Many of these products are still around today, including Nissin’s popular Yakisoba UFO.

Yakisoba Recipe

Here is a super simple “street food style” yakisoba recipe from Kurashiru:

Yakisoba (焼きそば): Japanese Stir Fried Noodles

Course: MainCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time





Easy yakisoba recipe adapted from kurashiru

Equipment & Ingredients

  • Equipment
  • Frying pan

  • Chopsticks

  • Knife & cutting board

  • Ingredients
  • Yakisoba noodles (ramen noodles on Amazon) … 1 ball

  • Water … 1 tablespoon

  • Pork loin (thinly sliced) … 50g

  • Cabbage … 30g

  • Sesame oil (or cooking oil) … 1 teaspoon

  • Seasoning Ingredients
  • Worcestershire sauce … 2 tablespoons

  • Mirin … 1 tablespoon

  • Toppings (optional)
  • Red ginger (i.e. benishoga) … 5g

  • Dried seaweed flakes (i.e. Aonori) … Appropriate amount


  • Cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces.
  • Cut the pork loin into 3cm wide pieces.
  • Heat sesame oil in a frying pan over medium heat and stir-fry the cabbage and pork
  • When the pork is cooked through, add the yakisoba noodles and water. Continue to stir-fry over medium heat.
  • Once the noodles are loosened, add the seasoning ingredients and mix together well. Turn
  • Arrange on a plate and add toppings (optional). Enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • If you are using dried noodles, you will want to cook the noodles beforehand.
  • To make things easier, you can also buy pre-made/bottled yakisoba sauce
  • Top with a fried egg for a nice finishing touch

Other Yakisoba Recipes

Here are some other good yakisoba recipes for you to try:

Yakisoba Fun Facts and FAQ

Noodle sandwich? Yes, please.
  • is a blog from a guy that travels and eats at yakisoba restaurants all around Japan
  • Yakisoba-pan (焼きそばパン) or “Yakisoba bread” is literally yakisoba noodles served between bread. It is like a yakisoba sandwich…or yakisoba hot dog. Weird, but delicious. Carbs on carbs!
  • Omu Maki オムマキ is the yakisoba version of omurice. Yakisoba is wrapped in a thin egg to resemble an omelette, and topped with ketchup.


Have you ever tried yakisoba before? What did you think of it?

Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Chef Goku

Chef Goku

Chef Goku is the founder and sole operator of The Chef Dojo. He loves Japanese food, and has lived in and out of Japan for many years. He started this blog in 2018 to share everything he learns about Japanese food and cooking. He is also a self-certified Japanese knife nerd. Contact Chef Goku

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