Monday, April 20, 2009

Julie Asks, "What are you eating?"

My friend Julie asked me what we were eating. It's an interesting question. Do you try to cook just as you did in the United States? Or do you change how you approach the dinner/lunch menu?My approach has been a mixture of trying to cook like I did in the US, with some changes.
 Some of the ingredients that are staples of American cooking are not as readily available, and you have to compromise. I have also tried some new recipes that are Japan-influenced, and these recipes of course are easy to shop for - no missed ingredients or compromises!

One of the first dishes I tried cooking was yakisoba, and it has become a regular meal at our home. During Sam's first few weeks at school, one of the moms came in and fixed yakisoba as part of the cooking segment the class has on Fridays. That afternoon she told me how much Sam enjoyed the yakisoba, and I asked her how she made it so I could fix it at home.

Yakisoba is one of those dishes that has a million variations, but it is essentially a one-dish meal that can be on the table in 15 minutes. That's my kind of meal. And if it tastes good? That's a home run.

Here is how I fix yakisoba - "fried noodles."

Bacon - about 1/2 lb.
1/2 onion,  chopped
1 large carrot, cut into thin batons
1/4-1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced.
2 packages of soba noodles, 170 g each.
Bull Dog yakisoba sauce, or worcestershire sauce.


First, fry the bacon. Then add the onion and carrots and cook until onion is starting to soften.
 Drizzle with some sauce.

Then add the cabbage, and let it cook down a bit.

Sometimes I put a lid on it to accelerate the wilting. Drizzle again. 

Add the precooked noodles, let heat up until you can break the noodles up, drizzle with sauce again. Cook until everything is heated through and eat. You can always add more sauce if you want it. 

I have used chicken, and it works well. I found a recipe for yakisoba using seafood, and I am
 going to try that soon. The Bull Dog sauce is probably available in an asian food market, but you can use worcestershire. The Bull Dog is thicker, but has a similar flavor. If you can't get fresh soba noodles or precooked ones, just get the dried ones. I'm pretty sure the SuperG on Concord Pike has dry soba noodles in their asian food section.

Here is my yakisoba, moments before it was consumed by the horde!


  1. Well, I made the yakisoba with seafood from my "Easy Japanese Recipes" cookbooks. Nobody was impressed. It was rather bland and tastelesss - there was no yakisoba sauce used in this recipe. Ginger was the only significant flavoring in the recipe. I won't be making that recipe as written again.

  2. Well, you never know until you try! Looks good, though!!!