I’m constantly on the lookout for fast, easy and nutritious meals to cook, otherwise I tend to eat the same few dishes on repeat. Yakisoba is one thing I cook fairly often, and most of the ingredients are pantry regulars.
You’ve probably had it if you dine at Japanese restaurants, but if not, my version is a delicious combination of teriyaki sauce, lots of ginger, finely chopped vegetables and tofu, and of course soba noodles. Soba noodles are a buckwheat based noodle (most of them also contain wheat flour but it is possible to find 100% buckwheat soba noodles which are gluten free). When cooked correctly they’re slightly chewy and a little salty, so go easy on the soy sauce in this recipe.
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons of mirin (or 1 of mirin and 1 of sake – available at asian groceries)
2 tablepoons of water
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat until thickened. (You can also use 2 tablespoons of premade teriyaki sauce and 1 teaspoon of added ginger instead.)
180 – 200 grams of soba noodles (they usually come in pre-divided bundles in each packet)
1 small brown onion
1 small or 1/2 large carrot
3 spring onions
1 small zucchini
1 handful green beans
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon sliced fresh red chilli (optional)
1/4 packet pre-fried tofu puffs, or approx 80g tofu, sliced and fried
teriyaki sauce (see above)
1 – 2 teaspoons oil
Start by cooking the soba noodles. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and boil for about 1 minute – the should have started getting soft but be nowhere near cooked. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water until the noodles are cool (to stop the cooking process). When you add the par-cooked noodles to the dish a bit later they will finish cooking!
Slice the vegetables into thin sticks – about the width of a bean.
Pop the oil into a frypan (I use a non-stick pan as it’s a wee bit easier). Fry the onion over a medium high heat until lightly browned, then add the carrot and optional chilli. Once the carrot has started to cook (after about 2 minutes) add the zucchini, spring onion and beans, and fry until they’ve started to soften and lightly brown. (If your veg are taking awhile to cook add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to help them along! This is also great if they start to burn a little.)
Add the sauce and sliced tofu, and once it’s all mixed up and the tofu is heated through, add the noodles. Once the noodles are all separated, and mixed through, you’re done!
Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds, finely sliced spring onion, or fresh chilli.