Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fry Noodles) with Chicken

5 from 4 votes
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This chicken Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fry Noodles) is so flavorful and can be made in under 30 minutes. An easy one-dish dinner solution!

Dish with Yakisoba noodles and chopsticks
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Yakisoba
  2. What is Yakisoba?
  3. How To Separate Yakisoba Noodles
  4. Additional Veggies to Add
  5. Yakisoba Sauce
  6. Try It With A Bacon Twist
  7. Frequently Asked Questions about Yakisoba
  8. More Asian-Inspired Recipes
  9. Chicken Yakisoba Recipe

Yakisoba, or Japanese stir-fried noodles, is a family favorite from my sister-in-law Katelyn. She made it for us one summer and it’s been on repeat in our house ever since. I love how this chicken yakisoba recipe balances chicken with tons of vegetables. I didn’t think I would like the cabbage in it, but now it’s my favorite part of this dish. It has the best texture and flavor and is such a fun dish to serve to guests. Bring the popular Japanese street food to your home. It’s easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious!

Ingredients in Yakisoba

Much like many stir fry recipes, you can mix and match ingredients to suit your family’s needs. But here’s our recipe to get you started:

  • Yakisoba noodles –  Find the Yakisoba noodles at an Asian Market type of store. Make sure you are getting the fresh noodles (not the dry dehydrated kind). The Yakisoba noodles can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Some markets will carry it in the produce section as well.
  • Vegetable oil – for frying the noodles
  • Onion – a big yellow or white onion works great for this recipe. 
  • Red bell pepper – sliced about the same size as the onion slices.
  • Garlic – about a teaspoon of minced garlic, or one or two cloves.
  • One boneless skinless chicken breast – sliced into thin strips
  • Carrots – two medium sized, sliced or cut into thin matchstick shapes
  • Baby corn – you can find these in the canned food section, and make sure to drain the can before adding to the recipe.
  • Water chestnuts – these add a nice crunchy texture but are optional
  • Frozen peas – about half a cup
  • Cabbage – green or red cabbage works great
  • Seasoning packet from the noodles
  • Teriyaki sauce – any brand will work
  • Soy sauce – you can use low sodium sauce to keep the sodium down
  • Pickled ginger or red ginger, also optional.
Chicken yakisoba in a bowl

What is Yakisoba?

Yakisoba means “fried buckwheat” or “grilled noodles” when translated literally. The buckwheat translation speaks to the fact that yakisoba noodles are actually made from wheat flour. Some people wonder about the similarity between Yakisoba and Chow Mein. This Japanese dish is similar to the Chinese Chow Mein. Both dishes incorporate stir fried buckwheat noodles, or wheat noodles. However, Chinese Chow Mein noodles are typically fried crisp (or nearly crisp) before mixing with stir fried vegetables. Yakisoba is also similar to Chinese Lo Mein, but the flavors in the sauce are distinctly different.

Yakisoba in a skillet being served with tongs

How To Separate Yakisoba Noodles

Yakisoba noodles are vacuum packed which means the noodles come tightly packed together, like a brick. If you try adding the noodles to the stir-fry without separating them, the noodles will break and lose their noodle-y-ness. You want to have nice, long, pliable noodles for this chicken Yakisoba so it can easily be eaten with chopsticks or twirled around a fork.

There are a few different ways you can do this:

  1. Soak the noodles in cold water for an hour and break apart by hand (package instructions)
  2. Microwave in the packaging according to package directions (microwave time may vary by brand)
  3. Our preferred method: Boil water and drop the noodles in. When noodles are loosened, immediately drain.
Yakisoba noodle collage, before and after being cooked

We like this method best because the noodles become more pliable and easier to break up. The trick is taking it off the heat RIGHT when the noodles are broken up. They can quickly become overcooked so it’s also not a bad idea to rinse them with cold water before adding them to the chicken and vegetables. The noodles become a little more full when boiled because they absorb the water, however, once the noodles are added to the skillet and heated, a lot of the water steams out of the noodles again giving it that familiar Yakisoba texture.

Additional Veggies to Add

For Yakisoba you can use the same vegetables that you would typically use in other stir-fries. Here is a list of some of our favorite vegetables to use in Yakisoba, use any or all of them in this recipe:

Yakisoba in a skillet
  • Onions
  • Red, Yellow, or Orange Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Baby Corn
  • String Beans
  • Snow Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Seaweed
  • Green onion
  • Red pickled ginger

Yakisoba Sauce

The easiest way to season your Yakisoba is to simply use the included seasoning packets. I have noticed if I use the seasoning packets alone without any other liquid (broth, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc…) the noodles get too dry and break. For this recipe I like to sprinkle the seasoning packets over the noodles in the pan but then also make a sauce combining soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. If you still find that you sauce is too thick to cover all the noodles, you can thin it out with some broth over medium-high heat and then pour it over the Yakisoba. Serve in a small bowl and top with beni shoga (or red ginger).

Yakisoba noodles in a skillet being served

Try It With A Bacon Twist

This chicken Yakisoba is actually a spin-off of our Bacon Yakisoba recipe in our cookbook. When you think of Asian-inspired recipes, typically you don’t think of bacon as an ingredient but it is delicious in this recipe! To make it bacon-style, just swap out the chicken with some cooked bacon (or use chicken AND bacon… YUM). In our original recipe, we used broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and cabbage as the vegetables but as mentioned above, you can use any vegetables you would like and it will still turn out great!

Frequently Asked Questions about Yakisoba

Is yakisoba the same as ramen?

Ramen noodles and yakisoba noodles, even udon noodles are actually the same, but ramen is typically served in soup form, where yakisoba noodles are fried.

What is the taste of yakisoba?

Yakisoba sauce is sweet, savory, with a bit of a tang. It’s similar to a mixture of soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. Some yakisoba sauce recipes include oyster sauce.

Can I make Yakisoba with other types of meat?

Yes! Switch out the sliced chicken breast for sliced beef, shrimp, or pork belly.

Read More: 35+ Best Chicken Breast Recipes

More Asian-Inspired Recipes

If you have a hankering for more Asian-inspired noodle dishes, here are a few more of our favorites:

Yakisoba being picked up with chopsticks

Chicken Yakisoba

5 from 4 votes
This chicken Yakisoba is so flavorful and can be made in under 30 minutes! An easy one-dish dinner solution.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 (7 ounce) packages Yaki Soba noodles You can find these at an Asian Market store and will have flavor packets included
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onion sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast sliced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 cup baby corn drained
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts sliced
  • 1/2 cup peas the frozen kind, thawed
  • 1/2 cabbage chopped
  • seasoning packet from noodles
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and add yakisoba noodles. Using a fork, stir while separating noodles. Once noodles have separated (about 45 seconds), immediately remove from heat and drain. Set noodles aside.
    Noodles boiling in water
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add onion, peppers, and garlic and saute until onions become transparent. Remove from skillet.
  • Add chicken to skillet and saute until chicken is white on all sides. Add onion/pepper mixture back to the skillet along with carrots, corn, water chestnuts, and peas.
    Sauté for 3 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender.
    Chicken and vegetables in a skillet
  • Add drained noodles and cabbage. Sprinkle seasoning packets over the top and toss to combine. Combine teriyaki sauce and soy sauce and toss with noodles until well combined.
    Noodles in a pan with sauce on top
  • Stir until cabbage has softened and everything is heated through. Serve and enjoy!
    Yakisoba noodles in a skillet being served

Notes

Recipe Tips

  • The easiest way to season your Yakisoba is to simply use the included seasoning packets. I have noticed if I use the seasoning packets alone without any other liquid (broth, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, etc…) the noodles get too dry and break. For this recipe I like to sprinkle the seasoning packets over the noodles in the pan but then also make a sauce combining soy sauce and teriyaki sauce. If you still find that you sauce is too thick to cover all the noodles, you can thin it out with some broth over medium-high heat and then pour it over the Yakisoba. Serve in a small bowl and top with beni shoga or red ginger.
  • To make this recipe “bacon-style” like the original recipe in our cookbook, just swap out the chicken for some cooked bacon and add your favorite vegetables (in the bacon Yakisoba we use broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and cabbage).

Nutrition Information

Calories: 375kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 33gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 1854mgPotassium: 1128mgFiber: 8gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 6475IUVitamin C: 97mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 3mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love yaki soba! But I’ve never had it with bacon and all those veggies until now. Usually it’s been heavy on the noodles and/or meat so I love this balance.