This chicken Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fry Noodles) is so flavorful and can be made in under 30 minutes. An easy one-dish dinner solution!
Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fry Noodles)
Yakisoba is a family favorite from my sister-in-law Katelyn. She made it for us this summer and I think I have made it at least three times since. It is so yummy! I love how the noodles and chicken are balanced out 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! You have to find the Yakixsba 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.
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 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.
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:
- Soak the noodles in cold water for an hour and break apart by hand (package instructions)
- Microwave in the packaging according to package directions (microwave time may vary by brand)
- Our preferred method: Boil water and drop the noodles in. When noodles are loosened, immediately drain.
We like this method best because the noodles become more pliable and easier to break up. The trick is taking to 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.
What Vegetables Are In Yakisoba?
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:
- Red, Yellow, or Orange Bell Peppers
- Water Chestnuts
- Baby Corn
- String Beans
- Snow Peas
- Bean Sprouts
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 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 and then pour it over the Yakisoba.
Try It With A Bacon Twist
This chicken Yakisoba is actually a spin-off of our Bacon Yakisoba recipe in our cookbook (see picture below). 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!
More Asian-Inspired Recipes
If you have a hankering for more Asian-inspired noodle dishes, here are a few more of our favorites:
- Beef Stir Fry with Noodles
- Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat
- Indonesian Peanut Saute
- Healthy Sesame Chicken Stir Fry
- Sweet and Spicy Noodles with Chicken
How To Make Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fry Noodles)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir until cabbage has softened and everything is heated through. Serve and enjoy!
- NOTE: 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).