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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Yakisoba Fridge Challenge

Well, as the recovery goes along, I am finding that some days are better than others.  Last night was one of those nights that I did not feel up to getting out for some groceries, so, it was time to forage in the kitchen for something to put together.  Now, coming off of having been sick, the freezer and refrigerator are not as well stocked as normal, but, the spice rack and pantry is still there.

I found a package of ramen, a package of frozen mixed vegetables, some fresh-ish myoga and a stub of liguica (conveniently just about 2-3 ounces).  So, I decided on yakisoba, Japanese style fried noodles, which is not usually made with ramen noodles.  I also found some Japanese-style Worcestershire sauce, some Furikake and a small pack of katsuo-boshi.  This could actually work.

A small lexicon:
Myoga - A form of ginger plant, the Japanese eat the fresh shoots as well as the blossoms. It has a complex flavor with ginger overtones.
Yakisoba - Literally translates as 'fried noodles', it is more of a street food in Japan. Use a type of noodle called Chukasoba normally.
Furikake - A mix of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, chile peppers and other spices and seasonings. Typically served on rice dishes.
Katsuo-boshi - Flakes of dried bonito, resembles wood shavings, has a strong fish taste.  A staple of Japanese cuisine.
Japanese Worcestershire sauce - sweeter and milder than English Worcestershire sauce, they do not substitute for each other.

And off we go, I boiled up the ramen then allowed it to air dry for 15 minutes. This removes the moisture and makes frying the noodles go so much better.  I then took the katsuo-boshi and myoga, sliced thinly, and fried it in several tablespoons of safflower oil to season the oil, I removed the katsuo-boshi and myoga and added the vegetables to saute up until about half done (2-3 mins).  I would normally have left the Myoga in, but, it was a little woody in the center as the buds were not truly fresh.  The veggies were removed and the linguica, sliced very thinly, was added in to brown.  The sausage was removed and the noddles added back in, then the veggies and sausage were put on top.  At this point, I added a small amount of the Worcerstershire sauce over the veggies.  I allowed the noodles to brown on the bottom (perhaps 3 to4 minutes at med-high heat). I then tossed the mess, threw in 1/8 cup of water and covered to steam for a few minutes. I sprinkled the Furikake over the noodles, which adds a great seasoning to noodles, especially since I lacked the more traditional aonori flakes.

Plated on my finest disposable tableware, I would note that it is very difficult to photograph fried noodles. Somehow they just end up looking like a mess on the plate.  But, this was a simple and filling dinner which stayed within my ludicrous protein allotment.


  1. It might be a mess on the plate but it looks like a mess of goodness! Except the Katsuo-boshi scares me a bit since I'm a fish-phobe.

  2. Yes, it can be quite intense, it took less than 1/2 teaspoon to achieve my goals on this dish. In small amounts, it serves much like that dreaded MSG, or the much more favored dried mushroom, in that it adds a meaty/earthy/savory underlying flavor to foods.

  3. WOW looks great got to get my cook to try it!!!!