Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Yakisoba

Back in the good old days, when I worked in New York, the world was my oyster, and money was no object (especially when I saw a book I wanted), I ate lunch at Dosanko a lot. Dosanko was a Japanese noodle shop in the west 40s. I lived for the beef yakisoba and the wonderful salad with (I later learned) a great ginger dressing. Unfortunately, Dosanko moved, I got my own place, and money became something to be hung onto as long as possible. But I still love yakisoba.

I've got several recipes for it. I've tried Hiroko Urakami's recipe, and have not tried Hiroko Shimbo's (mainly because Shimbo's is a fancy version calling for ingredients like shrimp and scallops). I've also had the Maruchan instant version; it's a package of noodles and powdered sauce. You just add veggies, pan-fry and serve. The Asian supermarket sells them in bundles of three; any ramen fan will find them rather familiar. But tonight I tried Marnie Henricksson's version from Everyday Asian.

Like most yakisoba recipes, it includes standbys like napa cabbage and grated carrot. The sauce is a blend of shoyu, "rice wine" (I used cooking sake) and sugar. Although the recipe calls for pork, I made it with chicken tonight, since that was what I thawed out for dinner. It was less oily than the fondly-remembered Dosanko version (no surprise there) and rather tasty, with a more liquid broth. Not the same as in the old days, but pretty good in its own right. The leftovers will be lunch tomorrow.

The one problem with yakisoba is that pieces of carrot, cabbage and noodles tend to wind up all over the stove. Maybe I'd be a neater cook if I cooked yakisoba in the wok rather than the big (but not big enough) skillet. Still, cleaning up the stove is worth it when the final result is tasty.

2 comments:

The Cruise Director said...

What exactly is the master sauce? Did you explain this in an earlier post?

Winslow said...

Hi Cruise Director! Glad to see you here. :)

Master sauce is an ongoing theme in the blog, since you need to keep it going by boiling every week to 10 days. The first master sauce post is called "Sauced" and can be found in the October archive (dated 10/19/04). Then you can just read forward for continuing incidental mentions of master sauce. A post from 11/2/04 called "Tough ol' bird" has more specific master sauce content.

Hope you enjoy your trip through the archive.