Thursday, August 18, 2005

Off-the-cuff beef yakisoba

In spring, I raved about a particularly perfect version of beef yakisoba. Last night, I came up with a less labor-intensive version of the same thing, with no loss in taste. I just took some sliced sirloin and stir-fried it in peanut oil, then added chukasoba noodles and a sauce composed of two tablespoons of shoyu, two tablespoons of kotterin and one teaspoon of sesame oil. The taste was every bit as good as the marinated version I tried in spring.


Celeste said...

Sounds oishii! But no beni shoga to go with??? Love that beni shoga. And I'd like to hear more about the brand and preparation of your noodles. I never can quite replicate the yakisoba I enjoyed at all the outdoor festival in Japan.

Winslow said...

Hi Celeste,

Maybe it's just me, but I've always associated beni shoga (pickled ginger) with sushi. It didn't come with the yakisoba I used to get at Dosanko (which was my introduction to yakisoba). Having said that, beni shoga is a great palate cleanser, no matter what you're eating.

The brand of chukasoba I'm currently using for yakisoba is labelled "Kikkokin Oriental Style Noodles Cantonmen for Fry Noodles." They are in a clear cellophane package with a red label on the front, and I get them at my local Asian supermarket. I just boil them until they're half-cooked, ready to go into the stir-fry pan. Having said that, I'd like noodles just a wee bit thicker for yakisoba, but I haven't found them yet.

The best advice I can offer for preparing yakisoba is to experiment. The yakisoba I now make is not the same as what I got at Dosanko, but I've come up with a version that I find very tasty and less greasy than the original. Just use the essentials of shoyu, mirin, sake and play with the proportions, until you hit on something that reminds you of the yakisoba you had in Japan. I've seen recipes that call for Worcestershire sauce in yakisoba, for example. The kotterin that I use in my current verson introduces rice vinegar into the mix.