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Yesterday β€” April 7th 2020RecipeTin Japan

Katsu Curry (Japanese Curry with Chicken Cutlet)

By: Yumiko

Katsu curry is just a variation of Japanese curry with a chicken cutlet on top. I have used a store-bought block of Japanese curry roux which is commonly used in Japanese households. Chicken Cutlet (Japanese version of chicken schnitzel) brings the Japanese curry up to the next level. It’s so delicious and filling.

Hero shot of Katsu Curry.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Japanese curry rice (カレーライス, pronounce it as ‘karē raisu’) is the national home cooking dish. Everyone, particularly children, love it. When Japanese people say ‘having a curry tonight’, it is the Japanese curry that is made from the store-bought block of curry roux.

Ready-made Curry Roux

The most popular store-bought curry roux in Japan is called Vermont Curry. It is one of the many curry roux products made by House Food Corporation. When you say ‘Vermont Curry’, everyone knows that it is House Vermont Curry.

The roux contains apple and honey to reduce the spiciness so that even little kids can eat curry.

Apparently, the name ‘Vermont’ came from the state of Vermont in the USA, which was known for folk medicine with apple cider vinegar and honey. At the time of the first TV commercial, this folk medicine was well known and popular, so House Foods just borrowed the name ‘Vermont’.

Three different packets of Japanese Curry Roux.

House Food Corporation broadcasted the commercial with a catchy theme song. The commercial was a big hit and absolutely every household bought the roux and made curry for their kids. I suppose the Japanese curry rice became a national dish then.

There are many varieties of curry roux products are available now (see a few samples in above photo) and each household has its favourite curry roux.  The roux made the curry-making so easy. Sauté the meat and vegetables, add water and cook them, then add the roux. Viola!

The photo below is the beef curry I made by just following the instructions on the pack (in English!). I used Java Curry (the middle one in the photo above). Because it is medium hot, the colour of the curry is darker than that of mild curry such as House Vermont Curry.

You can buy Japanese curry roux at Japanese/Asian grocery stores as well as most of supermarkets.

What’s in My Katsu Curry

Katsu Curry is simply a rice and curry with a cutlet on it. Since the cutlet is a meat dish on its own, my curry does not have any meat in it. I added three vegetables in the curry that are commonly used to make a Japanese Ccurry.

  • House Vermont Curry (mild) – see the sample photo of the packet in the post
  • Cooked rice
  • Onion – sliced into 1cm wide pieces
  • Potato – cut to 1.5cm / ⅝” cubes
  • Carrot – sliced to 7mm / ¼” thick pieces
  • Chicken Cutlet (Japanese Chicken Schnitzel) – cut into 2.5cm / 1″ wide strips

Zoomed-in photo of Katsu Curry.

The curry roux does not have to be Vermont Curry and the spiciness can be different too. Depending on the brand of the curry roux, the amount of water required to make the right consistency of the curry is different. You need to read the instructions on the packet.

The combination of the vegetables can also be changed but I prefer using the vegetables that do not stand out too much in the sauce, e.g. large green leaves. The Chicken Cutlet is the hero of today’s dish and you want to draw an attention to the cutlet.

Chicken Cutlet cut into strips.

Instead of Chicken Cutlet, you can use pork cutlet. See my post Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Schnitzel) for the recipe.

You will notice that the size of the vegetables in my recipe are not very large. This is because I wanted the cutlet to stand out even after pouring the curry on. Katsu curries served at restaurants often do not have anything in the sauce.

Katsu Curry – Great Pre-made Dish

You can store Japanese Curry for 2-3 days in the fridge and 1 month in freezer. But if you are freezing the curry, I strongly recommend avoiding potatoes added to the curry. Defrosted potatoes become spongy and the texture is not great.

When reheating the chilled curry, you may add some water to the curry because the roux thickens when cooled down. It still tastes great, though.

There are two ways to reheat frozen curry – heat in the microwave and heat in hot water bath.

When reheating the curry in your microwave, stir from time to time. The outer part of the curry gets heated and even starts bubbling but often the centre is still frozen. You need to mix the hot and cold to speed up the process of defrosting and heating.

In the hot water bath method, you don’t need to worry about occasional mixing. Put the block of frozen curry in a zip lock bag and place it in a sieve that can go inside a pot of boiling water. The sieve prevents the plastic from touching the side of the pot, which is extremely hot.

Katsu curry is just a variation of Japanese curry with a chicken cutlet on top. I have used a store-bought block of Japanese curry roux which is commonly used in Japanese households. Chicken cutlet brings the Japanese curry up to the next level. It’s so yummy and filling.

The Japanese curry is quite different in flavour and consistency from other authentic curries. The sauce is thicker than other curries in the world. It is similar to the consistency of béchamel sauce. But it is delicious!

YumikoYM_Signature

Katsu Curry served in a plate.
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Katsu Curry (Japanese Curry with Chicken Cutlet)

Katsu curry is just a variation of Japanese curry with a Chicken Cutlet on top. I have used a store-bought block of Japanese curry roux, which is commonly used in Japanese households. The Chicken Cutlet brings the Japanese curry up to the next level. It’s so delicious and filling.
Time dos not include the time required to make Chicken Cutlet
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
Course Main
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Japanese Curry, japanese curry roux, vermont curry
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Yumiko

Ingredients

Curry

  • 400g / 0.9lb onion sliced into 1cm / ⅜” wide pieces
  • 250g / 0.6lb potato cut into 1.5cm / ⅝” cubes
  • 100g / 3.5oz carrot sliced to 7mm / ¼” thick pieces (note 1)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ packet of 230g / 0.5lb House Vermont Curry (Mild, note 2)
  • 800ml / 1.7pt water
  • 4 cups cooked rice (hot)
  • 4 Chicken Cutlets cut into 2.5cm / 1” wide strips

Instructions

  • Add oil into a pot and heat over medium high heat.
  • Add onion and sauté for a few minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and edges start getting slightly burnt.
  • Add potatoes and carrots into the pot and stir for a couple of minutes or until the surface of the vegetables starts getting cooked.
  • Add water and turn the heat up to bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 7 minutes or until the vegetables are nearly cooked through (note 3).
  • Break the curry roux cake into small blocks along the lines and add them into the pot. Stir gently to blend the curry roux.
  • Place a lid on and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes or until the curry roux is completely dissolved. Stir occasionally.
  • Check the consistency of the sauce. It should be like béchamel sauce. If too thick, adjust with some water. If too thin, cook further without the lid. It will thicken when cooled down as well.
  • Turn the heat off.

Serving

  • Place a cup of hot cooked rice onto one side of a plate. Place the chicken cutlet pieces next to the rice, leaning them on the rice so that there will be a space to pour the curry.
  • Pour curry next to the chicken cutlet and serve immediately.

Notes

1. If the carrot is fat, you may halve or quarter it lengthwise, then slice it.
2. I happened to have a mild curry pack. But you can use medium hot or hot curry or even another brand instead of House Food.
Different kinds/brands of roux might require different amounts of water. Please follow the instructions on the pack.
3. Put a skewer through to the potato/carrot. If the skewer can easily get through, the vegetables are cooked.
4. You may pre-make the curry and serve it later. The curry can be kept for few days in the fridge, 1 month in the freezer.
When the curry cools down, the sauce thickens. The consistency of the sauce should be like béchamel sauce. Check the consistency of the sauce after re-heating and if too thick, adjust with water.
To defrost your curry, see the post for two different methods.
5. I did not use it but you can add Fukujinzuke (Condiment for Japanese Curry) if you have it.
6. Nutrition per serving. It is a high calorie food. Eat vegetables rest of the day!
serving: 790g calories: 945kcal fat: 45g (69%) saturated fat: 8.3g (42%) trans fat: 0.3g polyunsaturated fat: 9.6g monounsaturated fat: 24g cholesterol: 198mg (66%) sodium: 559mg (23%) potassium: 958mg (27%) carbohydrates: 93g (31%) dietary fibre: 6g (25%) sugar: 8g protein: 41g vitamin a: 88% vitamin c: 36% calcium: 10% iron: 31%

Originally published in March 2017, split into two posts to have Chicken Cutlet in a separate post, improved photos and contents with Meal Ideas in 2020 (no change to recipe).

Meal Ideas

A typical Japanese meal consists of a main dish, a couple of side dishes, a soup and rice. I try to come up with a combination of dishes with a variety of flavours, colours, textures and make-ahead dishes.

Fukujinzuke is the condiment to go with Japanese curry. I included it in today’s Meal Idea as a condiment.

I strongly recommend serving a salad to go with the rich flavour of the curry. Fresh or steamed salad with Mixed Vegetable Dressing would be perfect for it.

Dinner idea with Katsu Curry.

 

The post Katsu Curry (Japanese Curry with Chicken Cutlet) appeared first on RecipeTin Japan.

Chicken Cutlet (Japanese Chicken Schnitzel)

By: Yumiko

By deep-frying chicken cutlet, you can perfect the consistency of golden brown crumbs around the chicken. This is how Japanese people make Chicken Cutlet that is deliciously crispy.

Japanese chicken Cutlet , sauce pouring over it.

Chicken Cutlet is called ‘chikin katsu‘ (チキンカツ) in Japanese.  The word ‘katsu’ (カツ) is a short form of ‘katsuretsu’ (カツレツ) which came from the English word ‘cutlet’. As you can easily guess, ‘chikin‘ (チキン) is chicken.

The major differences between chikin katsu and the Western-style chicken cutlet (chicken schnitzel) are that you don’t tenderise the chicken piece by pounding and flattening; use panko breadcrumbs and you deep-fry instead of shallow-fry.

I love cutlet in any form with any kind of meat or seafood, particularly when coarse Japanese panko breadcrumbs are used. I like the sound when I bite into a cutlet coated in crunchy breadcrumbs.

How to Make Chicken Cutlet (Japanese Chicken Schnitzel)

I use chicken thigh fillet as it is juicier than breast fillet when cooked but you can use chicken breast if you like. The method of making Chicken Cutlet is almost the same as Tonkatsu, except for the preparation of the meat.

  1. Even out the thickness of the fillet by butterflying the fillet.
  2. Season the fillet with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat in flour, drench in egg, then coat in panko breadcrumbs.
  4. Deep-fry at 170-180°C/338-356°F until golden.
Chicken thigh fillet crumbed in panko breadcrumbs.

Coarse panko breadcrumbs make the crunchy texture when fried.

Thigh fillet is often uneven in thickness. The centre of the fillet is usually the thinnest and both sides of it can be much thicker.

If you fry the thigh fillet in this state, you will end up with the over-cooked meat in the centre and the under-cooked meat in the thicker parts of the chicken. To cook the thickest part through, you will need to fry it for longer, and then you end up with burnt breadcrumbs.

Butterflying Chicken Fillet

To make the thickness of the thigh fillet even, you need to butterfly it.

Step-by-step photo of how to butterfly chicken thigh fillet.

  1. Place the fillet on the cutting board, lengthwise. Position a sharp knife in the centre of the thigh fillet where the thickness starts.
  2. Slice horizontally into the chicken outward, dividing it half. Stop about 1-1.5cm / ½” from the opposite side.
  3. Open up the chicken outward by flipping the flesh above the knife.
  4. Do the same for the thick part of the meat on the other side.

This technique can also be used to make a breast fillet thinner. Breast fillet is just a thick block of meat, so you can slice the meat lengthwise to halve the thickness in the same way and open up the chicken so it resembles butterfly wings.

Deep-fry, Not Shallow-fry

Just like Tonkatsu, Chicken Cutlet is deep-fried. Deep-frying uses up more oil than shallow-frying, but I think that in the case of chikin katsu, and Tonkatsu for that matter, it is better to deep-fry.

Japanese Chicken Cutlet showing the chicken inside the crumbs.

In the case of the Western-style schnitzel, as you can see in the RecipeTin Eats post Schnitzel, the meat is pounded until it’s thin. Even if the meat is coated in breadcrumbs, it is much thinner than my crumbed chicken fillet. For those thin fillets, shallow-frying is perfect.

But my crumbed chicken can be a couple of centimetres / ¾” thick. You will need much deeper oil to nicely brown the breadcrumbs. The ideal amount of oil is 3-3.5cm / 1¼-1⅜” deep regardless of the size of the pan/pot you use. The idea is that the crumbed chicken fillet submerges in the oil, allowing for the consistent browning of the crumbs.

If you are concerned about using up a lot of oil, my suggestion would be to use a small pan and deep-fry the chicken pieces one by one.

Top-down photo of Japanese Chicken Cutlet covered with sauce.

Chicken Cutlet is often served with shredded cabbage and accompanied by tonkatsu sauce (fruity thick sauce), such as the Bulldog tonkatsu sauce that I talked about in my post Yakisoba. As a main meal, Chicken Cutlet is eaten exactly in the same way as Tonkatsu.

But in my recipe Katsu Curry, I placed the Chicken Cutlet on rice, and poured over Japanese curry. Who would have thought of mixing a cutlet with Japanese curry? But it’s delicious!

YumikoYM_Signature

Japanese chicken Cutlet , sauce pouring over it (square photo).
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Chicken Cutlet (Japanese Chicken Schnitzel)

This is how Japanese people make Chicken Cutlet that is deliciously crispy. By deep-frying the cutlet, you can perfect the consistency of golden brown crumbs around the chicken. Pour over fruity tonkatsu sauce to eat it.
Cook Time assumes chicken is cooked in two batches.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
Course Main
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Yumiko

Ingredients

  • 4 x 150g / 5.3oz chicken thigh fillets (note 1)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 30g / 1.1oz flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (note 2)
  • Oil to deep fry (note 3)

Serving (note 4)

  • Shredded Cabbage mixed with julienned carrot and cucumber
  • Tonkatsu sauce (note 5)

Instructions

  • If the thickness of the thigh fillet is not even, cut into the thick part of the meat horizontally without cutting all the way through, then open it so that the fillet’s thickness becomes consistent (see the ste-by-step photo in the post).
  • Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
  • Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs in a shallow plate or bowl individually and line them up in this order. Place an additional clean plate or a small baking tray next to the breadcrumbs.
  • Working one fillet at a time, coat a fillet with flour, shake off excess flour, then place it in the egg and coat all over. Allow excess egg to drip, then transfer to the breadcrumbs.
  • Cover the entire fillet with breadcrumbs, making sure that a good layer of breadcrumbs is stuck on both sides. Repeat for the rest of the fillets.
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan to 170-180°C / 338-356°F (note 6). The amount of oil should be about 3-3.5cm / 1¼-1⅜” deep.
  • Gently place a fillet into the oil. Depending on the size of the pan, you may fry more than one at a time. But do not over crowd.
  • Fry for about 3-4 minutes or until the bottom side is browned. Using tongs, flip the fillet and cook for further 3-4 minutes until the other side is browned.
  • Transfer the cutlet onto a tray lined with a couple of layers of paper towel to drain excess oil. Rest for 5 minutes.
  • Cut each chicken cutlet into 2.5cm / 1” wide strips. Serve with shredded cabbage.

Notes

1. I used chicken thigh fillets, but you can use breast fillets if you like.
2. The quantity of breadcrumbs required is approximate as it varies depending on how much you coat the fillets.
You can use normal breadcrumbs, but Japanese panko breadcrumbs are much more coarse than standard breadcrumbs, developing a crunchier texture when cooked.
If you can’t find panko breadcrumbs, you can make them by placing stale white bread in the blender and coarsely grinding it.
3. Vegetable oil, canola oil or sunflower oil is good to use. Olive oil does not work with this dish.
4. Shredded lettuce and salad leaves are also good to go with Chicken Cutlet.
5. I use Bulldog tonkatsu sauce that I buy from Japanese or Asian grocery stores. You may find it even at supermarkets. Bulldog is the brand name of the sauce company. You can find more details of Bulldog sauces in my post Yakisoba.
6. To check the right temperature of the oil without using a thermometer:
a. Drop a small number of breadcrumbs into the oil. The breadcrumbs will spread with tiny bubbles around them.
b. Stick a pair of bamboo chopsticks into the oil. Bubbles appear around the chopsticks and come up constantly.
7. Nutrition per serving. It assumes 10% of the weight of the meat is absorbed into the cutlets, and all of the flour, egg, breadcrumbs are used up (unlikely).
serving: 209g calories: 566kcal fat: 40g (62%) saturated fat: 707g (39%) trans fat: 0.3g polyunsaturated fat: 8.1g monounsaturated fat: 21g cholesterol: 189mg (63%) sodium: 516mg (22%) potassium: 362mg (10%) carbohydrates: 22g (7%) dietary fibre: 1.3g (5%) sugar: 1.7g protein: 30g vitamin a: 4% vitamin c: 0% calcium: 5.3% iron: 14%

 

Meal Ideas

A typical Japanese meal consists of a main dish, a couple of side dishes, a soup and rice. I try to come up with a combination of dishes with a variety of flavours, colours, textures and make-ahead dishes.

Cutlet goes well with dishes with mayonnaise flavour. My choice for Side dish 1 is Root Vegetable Salad with Wasabi Mayonnaise. Japanese Pasta Salad or Potato Salad is also a good match.

When I serve a deep-fried dish, I always try to add something that cleanses the palate. Today, I chose Cucumber and Seaweed Sunomono (Vinegar Dressing).

Menu idea with Japanese Chicken Cutlet.

The post Chicken Cutlet (Japanese Chicken Schnitzel) appeared first on RecipeTin Japan.

Before yesterdayRecipeTin Japan

Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles)

By: Yumiko

Yakisoba (焼きそば) is the Japanese version of stir-fried noodles. The noodles are cooked with sliced pork and plenty of vegetables, then coated with a special sauce. What distinguishes Yakisoba from other Asian stir-fried noodles is this special sauce, which is sweet and a little bit spicy.

Hero shot of Yakisoba on a plate.

Yakisoba is known as one of the popular street foods in Japan. You will always find Yakisoba stalls wherever festivals are held. At the stalls, a large amount of noodles are cooked on a huge iron plate. When you buy, your portion is taken directly from the iron plate and served hot.

What’s in Yakisoba?

The Yakisoba sold at festival stalls normally has a very small amount of vegetables in it, but when you make it at home you add plenty of vegetables.

In today’s recipe, I used thinly sliced pork, carrot, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts and shallots/scallions. You don’t need to use all these vegetables, but these are the ones most commonly used in Yakisoba in Japan. You can also use sliced onions and chopped Asian greens.

The meat can be chicken or beef slices but pork is the most popular meat for Yakisoba.

Ingredients of my Yakisoba.

Yakisoba noodles are yellow noodles made from ramen noodles that are steamed and coated slightly in oil so that they cook faster and it is easier to separate each strand of noodle when stir frying.

If you are in Japan, you can buy a packet of noodles labelled as ‘yakisoba noodles’ or ‘for yakisoba’. But in Australia, I cannot buy such noodles, so I substitute them with Chinese yellow noodles.

The most suitable Chinese noodles are round and of medium thickness (about 2mm/1⁄16″), and not oily. The photo below shows the yellow noodles I used in this recipe, but you do not have to use the same.

A pack of yellow noodles used for Yakisoba.

If you think about it, the ingredients are almost identical to those used in Yaki Udon (Stir Fried Udon Noodles), except for the noodles.

But, there are two important ingredients that make today’s noodle dish special and totally different from Yaki Udon. They are a special Yakisoba sauce and garnishes.

About Yakisoba Sauce

Each household has a favourite Yakisoba sauce. Some people make their own by mixing different sauces. Some buy a bottle of Yakisoba sauce from a shop. I make my own by mixing different sauces.

My Yakisoba sauce consists of:

  • Bulldog tonkatsu sōsu (sauce)
  • Bulldog usutā sōsu (sauce)
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato sauce (in Australia) or tomato ketchup
  • Sugar
  • Dashi seasoning powder

Bulldog is a Japanese brand name. When I talk about my Yakisoba sauce, I have to talk about Bulldog sauces.

Yakisoba cooked in a wok.

Bulldog – the Japanese Sauce company

As you all know, soy sauce is one of the key ingredients of Japanese cuisine and can be used as a dipping sauce too.

But in Japanese home cooking, there is something called ‘sōsu‘ (ソース, sauce), which is also used regularly. Japanese people even eat shredded cabbage or green salad with sōsu dribbled over the vegetables, instead of using the Western-style salad dressings.

The colour of Japanese sauce is dark brown and it comes in different thicknesses. The sauce with a low viscosity is very similar to Worcestershire sauce.

The famous Japanese sauce company called ‘Bulldog’ (ブルドック) named this thin sauce ‘Bulldog usutā sōsu’ (ブルドックウスターソース).  The word ‘usutā’ is the Japanese pronunciation of Worcester. There is also ‘Bulldog chūnō sōsu’ (ブルドック中濃ソース) and ‘Bulldog tonkatsu sōsu’ (ブルドックとんかつソース).

Three Bulldog brand sauces.

The use-by date is overdue but don’t worry, I took this photo long time ago and they have long gone.

Tonkatsu sōsu was made specifically to pour over Tonkatsu (Japanese Pork Schnitzel) or other bread crumbed deep-fried dishes such as croquettes and prawn cutlets. It is the thickest and the sweetest sauce of the three Bulldog sauces.

Try tonkatsu sōsu on Korokke (Japanese Potato and Ground Meat Croquettes), Menchi Katsu (Ground Meat Cutlet), and even Creamy Shrimp Croquettes.

Chuunou so-su sits between the other two sauces in both flavour and thickness. The word ‘chūnō‘ (中濃) means medium thickness.

You can buy these sauces at Japanese/Asian grocery stores. At Japanese grocery shops, you can also buy Yakisoba sauce in a bottle. But just like any other foods, I like my home-made version of Yakisoba sauce.

About Yakisoba Garnishes

There are two important garnishes you need to complete Yakisoba. They are ‘aonori‘ (青海苔, dried seaweed flakes) and ‘benishōga‘ (紅生姜, red pickled ginger).

Benishoga (red pickled ginger) and Aonori (green seaweed flakes).

The word ‘ao’ (青) in aonori means blue and nori (海苔) is the generic term for seaweed. Well, as you can see in the photo above, it is not blue but green.

Japanese people use the word ‘blue’ to express the colour ‘green’ quite often. For example, they say the colours of the traffic lights are red, yellow and blue, even though they are red, yellow and green. Green apples are called ‘aoringo’ (青リンゴ, blue apple).

In Japan, it is said that in the Heian period (which ran from 794 to 1192), when the capital of Japan was Kyoto, there were only 4 adjectives to describe colours, i.e. black, white, red and blue. So each colour had to cover a wider range of real colours, e.g. calling something blue even if it is green. How interesting!

The word ‘beni‘ (紅) in ‘benishōga’ means red and ‘shōga’ (生姜) is ginger. It is quite different from pickled ginger, which is served with sushi. Pickled ginger for sushi has a much lighter colour – either very faint pink or the natural colour of ginger. It is also slightly sweet while red pickled ginger is a bit salty.

Zoomed-in photo of Yakisoba.

Although Yakisoba is still good without the garnishes, I think that sprinkling aonori over the mound of Yakisoba, topped with benishōga makes Yakisoba great.

YumikoYM_Signature

Yakisoba on a plate.
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Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles)

Yakisoba (焼きそば) is the Japanese version of stir-fried noodles. The noodles are cooked with sliced pork and plenty of vegetables (cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, onion and shallots/scallions), then coated with a special sauce. Chicken or beef would also work well instead of pork. You can also use different vegetables that are suitable for stir fry.
Please see the video at the end of this recipe card.
Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
Course Main
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Japanese Stir-fried Noodles, Yakisoba, yakisoba sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 -4 Servings
Calories 647kcal
Author Yumiko

Ingredients

  • 300g / 10.5oz yellow noodles (note 1)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp oil (vegetable oil or peanut oil)
  • 200g / 7oz pork thinly sliced to bite size( note2)
  • 60g / 2oz carrot thinly sliced diagonally
  • 100g / 3.5oz cabbage cut into bite size (note 3)
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms sliced into 2mm / 1/16" thick
  • 2 stalks shallots/scallions diagonally sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts

Yakisoba Sauce (Note 4)

  • 40ml/1.4oz Bulldog tonkatsu sōsu (note 5)
  • 50ml/1.7oz Bulldog usutā sōsu (note 5)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp tomato sauce (in Aussie terminology)/tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp dashi seasoning powder diluted in ½ tsp hot water (note 6)

Garnish (optional but strongly recommended)

  • 2 tbsp aonori (dried seaweed flakes, note 7)
  • 2 tbsp benishōga (red pickled ginger, note 8)

Instructions

  • Add all the Yakisoba Sauce ingredients into a cup or a bowl and mix well. Set aside until required.
  • Boil a sufficient amount of water in a sauce pan and boil the noodles for 1 minute.
  • Drain and sprinkle sesame oil over the noodles and mix until all noodles are coated. This is to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
  • Heat oil in a wok or a large frypan over medium high heat. Add the pork and sauté until the pork is almost cooked through (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Add the carrots and stir fry for 30 seconds, then add the cabbage and shiitake mushrooms.
  • Stir-fry for about 1 minute until the cabbage is nearly cooked, then add the shallots and bean sprouts.
  • After stir-frying for 30 seconds, add the noodles. Mix the noodles and vegetables well (note 9).
  • Add the Yakisoba Sauce and mix quickly to ensure that all the noodles are coated with the sauce, and the colour of the noodles is consistent, without any light-coloured patches.
  • Transfer the noodles onto serving plates, piling them into a mound.
  • Sprinkle aonori over the noodles and add the benishōga on the top or the side of the noodles or serve in a separate bowl/plate for individual to add topping themselves.
    Serve immediately.

Notes

1. Yakisoba noodles are the same as ramen or Chinese yellow noodles. The thickness of yakisoba noodles is about 2mm / 1/16", but you could use thicker noodles. See the photo in my post of the noodles I used.
I would not recommend very thin noodles as they will overcook easily and become doughy. I would not use Hokkien Noodles either as they are quite oily and too heavy for yakisoba in my view.
2. Any cut of pork suitable for stir-fry is fine. I happened to have pork scotch fillet. I sometimes use thinly sliced pork belly. It makes yakisoba a bit richer, but I like it.
You can use chicken or beef, although pork is the most popular meat.
3. I randomly cut the cabbage into bite size pieces. The size of the piece is about 5cm x 3cm / 2" x 1¼". The shape does not have to be rectangular at all.
4. You can adjust the quantity of each ingredient to your liking. I used the Bulldog branded sauce, but you can use other brands if you like.
5. You can buy Bulldog sauces at Asian/Japanese grocery stores.
6. The dashi seasoning powder is used to add umami to the sauce. It is an instant dashi powder that you can buy at Japanese/Asian grocery stores or possibly at supermarkets (see Home Style Japanese Dashi Stock for samples).
Alternatively, you can add 2 tablespoons of bonito flakes when mixing the sauce with the noodles.
If you don’t have either of them, you can omit this.
7. Aonori is quite different from yakinori (焼き海苔, roasted seaweed sheets used in sushi rolls). It is green and chopped into teeny tiny pieces. It is used not only as a topping for Yakisoba but also for Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake). It is sometimes added to the batter for Tempura.
You can buy aonori at Japanese grocery stores. See the post for a sample pack.
Although the flavour is quite different, you could substitute aonori with yakinori (roasted seaweed sheet). Julienne a small sheet of yakinori into about 2.5cm/1' long strips.
8. Benishōga is red pickled ginger. It comes either in sliced or julienned pieces in a packet/bottle. If you have red pickled ginger slices, you can just julienne them.
You can buy benishōga at Japanese/Asian grocery stores and perhaps at some supermarkets. See the post for a sample pack.
Do not substitute the pickled ginger used for sushi for the red pickled ginger. The flavour of the pickled ginger for sushi is quite different and does not go well with Yakisoba.
9. From this step onwards, if the wok or frying pan is not large enough to cook the yakisoba at once, cook in batches in individual serving portions or half the quantity. You will get a much better result than trying to cook a huge amount of noodles in a small wok/frying pan. I actually cooked my yakisoba in batches.
When cooking in batches:
Before you add the noodles, take out the stir-fried meat and vegetables, leaving one serving portion in the wok/frying pan. Then add one serving of noodles and continue the following steps using one serving of the sauce. Repeat for the other servings.

Nutrition

Serving: 312g | Calories: 647kcal | Carbohydrates: 62.9g | Protein: 22.9g | Fat: 35.4g | Saturated Fat: 5.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 30.1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 842mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 9.3g

Originally published in August 2016, improved photos and contents with Meal Ideas in 2020 (no change to recipe).

Meal Ideas

A typical Japanese meal consists of a main dish, a couple of side dishes, a soup and rice. I try to come up with a combination of dishes with a variety of flavours, colours, textures and make-ahead dishes.

Yakisoba has a sweet rich flavour so I matched it with a simple Spinach Ohitashi, which cleanses the palate. I also selected Izakaya-style Marinated Quail Eggs, Edamame, which makes this the kind of  meal that you may have at izakaya.

Tofu and wakame seaweed also go well with Yakisoba. I picked a miso soup with tofu and wakame but you could have a tofu dish instead and a miso soup with vegetables.

Menu idea with Yakisoba.

The post Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fried Noodles) appeared first on RecipeTin Japan.

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