Get ready for yakisoba pan, the ultimate portable street food! Savour the taste of this classic Japanese snack featuring sweet and savoury stir-fried yakisoba noodles wrapped in a soft and fluffy hot dog bun.
In This Post You’ll Learn
Why We Love This
All of our Japanese recipes are a love letter to Japan, but none more so than today’s recipe for yakisoba pan! This is classic Japanese street food you won’t easily find outside of Japan.
This ‘impossibly delicious’ dish is a super fun way to use up leftover yakisoba noodles. It’s filling and satisfying for lunch or dinner, or as a portable snack you can enjoy hot or cold.
What is Yakisoba Pan?
Yakisoba-pan (焼きそばパン) is a popular Japanese street food dish sometimes known as a Japanese noodle bun, spaghetti sandwich or even a yakisoba dog.
It consists of a soft and fluffy bun called koppe-pan (コッペパン), which is sliced and stuffed with stir-fried yakisoba noodles. It may also be topped with aonori seaweed flakes, kizami beni shoga (shredded red pickled ginger), katsuobushi bonito flakes or furikake seasoning.
In Japan we came across our first batch of yakisoba pan dished-up hot and fresh, straight from the teppan, at an ultra local food market in the backstreets of Osaka. But you can also find it at konbini (convenience stores) or Japanese bakeries.
Yakisoba pan is said to have originated in Tokyo in the 50s, served up in diners or as a lunch option in high school canteens. It has since become super popular through the Netflix series ‘Midnight Diner’ and the Japanese video game ‘13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim’.
Todays’ recipe includes a simplified version of yakisoba noodles without the traditional pork belly slices. If you prefer, you can use the full yakisoba recipe here.
What You’ll Need
- Yakisoba Noodles – Known as mushi chakumen, these are noodles made from wheat flour, water and kansui (a type of lye water) which gives them their golden yellow colour. They’re pre-steamed then packaged, so you can put them straight in the pan without cooking them first. Swap for soba noodles (aka buckwheat noodles), fresh or frozen udon noodles, ramen noodles, Chinese style noodles, or even spaghetti in a real pinch (cook according to package directions and drain before using in this recipe).
- Veggies – This dish is commonly cooked without vegetables to avoid soggy bread buns when making them in advance. We actually prefer to include traditional yakisoba veggies such as cabbage, carrot and onion for extra nutrition. Keep them in, leave them out, it’s up to you!
- Yakisoba Sauce – This is a sweet and slightly sour sauce which is fairly similar to BBQ sauce. Two of the most popular store bought brands are Otafuku or Bulldog. You can find it at most supermarkets these days, buy yakisoba sauce online or even better – make your own yakisoba sauce at home.
- The Bun – Classic American-style hot dog buns are perfect as they are soft and fluffy with a delicate flavour similar to koppe-pan. Sub with brioche hot dog buns, plain milk buns or even regular white bread if you need. Whichever you use, make sure it’s super fresh for the best flavour and texture. Sweeter buns work better than super savoury, for more authentic Japanese flavour.
Note: Since it’s made up of essentially white bread and wheat noodles, it’s worth noting this dish is quite high in calories!
- Slicing the Veggies – It’s a good idea to chop them quite small so they fit nicely into the hot dog buns when serving.
- Slicing the Bun – Traditionally the bun will be slit along the top so the fillings can be stuffing inside and won’t fall out. But if you’re used to slicing hot dog buns on the side, you can do that too.
- Storage – Store leftover yakisoba noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for around 2-3 months. You can also reheat leftovers in short bursts in the microwave.
Even though both recipes have the word pan (meaning bread) in their names, they are very different!
Yakisoba pan is essentially a stir-fried noodle sandwich, while curry pan consists of a small portion of Japanese curry, which is wrapped in dough then deep fried (or sometimes baked) until golden brown.
Yep, you can make yakisoba pan in the morning to take to school or work for lunch. If you do, it’s a good idea to slather the inside of the buns with kewpie mayonnaise or butter to lock any moisture away from soaking into the bread. This will help keep them at their best until you’re ready to eat. You could even try it with miso butter for extra umami.
- Optional Sauces – Try it with a squiggle of Japanese Worcestershire sauce, okonomiyaki sauce or tonkatsu sauce on top.
- Extra Fillings – For extra nutrition try adding fresh lettuce leaves, baby spinach leaves, or parsley.
- Garnishes – We love adding shichimi togarashi, toasted sesame seeds or gomashio sesame salt too.
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- Heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a wok, frying pan or large skillet over medium-high heat.1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp sesame oil
- Add the onions and stir fry for a few minutes until they start to turn transparent, then add the carrots and cabbage and stir fry for a minute or two until they start to soften.1 onion, 1 carrot, 100 g cabbage
- Add the yakisoba noodles and stir fry for a few minutes, using your spatula to toss and separate the strands. Once noodles start to become crispy, add half the yakisoba sauce and stir quickly to coat all ingredients evenly.400 g yakisoba noodles, ½ cup yakisoba sauce
- Add the remaining yakisoba sauce and stir fry until all ingredients are cooked.½ cup yakisoba sauce
- Slice hot dog buns in half, stopping just before you cut them all the way through, so they'll hold in the noodles.8 hot dog buns
- Stuff the cooked yakisoba into cut the cut hot dog buns and garnish with optional pickled ginger, spring onion and aonori.beni shoga, seaweed flakes / aonori, spring onion