Yasai Yakisoba (Japanese Vegetable Chow-mein)

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Yakisoba is a Japanese chow-mein dish that translates to ‘fried buckwheat’ and Yasai translates to ‘vegetables’, resulting in a Japanese vegetable chow-mein!

Soba noodles are made using buckwheat which is rich in protein, fibre and also contains B vitamins. Although the word soba means buckwheat, wheat flour noodles are often used in this dish in Japan. I have used soba noodles in this recipe as they have more nutritional values and have a bouncier texture than standard wheat flour noodles.

Yakisoba sauce is usually made using Oyster sauce and Worcestershire sauce. In this recipe I have used vegan alternatives that you can buy most health food shops and some supermarkets. Vegetarian Oyster sauce is a delicious sauce often made from shiitake mushrooms. It’s a versatile sauce which can be used many dishes; I like to add it to Bolognese for a richer flavour.

I have topped this dish with sriracha (vegan) mayo because it is just the most magical thing you’ll ever taste.

Yasai Yakisoba (Japanese Vegetable Chow-mein)

Serves 2 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes

1 small onion
100g cabbage (2 cups)
150g bean sprouts (2 cups)
1 small carrot
1 red pepper
1 Tbsp oil
85g dried soba noodles
salt and pepper

Yakisoba Sauce

1 tbsp unrefined golden cane sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
3 tsp ketchup
3 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

Optional toppings

aonori (seaweed)
pickled ginger
Sriracha Mayonnaise (just the best thing ever invented!)



  1. In a pan, boil some water and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the soba noodles and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. While the noodles cook, slice the vegetables thinly into manageable, bite-sized pieces/slices; you don’t want anything to need cutting afterwards if you are planning on serving with chopsticks. Rinse and strain bean sprouts.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients for Yakisoba Sauce and set aside.
  4. In a large frying pan or wok, add oil. Add onion  and red pepper and cook over a medium heat for about 1-2 minutes. Then add cabbage, carrot and bean sprouts, cook until vegetables are softer and the onions are translucent. I don’t like to cook them for too long as they are nicer when still crunchy.
  5. When the noodles are cooked, drain then rinse under a cold tap and drain again. Transfer them to the pan with the vegetables, stir to combine.
  6. Add the Yakisoba sauce and stir to coat for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Transfer to serve and sprinkle with aonori and top with pickled ginger.


It is tradition to top this dish with aonori, I don’t usually do so as it has a strong ‘ocean’ taste that I don’t really like. If that’s a taste that you enjoy then this is the perfect opportunity for you to get your salty sea fix!

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