Fast & Frugal Recipe: Yakisoba (Japanese Chow Mein)

We thought we’d start off our fast & frugal recipes with our version of Yaki Soba, the Japanese equivalent of Chow Mein. This meal can be made in about 5-10 minutes and for under $1.00 per person.

Yakisoba Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Ramen Noodles (Maruchan, Top Ramen, etc.) – but we won’t be using the soup base powder
  • Cabbage – chopped
  • 1/2 an Onion – cut in slivers
  • Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Sugar

Ramen noodles are about $0.12-$0.15 a pack, and as low as $0.08 a pack on sale, cabbage is one of the more economical vegetables at around $0.69/lb. where we live, as is onion which you can buy in bulk bags for about $2.00. This dish is also really good with sliced mushrooms added in, but alas, I used up all the mushrooms on yesterday’s breakfast of mushroom & onion omelet scrambled eggs.

A note before we begin: we never measure when we cook. We just sort of go by how much we feel like eating. We usually like to use a lot of cabbage because it shrinks when it cooks, and we sort of season it to taste. If you like it saltier, add more soy sauce; tangier, more Worcestershire; and sweeter, more sugar.

But anyways, to business.

Yakisoba Preparation

Step 1: Cook the ramen as instructed on the package but leave out the soup base powder. I usually set the water to boil when I start chopping the vegetables, put in the noodles when I start stir-frying (Step 2), and it’s usually ready at the same time as the vegetables. Be careful not to overcook the noodles; you can tell they’re ready when they start to look translucent.

Step 2: Pour oil into a frying pan or wok, and stir-fry the cabbage and onion until partially cooked

Step 3: Add soy sauce, Worchestershire sauce and sugar to the vegetables. You should use enough to flavor both the vegetables and the noodles.

Step 4: Add the cooked ramen noodles to the vegetables and stir it around till the noodles are thoroughly coated in the sauce and mixed in with the vegetables.

Et VoilĂ ! Bon Appetit!

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