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 Voilà! Bon Appetit!

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