YAKISOBA Saucy Panfried Noodles with Pork & Vegetables
6 slices thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
½ carrot, peeled and sliced into strips about 2 inches long and 1/ 2 inch wide
½ head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch squares
½ yellow onion, sliced into 1/ 4-inch-thick wedges
2 packages (14 ounces each) yakisoba noodles
About 2 tablespoons yakisoba sauce (page 17) or 1–2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Aonori (page 161) and beni shoga (page 157) for garnish (optional)
Place the bacon in a single layer between 2 layers of paper towels and microwave on high for 3 minutes until cooked through but not crispy, or cook the bacon in a frying pan over medium-high heat, turning as needed, 4–5 minutes. Cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom and sides with oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrot, cabbage, and onion and stir-fry about 2 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to combine. Add the noodles, stir-fry 1 minute, then add ¼ cup water, cover the pan, and cook 1 minute longer. Uncover and allow any remaining water to evaporate.
Add some sauce and continue to stir-fry to combine the sauce with the noodles and vegetables, 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter. Garnish with aonori and beni shoga, if using, and serve right away.
note: The yakisoba bottled sauce with the strong flavor of soy and Worcestershire sauce is what givesyakisoba its distinctive tang. You can make these pan-fried noodles with Worcestershire sauce alone if you cannot find the proper prepared sauce.
Aonori (literally “blue nori”), a different type of seaweed, is sold dried and already crushed into small flakes, usually in a packet or a shaker. It has a very fresh marine aroma and, despite the translation, is medium green in color. It is sprinkled on dishes such as Okonomiyaki (page 30).
Beni shoga (pickled ginger): Bright pink, sharp-flavored, vinegary matchsticks of marinated ginger, it is sometimes stocked in the refrigerated Asian section of Western markets (with the dumpling wrappers and tofu). Do not mistake beni shoga for gari, the pale marinated ginger served with sushi.