vegan yakisoba (Japanese stir-fry with wheat noodles, carrot, and cabbage)
for the dish:
- ~ 8 oz yakisoba or other Chinese-style yellow wheat noodles (despite the name, yakisoba is not typically made with soba, or buckwheat, noodles)
- 1 small white onion
- 1 carrot
- 4-5 green onions
- 4 cabbage leaves
- 4-5 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
- ~ ¼ cup bean sprouts (optional)
- aonori and benishoga, for garnish
for the sauce:
- ½ cup prepared yakisoba sauce, such as Otajoy
or you can make your own by combining the following:
- 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
OR (to make your own vegan Worcestershire sauce):
- 1 tsp molasses or brown sugar
- 4 tsp malt vinegar (or red wine or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp vegetarian granulated sugar
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of freshly grated garlic or garlic powder
- pinch onion powder
- pinch lemon zest
PLUS (in addition to the Worcestershire sauce):
- 4 tsp total smooth unflavoured apple sauce, date honey, and/or raisin juice
- 4 tsp ketchup or tomato paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 tsp sugar
the sauce should be tangy, well-spiced, sweet, and a bit fruity.
for the sauce:
1. mix all ingredients in a small bowl or jar. adjust to taste.
for the dish:
1. if using dried noodles, boil according to package directions. drain and place in a cold water bath to halt cooking. return noodles to the colander and lift and drop them repeatedly with your fingers in order to remove excess water. toss with a few teaspoons of a neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola) to avoid sticking and set aside.
2. prepare your vegetables. cut the onion into rings by first cutting off the stem end, then cutting the onion in half lengthwise (through the root): place it on your cutting surface cut-side down and make parallel cuts lengthwise through the onion down towards the surface (angle your cuts slightly inwards, towards the centre of the onion) about half a centimetre apart. cut off the root end to allow the rings to separate.
3. julienne the carrot by first peeling it, then cutting it widthwise into 2-inch chunks. cut each chunk into slices lengthwise, then turn the slices flat and cut each slice lengthwise again to achieve thin strips. this will be easier if you cut off a slice of each chunk lengthwise to give yourself a flat surface to lay the carrot on.
4. slice the mushrooms lengthwise and cut the green onion into 2-inch chunks. chop the cabbage leaves to produce bite-size pieces or small strips.
5. heat 3tbsp neutral oil in a large pan on high. fry noodles in oil until a few shades darker and slightly crispy. set aside.
6. in the same pan, heat another 2tbsp neutral oil on high. fry the onions for about 30 seconds, or until transparent and beginning to brown. add carrot, cabbage, and mushroom and fry, stirring often, for a few minutes until beginning to soften. add green onion and stir.
7. add noodles and stir to combine. you may need to add more oil at this point if the noddles are sticking.
8. add yakisoba sauce and continue to fry, tossing often, until the sauce is well-incorporated and begins to thicken and caramelise.
9. garnish and serve warm.