Yakisoba seems like such a good idea, but is usually swimming in grease and harboring hidden pieces of meat in between all the noodles and vegetables. It’s a shame because the basic idea is so good, but the execution usually leaves a lot to be desired. Or maybe that’s just my personal experience because the few times I’ve had it have been at mall food courts which don’t exactly rise to high culinary standards.
For this version, I used just a little bit of oil, and tofu instead of meat. I made a super simple sauce with mirin and soy sauce that contributed a nice balance of sweet and salty. I happened to have some dried Chinese yellow noodles, but fresh yakisoba would be great too. I just soaked the dried noodles for a few minutes until they were tender, and then drained and stir-fried them, but just do what the package of whichever noodles you choose tells you to do!
1/2 a small head of cabbage, cut into bite-sized squards
1 carrot, julienned
1/4 yellow onion, cut into thin strips
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and pressed then cut into small cubes
6 ounces dried yellow Chinese noodles
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 tsp corn starch
a few pinches white pepper
If using dried noodles, soak or cook according to package directions. Whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, corn starch, and white pepper. Set aside
Put a few inches of water in the bottom of a large saucepan and set a steamer basket inside. Put the vegetables into the basket and place over medium heat for a few minutes, until vegetables are lightly cooked, brightly colored, and still crisp. Remove and set aside.
Heat the oil in wide skillet and add the garlic. Saute for about 30 seconds, then add the tofu cubes and cook, shaking the pan often, until golden brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add a few tsp of oil to the pan.
Drain the noodles and add to the pan you just cooked the tofu in. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring well, for about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and tofu and toss to coat. Cook about three minutes more, then serve.