Saturday, July 25, 2009



Yakisoba is a dish I fondly associate with weekends.

When I was a child, my mother would prepare this dish as a light lunch during the weekends at least once or twice per month. When I became old enough to cook, I took the helm.

The flavor is kind to western tongues because one of the major components is Worcestershire sauce.

Since moving from home, I always have a few packages of Sapporo Ichiban "chow mein" in the cupboard. I've tried other brands, but always return to the $0.49 package. The flavor is similar to the yakisoba you'd get at any small restaurant in Japan, as well as Benihana. An inexpensive and filling meal for my belly and soul.

My usual add-ins are spinach, shrimp, egg, and Spam. I was out of spinach and shrimp, and had a half-shriveled jalapeno pepper lounging, forgotten in the dark depths of the vegetable drawer.

My version...
1. Fry beaten egg with a butter coated surface on medium heat so the egg doesn't burn. Cut into thin slices and set aside.
2. Fry Spam slices until crisp, then add sliced jalapeno peppers and continue frying for a few more minutes. Set aside.
3. Boil noodles in water with a teaspoon of sriracha. Remove from heat and mostly drain when noodles are 2/3 cooked. There should be a smattering of liquid left in the pan.
4. Add the yakisoba powder seasoning, a few drops of sesame oil, Spam and jalapeno slices to the noodles, and fry until the seasoning is incorporated throughout. Turn off heat. Add egg slices and mix with noodles.

Instead of using the laver included with the noodles, I sprinkled furikake (sesame, nori, salt, sugar). It's also good with benishoga - red slivers of ginger.

The use of sriracha and Kewpie mayonnaise in my yakisoba is a fairly recent addition, something I have used for ~5 years. I didn't realize mayonnaise was eaten with yakisoba until I bought an instant bowl-of-yakisoba. A packet of mayonnaise was included. Woah. (Keanu!)

It's grey out, a bit drizzly and cool, so I was in the mood for Risky by Sakamoto Ryuichi with Iggy Pop.

Ryuichi Sakamoto + Iggy Pop (vocals)

- Cassaendra

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