What a joyful bowl of noodles this is! This Japanese yakisoba is full of savoury goodness thanks to the epic sauce and juicy pork belly – and there’s a definite tang in there too, thanks to my two secret, unexpected ingredients. A stir-fry to delight the senses!
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
480g (16 oz) pre-cooked yakisoba noodles (about 3 packets)
4 spring onions (scallions)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
250g (9 oz) pork belly, skin removed and thinly sliced
1 cup finely julienned carrot
5 small cabbage leaves, cut into bite-sized pieces
thinly sliced Japanese pickled ginger, to serve (optional)
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp dark sweet soy sauce
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes or until softened. Use a knife to remove the stem and discard those. Slice the mushrooms and set aside for later.
Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Add the noodles. Allow them to soak for a minute. Then use tongs to gently shake the noodles apart. As soon as the noodles have loosened, drain them and set aside in a large wide plate or tray.
For the yakisoba sauce, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Finely slice the pale part of the spring onion. Keep these with your onions. Then cut the remaining green part of the spring onion into batons. Keep those for scattering over at the end of your stir-fry.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the onions and the pale part of the spring onion. Stir-fry for 20 seconds. Then push everything to the side and make some space in the middle of the pan. Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Then add the pork slices and spread them out. Allow them to colour on the first side for about a minute. Then turn them over and then stir-fry until the pork is just cooked. Now add the carrot and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Then add the cabbage and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Now add the shiitake mushrooms. Then add the noodles and the stir-fry sauce. Toss until well combined and the sauce has been absorbed by the noodles. Scatter over the green part of the spring onion. Remove from heat and divide among serving bowls. Top with pickled ginger if using.