Yaki-soba is one of those essentially simple, endlessly flexible dishes, perfect for times when the cupboard is relatively bare and you have some odds and ends to use up. Today I made it as an unusual destination for Thanksgiving leftovers, using chunks of turkey. It would be great for those days when you’re sick of working through the carcass of that big Thanksgiving bird. I mentioned halfway through lunch that I liked the turkey in the dish, and Arne looked up with surprise from his noodle bowl and exclaimed, “This is turkey?”
So use this recipe to hide your leftovers. Or just make it because it’s quick and delicious.
Yaki-soba is a Japanese stir-fried noodle dish, similar to its Chinese cousin lo mein but with different flavors in the sauce. To me, the element that makes yaki-soba taste distinctively Japanese is the Worcestershire sauce, a flavoring used with abandon in the sauces for such dishes as tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) and okonomiyaki (sometimes called “Japanese pizza” for its popularity as a casual meal or snack).
Ready-to-use yaki-soba noodles are available in some grocery stores (I buy them at Smith’s, where they are kept in the produce section by the tofu) and international food stores. They’re kind of pricey, but mighty convenient. Or use any long, thin wheat or egg noodle – spaghetti, ramen, or lo mein noodles will all work. Prepare according to package label.