Savory Japanese stir-fried noodles stuffed in the soft spongy hot dog bun, Yakisoba Pan is a popular lunch and snack you can find all over Japan. If you are a carb-lover, this conveniently paired starch-on-starch action is your ultimate sandwich of choice.
Bread or noodles? Noodles or bread? When you couldn’t make up which savory carb to satisfy your hunger, Yakisoba Pan would be your answer.
A classic street food, Yakisoba (焼きそば) is a well-loved Japanese stir fried noodle dish. And if you are familiar with sweet baked goods like Melon Pan and An-Pan etc, “pan” (パン) means bread in Japanese.
When these noodles are stuffed into the Japanese hot dog buns (we call Koppepan コッペパン), it is called Yakisoba Pan (焼きそばパン). However unusual this pairing may sound, Yakisoba Pan works out to be a delicious partner in crime, only in a sandwich form.
The Story of Yakisoba Pan
The origin of yakisoba pan goes back to 1950s in Tokyo. When Nozawa-ya used to sell the bread (Koppepan コッペパン) and yakisoba separately, a customer requested to put them all in one to save some trouble. Hence, an unexpected but delicious sandwich was created.
To make Yakisoba Pan, you make a slit on top of the hot dog shaped bread and stuff yakisoba noodles in between the buttered bread. Red pickled ginger, Japanese mayonnaise, aonori, or parsley are then added on top for garnish to give the stuffed bread an attractive visual.
There are many variations of sauces for the noodles (thin/thick sauce, different seasonings). You can also choose to include or exclude shredded cabbage. To avoid the noodles from falling apart, a typical yakisoba pan is wrapped with plastic wrap.
As yakisoba pan is inexpensive but hearty enough to fill a hungry stomach, it is a popular snack and lunch at school cafeterias. You can also find it available all over Japan at convenience stores, festivals, and local bakeries.
3 Tips for Delicious Yakisoba Pan
1. Spread butter on the bread.
The grease such as butter prevents buns from absorbing extra moisture from the noodles. You could spread Japanese mayo instead.
2. Just the noodles in the bun
Unlike the regular yakisoba that contains cabbage and carrots, yakisoba in the yakisoba pan does not include anything but the noodle itself. As yakisoba pan is made ahead of time for lunch, vegetables are avoided to keep moisture out of the bread that could potentially become soggy. No body wants a soggy bread.
If you’re serving yakisoba pan immediately, you can use leftover yakisoba or make regular yakisoba to stuff in the buns.
3. Season a bit more than usual
Being a mom, I avoid over seasoning our food that my children eat. I believe that children shouldn’t get used to overly salty and sweet food from a young age. It’s important to cultivate a healthy eating habit and for them to know the actual ingredient tastes like.
Having said that, I’d like to consider Yakisoba Pan to be my exception. The flavor can be boring and bland when the noodles don’t get much sauce in the hot dog buns. As there is no other seasonings that go into the hot dog buns, I highly recommend adding a good amount of sauce for the noodles.
Split-Top Buns for Yakisoba Pan
To make my Yakisoba Pan a bit more authentic, you can use split-top buns. Check out your local speciality grocery stores. You might be lucky to find a bag of top-split buns like these.
Yakisoba Pan – A Fried-Noodles Sandwich That Tastes Extra Fun and Special
If you love a good sandwich and some tasty savory noodles, you want to give my Yakisoba Pan recipe a try! The contrast of the chewy noodles against the soft bun keeps each bite interesting. Perfect for making ahead of time, this Japanese fried-noodles sandwich is a tasty convenient food you can enjoy on-the-go. It’s so fun to eat that you want to scarf it down with your hands. Just remember to put out extra napkins.
- 1 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
- 8 hot dog buns
- 11 oz yakisoba noodles (2 5.5-oz packages)
- 4-5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- Aonori (dried green seaweed) (to serve)
- pickled red ginger (beni shoga or kizami beni shoga) (to serve)
- Japanese mayonnaise (to serve)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Make a slit on top (or side) of the bread and spread butter (it will act as water-resistant).
- Cut the yakisoba noodles in half.
- Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large frying pan or cast iron skillet and cook yakisoba noodles while loosing it up.
Season the noodles with Worcestershire sauce and oyster sauce. Mix all together and remove from the heat.
Stuff the bread with yakisoba noodles. Sprinkle aonori and put a little bit of pickled red ginger in the center. If you don’t eat right away, wrap with plastic wrap.
You can use the side split hot dog buns too.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.