Yakisoba Bread: 焼きそばパン

パン pan: bread

焼きそば yakisoba: Japanese fried noodles

I have previously posted about yakisoba. However, if you have gone to a convenience store in Japan, you may have noticed an interesting item called yakisoba pan (bread). Yes, I mean the hotdog bun filled with fried noodles and topped with benishouga (red pickled ginger) and nori (dried seaweed flakes). Sometimes it will have small slices of meat or hot dog in it, or will be topped with mayonnaise. It is (was?) a popular snack for school-age kids (not sure if it still is).

I cannot explain this, really, but there is something sort of tasty about fried noodles in a hotdog roll. It sounds kinda odd, but you might be surprised by the unique taste so nonetheless I recommend trying it while you are in Japan. You can eat it cold or have the conbini heat it up for you in the microwave (I think it tastes better hot personally). By no means is this some high-quality or fancy item– just a simple, cheap snack food.

I have never seen it at a matsuri (festival), then again since I live in Okinawa it may not be a thing here. It is easy to find at both Lawson and FamilyMart convenience stores, though.

Okinawa yakisoba: 沖縄風焼きそば

焼き: grilled

そば: noodles

Yakisoba 焼きそば is Japanese fried noodles. Okinawa yakisoba is a little different then regular mainland Japanese yakisoba, though. 「沖縄風」= Okinawa-style

Typically the thicker noodles are used (the same ones used for suba すば), and depending on the place it will be either salt style 「塩」 or sauce style 「ソース」. There is also a ketchup-based style ケチャップ (gross!!) which is luckily less common (I absolutely abhor ketchup).

Another difference is in the meats: usually spam スパム is a popular choice, although often it will be a mix of spam and the same kind of pork they use in regular Okinawan soba. I do not eat meats so I either give them to my husband or order without. It is commonly served with benishouga 紅生姜 (red pickled ginger), which I love. Sometimes they even have the benishouga on the table so I can add as much as I like.

It is definitely a junk food, and not so great for you, but with an ice cold Orion, it hits the spot! It is a popular choice with foreigners at the local shokudo 食堂 in Okinawa… after all what is not to like about fried noodles?

Mainland Japanese yakisoba is often topped with nori のり (dried seaweed flakes), mayonnaise マヨ, and/or katsuobushi 鰹節 (shaved bonito flakes) in addition to the pickled red ginger… but this is much less common in Okinawa-styles.

Photos of both sauce- and salt- yakisoba.