A recipe for Yakisoba Pan (Japanese Yakisoba Bread) inspired by our weekend in Los Angeles, California!
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Chad recently spent a couple of weeks in Los Angeles for work. I had never been to California, so I took advantage of the opportunity to visit him for a weekend while the kids stayed behind with the grandparents. We also have a few friends in the area, including Lauren of Sew You Think You Can Cook and her family. It was so wonderful to see them again and catch up.
Röckenwagner Café & Bakery
Chad and I started our Saturday with breakfast at Röckenwagner Café & Bakery in Culver City. I reviewed Hans Röckenwagner’s cookbook, Das Cookbook, last year and was excited to finally get the chance to check out his bakery. I tried the Croissan’wich- a pretzel croissant with eggs, bacon, avocado, cheddar, tomato, basil, aioli and a side salad while Chad had the Breakfast Burrito with chorizo, black beans, eggs, potatoes, cheddar, salsa, and guacamole. We also grabbed a few pastries on the way out to take to Lauren.
Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach
We spent the rest of the day exploring Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach with Lauren and her family.
Redondo Beach is located along the Pacific Ocean in Southern California about 20 miles southwest of Downtown Los Angeles. I had previously only been to the beaches along the Gulf Coast, so it was interesting to see some variation. The water was quite a bit colder! There weren’t nearly as many people in the water compared to Florida. It was definitely busy everywhere else though. I loved all the shops, restaurants, and other activities located right along the beach with easy pedestrian access.
Mediterraneo Kitchen & Bar (NOW CLOSED)
We walked north a couple of miles to Hermosa Beach for lunch and found the Mediterraneo Kitchen & Bar (as a note– the restaurant has closed since updating this post). I have been to a tapas restaurant with Chad before, but it was great to go with another couple. This way we were able to have a larger assortment to sample- including the Apple Endive Salad, Lentil Hummus, Lamb Brochettes, Croquettes, Tortilla, Chorizo Bilbao, Pork Medallions, Gelato Sandwich, and Mocha Crème Brulee.
El Baja Chef
We walked back to Redondo Beach for dinner and found a small Mexican restaurant by the pier, El Baja Chef. It is right on the boardwalk and has beautiful views of the marina and ocean. I have a recipe for Chilaquiles on the blog, but finally got to try it for the first time in a restaurant (top right in the photo above).
Hamada-Ya Bakery and Yakisoba Pan
Sunday began with a stop at Hamada-Ya Bakery inside the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance, California. Mitsuwa Marketplace is a large shopping center with a grocery store, food court, bakery, and small specialty markets selling Japanese products and food. Locations can be found throughout California and in Hawaii, New Jersey, Texas, and Chicago. Their bakery had such a great assortment of sweet and savory pastries, everything from cream puffs filled with green tea custard to mango bread and curry doughnuts. I also found the inspiration for the recipe in this post here with their Yakisoba Pan (photo above).
After leaving the Hamada-Ya Bakery, we stopped by Alpine Village in Torrance, California. The Alpine Village is a touristy market area specializing in German foods and merchandise with a restaurant, grocery store, and a variety of small shops. If you are in the area during the fall, they are also home to the oldest Oktoberfest celebration in Los Angeles.
I only had two days, so we didn’t have a lot of time for sight-seeing. On Sunday afternoon, we visited the Griffith Observatory on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. It was very busy that day and took a while to drive to the observatory (we entered through N. Vermont Ave, but it can also be accessed via Fern Dell Dr- closes at sunset). They were also setting up for filming at the beginning of the park so a lot of the already limited parking and some of the roads were blocked off. Once we finally got to the top, the area (1,134 feet above sea level) offered some incredible views of the mountains, Los Angeles, and the Hollywood Sign. Inside the observatory, there are a few exhibits, telescopes, and the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. Parking, admission to the grounds, and the building are free.
After the observatory, we stopped by Hollywood Boulevard on the way back to the hotel. The star-studded Hollywood Walk of Fame was packed with tourists, street performers, and vendors. Here we found the TCL Chinese Theatres (Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) with a cement forecourt that has held the handprints and footprints of celebrities since 1927. Hollywood & Highland, a three story dining and shopping center with the Dolby Theatre, also offered views of the area and the Hollywood Sign.
Since this update on August, 7, 2019, we have actually moved to Los Angeles and are continuing to enjoy exploring our new home! Here are some of my first posts for Southern California with a few more coming over the next couple of years:
- Miso Carbonara Udon and Little Tokyo
- Mustafarian Lava Roll and Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- Mummy Macarons and Halloween Time at Disneyland
- Pumpkin Spice Milkshake and Halloween Time at Disney California Adventure
I wanted to try Yakisoba Pan (焼きそばパン) at home after coming across it at Hamada-Ya Bakery. I have been a longtime fan of Yakisoba, but this was my first time seeing it in a portable sandwich form! It is definitely the perfect way to use up the leftover noodles (August 7, 2019 update: since moving to LA, Yakisoba Pan has become a favorite treat from Hamada-Ya in Torrance and Okayama Kobo Bakery in Anaheim).
To make Yakisoba Pan, noodles are tossed with thinly sliced meat (usually pork), vegetables, and a thick salty and sweet sauce. The stir-fried noodles are then stuffed inside a top-slit hot dog bun and garnished with benishōga (red pickled ginger) and aonori (powdered seaweed) for a quick and delicious snack. While I like to add the meat and vegetables, I have also come across Yakisoba Pan with just the noodles and sauce inside (which is definitely better if you won’t be serving the assembled sandwiches right away- the vegetables will add moisture to the bread).
I use fresh Yakisoba (Chinese-style alkaline noodles) or ramen noodles found in the refrigerated section at my local Japanese and Korean markets. If you cannot locate them, substitute with an 8 ounce package of dried chūkasoba or Chinese-style yellow noodles. Be careful not to overcook to prevent the noodles from falling apart as they are stir-fried. Fresh noodles only need a minute or so. Rinse with cold water and drain well to remove any excess starch and moisture. If you won’t be adding them to the pan immediately, toss with a drizzle of oil to keep the noodles from sticking.
Known as Koppepan (コッペパン) in Japan, hot dog buns serve as the vessel for the Yakisoba. Try to find or make the buns with the bread split across the top instead of along the side. This will hold the noodles inside better.
I topped the sandwiches with the traditional beni shōga (紅生姜- thinly sliced red pickled ginger) and aonori (青のり- powdered seaweed). I found both ingredients at my local Japanese market. Katsuobushi (鰹節- bonito flakes) and mayonnaise are also popular.
Yakisoba Pan Recipe
Yakisoba and sauce adapted from Just One Cookbook
Yakisoba Pan (Japanese Yakisoba Bread)
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 12 ounces fresh yakisoba noodles or 8 ounces dried chūkasoba
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 ounces thinly sliced pork belly or pork shoulder
- 2 carrots peeled and shredded
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 green or napa cabbage thinly sliced
- 8 hot dog buns split on the top
- 1 tablespoon butter or mayonnaise for spreading on hot dog buns
- Aonori (powdered seaweed) for garnish
- Beni shōga (red pickled ginger) for garnish
To make the yakisoba sauce:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the Yakisoba:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until just tender- about 1-2 minutes for fresh or closer to 5 minutes for dried. Drain, rinse with cold water, and lightly shake to remove any excess moisture. Drizzle with a little vegetable oil and toss lightly to coat.
- In a large wok or pan, drizzle oil over medium high heat. Add the pork slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned. Mix in the carrots and onion. Continue to cook, stirring, until beginning to soften. Stir in the cabbage, then add the prepared sauce.
- Once the sauce has come to a boil, toss in the noodles. Continue to toss until well coated. Remove from heat.
- Spread a little butter or mayonnaise on the inside of each hot dog bun and fill with the prepared yakisoba. Top with powdered seaweed and pickled ginger. Serve immediately or wrap and refrigerate for up to a day.