Have you ever tasted one of Japan’s popular noodles? Yakisoba is a fantastic street food. Not only that, it is also so easy to make. But how long do yakisoba noodles last? Let’s find the answer to that in this article, along with everything we can find about this Japanese noodle.
What is Yakisoba Noodles?
Yakisoba is a noodle dish stir fried with vegetables and meat, like pork belly, chicken, or beef. Its name came from Japanese yaki, meaning “grilled,” and soba, meaning buckwheat noddle. But even though it has soba in its name, the noodles it uses are more like the ones used in ramen. It is not the actual buckwheat noodles.
This dish is a staple in Japanese outings. In Japan, you will often see yakisoba served in barbecues, fairs, and festivals. Although popular in Japan, it originates from the Chinese dish, chow mein, another stir-fried noodle. That particular dish changed to yakisoba in the early 20th century when teriyaki sauce was added to it.
How long does yakisoba noodles last?
It can last for months, depending on storage. The shelf life depends on the noodles you buy. That said, it is advised that you check the label of the noodles. It should give you an idea about how long you can store the noodles and use them to make a yakisoba dish.
Shelf Life of Fresh Yakisoba at Room Temperature
Yakisoba noodles are fried. This makes it perfectly okay to store the noodles at room temperature. It should last up to 9 months or as indicated in the label. Remember to keep it properly stored to ensure a long shelf life.
How Long Does Fresh Yakisoba Last in the Freezer?
Another important question here is – can you freeze yakisoba? If it’s an unopened pack of uncooked soba, the answer is no. But if it’s pre-cooked yakisoba, the answer is yes. Of course, you need to freeze it to avoid spoiling. Pre-cooked yakisoba noodles can last a few days to months in the freezer. It is best to freeze them in small portions for easy reheating in your next lunch or dinner.
How to Store Yakisoba Noodles
How do you make sure your yakisoba noodles last longer? By proper storage, as directed below.
1. Unopened Yakisoba Noodles
Proper storage of yakisoba is essential to make it last longer. When you buy the noodles, they are often already in a packet. Keep it like that and store it in a cool, dry place similar to where you store your pasta and rice. It is essential to keep the noodles from moisture and direct sunlight. The original plastic packaging should already provide an adequate seal between the yakisoba noodles and air.
2. Opened Pack of Yakisoba Noodles
If it is an opened pack of yakisoba noodles, unpack and then put it inside an airtight plastic container. The same as with the unopened packs, store the container in a cool, dry place along with your other dried foods.
3. Pre-cooked Yakisoba Noodles
In some cases, you may want to keep pre-cooked yakisoba noodles. Doing so allows you to cook dishes faster than boiling the noodles before stir-frying the other ingredients. For this, you can cook the yakisoba noodles in boiling water.
Let it cool down, then store it in a plastic container. Mixing some oil – vegetable, olive, almond, any oil) helps to stop the noodles from sticking. This is when you should refrigerate the noodles. You can refrigerate for a few hours before you serve or a day or two for a planned meal.
Common Yakisoba Dishes
There are three main types of yakisoba, the most popular dishes made of this particular Japanese noodle. Just a clarification, yakisoba is different from ramen. You stir fry yakisoba while you use ramen with soup broth. The most common yakisoba dishes are the classic yakisoba, shio yakisoba, and kata-yakisoba.
- Classic Yakisoba – This dish uses yakisoba sauce similar to teriyaki sauce and Worcestershire sauce, only sweeter.
- Shio Yakisoba – This simple yakisoba dish is known for its salty flavor.
- Kata-Yakisoba – This yakisoba dish has deep-fried crispy noodles poured over with thickened sauce.
In Japan, there are more different versions of yakisoba dishes you can find. Every region seems to have its own version of the stir-fried noodle dish.
What Are the Ingredients of Yakisoba Sauce?
The typical yakisoba sauce combines 8 ingredients. They include various flavoring types such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and hoisin sauce. Along with that, it has rice vinegar, ginger, and sugar.
How Do You Know if Yakisoba Noodles Have Gone Bad?
You will know if the yakisoba noodles are already spoiled mainly from the smell and look. Sniff it, and if it gives off an odd odor or flavor, it might have gone bad already. It is the same if insects or molds appear, which means you should discard them right away.
How long do yakisoba noodles last? It depends on several factors. They could last at least a year if unopened, uncooked, and properly stored. If it’s pre-cooked yakisoba, then it will certainly not last long, especially if not frozen. In that case, you should consume the noodles as soon as possible and discard them if they are already spoiled.