What is the history of the Japanese food called "Yakisoba"?

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Yakisoba is one of Japan’s most popular dishes. It has an international fan base which continues to grow, especially in the United States where Japanese yatai, or food carts, are becoming a familiar part of the culinary landscape. Yakisoba is a main meal or a side dish. It's prepared using...

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Yakisoba is one of Japan’s most popular dishes. It has an international fan base which continues to grow, especially in the United States where Japanese yatai, or food carts, are becoming a familiar part of the culinary landscape. Yakisoba is a main meal or a side dish. It's prepared using cabbage, onions, carrots, and a source of protein like pork, chicken, beef, or fish. Yakisoba sauce, which comprises a base of oyster and soy sauce, is added and then topped with a variety of ingredients including aonori (seaweed powder), katsuobushi (fish flakes), beni shoga (pickled ginger), or Japanese mayonnaise.

Interested in learning more about the history of yakisoba? It would be beneficial to research its evolution from the soba (buckwheat) noodle which originated in China and immigrated to Japan in about the 4th century. We know that buckwheat was not cultivated in Japan until at least the 8th century which means that yakisoba (fried buckwheat noodles) was made from wheat flour instead.

United States troops played a role in the popularization of yakisoba in the 20th century. In 1945, after military de-escalation, American troops supplied the malnourished population of Okinawa with food supplies including spaghetti noodles which were used to make yakisoba.

To understand the more recent historical growth of yakisoba, it would be of use to research Japanese street vendors, Japanese festivals, and restaurants trends of the island country which introduced the yakisoba pan (a way of serving the dish in a bun) in the 1950s. Also explore companies, like Nissin, that have played a significant role in yakisoba’s modern appeal by mass producing, packaging, and exporting the meal.

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Yakisoba is a dish prepared in Japan which consists of stir fried noodles with vegetables, different types of meat and sauces for flavoring. The origin of Yakisoba is thought to be in China from where the recipe for chow mein was taken and adapted to create Yakisoba.

The noodles used in Yakisoba are made from wheat flour instead of buckwheat, which makes it very easy to prepare; versions of the dish require just the addition of warm water. Yakisoba is a very popular dish with US soldiers posted in Japan who place it between buns and eat it with ham like hot dogs.

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