Tasting Wagamama Yaki Soba for the first time in their restaurant was life changing. It was within the first few seconds of eating this dish that I knew I had to get their recipe. Lucky for you, I’ve outlined a copycat version for you to make for yourself.
If you’re in the US, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the restaurant chain Wagamama—most of its restaurants are in Great Britain or Ireland, where it is hugely popular. It’s a Japanese-inspired Asian food chain of fast-casual joints, famous for being ahead of the curve: Wagamama embraced Asian fusion long before the concept was commonplace, and was one of the first restaurants to debut a high-tech digital ordering system that allowed for easy customization.
Wagamama is famous for its ramen, and their stir-fried (“teppanyaki-style”) noodles, including their delicious yaki soba.
(Also, the Japanese word “Wagamama” is usually translated as “willful” or “naughty child,” which is honestly reason enough to love the place).
How to Make Wagamama Yaki Soba
This copycat recipe details everything you need to make the noodles—wonderfully savory, a little bit sweet, brightened with ginger and scallions.
The only ingredients that you might not find in a regular grocery are the pickled ginger, dark soy sauce, and soba noodles—they’re easy to source in a specialty Asian food store or online. After the recipe are also some simple substitutions you can make.
Be careful not to overcook the shrimp. The shrimp, scallions and bean sprouts should be in the pan just long enough to heat uniformly.
Soba noodles have a lot of starch and need to be rinsed well after cooking or they will get very gluey.
For a more colorful and authentic copycat, you can use half a red bell pepper and half a green bell pepper, but the taste won’t be very different.
Other common yaki soba veggies include mushrooms, julienned carrots, and shredded cabbage.
Feel free to go all-chicken or all-shrimp. Leave out the chicken and shrimp for a vegetarian version, or replace them with strips of extra-hard tofu. This recipe is also great with scallops or pork, which are both popular in Japan.
Soba noodles can easily be replaced with ramen or even instant ramen—just cook according to package instructions. (And don’t add any seasoning packets!)
If you can’t find dark soy sauce, you can replace it with regular soy sauce combined with molasses at a 1:4 ratio.
If you can’t find dried shallots, replace them with a spoonful of crispy fried onions (yep, the same ones you use for green bean casserole).
This delicious Wagamama yaki soba recipe is really just a matter of getting things mixed and chopped, and then pulling it all together quickly in a wok. It’s easy, and it’s fun!