Yakisoba is a stir-fried noodle dish with meat (beef, pork, or chicken) and/or seafood and vegetables. Before becoming a Jenesyst, say yakisoba and I would automatically think of the instant variety that we have in our office pantry. Now yakisoba makes me think of Fujinomiya City In Shizuoka Prefecture.
Fujinomiya City is the home of the Yakisoba Hall of Famer Fujinomiya yakisoba, which won the Gold Grand Prix in 2006 and 2007. The B-1 Grand Prix is Japan’s biggest food festival in which 10 recipes receive special mention and one is crowned champion through selection by a panel of judges and voting by festival attendees. Fujinomiya yakisoba has generated an income of estimated 43.9 billion yen for the city from 2001 to 2006, with yakisoba shops up to 150 as of April 2012 and four yakisoba noodle -making factories.
What makes Fujinomiya yakisoba special? (1) The noodles are made in Fujinomiya, which is close to Mt. Fuji so (2) the water used in cooking is from Fujisan spring. (3) Lard is used for cooking, and of course there are some (4) secret ingredients of nikukasu (meat residue after processing lard). (5) Local and fresh cabbage is used, and (6) there is a variety of toppings. (7) The yakisoba is cooked at high heat on a big and thick hot plate by (8) the restaurant staff or yourself (like we did). (9) Each shop has a distinct sauce, but there is always (10) powdered sardine or mackerel seasoning and (11) pickled ginger garnish. (12) The yakisoba can be served on a plate or directly from the large and hot cooking grill.
No less that Team Shizuoka tour director Yu-san showed us how to cook the Fujinomiya yakisoba.