Ironically, these Japanese VEGAN Yakisoba Noodles are the closest thing to the best Indo-Chinese noodles I’ve made at home in 20 minutes!
Do you have memories that are so old and so vague that it almost seems unreal? Or how about dreams that are so vividly real that you’re convinced that it really happened? Most of my life, I’ve carried the weight of one of each and to this day, I remain confused on the legitimacy of both.
Let me talk about the dream first: As a kid, I dreamt (at least I think it was a dream) that my parents took me to a rooftop restaurant where we had to walk through a hallway whose ceiling was covered in creepers and the floor was made of glass and there were real fishes of every color swimming beneath our feet as we walked. The air was cool and refreshing, and we were seated outside at dusk and there was something about little bunnies – whether they were hopping everywhere being incredibly cute and cuddly, or were sadly, more realistically confined to cages, I do not properly recall.
I’ve asked my parents about this dream several times over the course of my lifetime, but all I got were nonchalant responses and (possibly feigned) memory loss. But I could swear, it was real; or atleast it felt real. And most of me wishes it were true, because that was the most magical dining experience anyone could possibly have had as an 8 year old.
Then there’s the stuff that really happened – Once a month on Sunday, after evening mass my parents would take us to this particular outdoor restaurant where each table was under it’s own umbrella-like roof made with thatched palm leaves and everywhere you looked, there were tall hedges and plants. The lighting was dim, but cozy, and despite the tropical environ, I do not remember being assaulted by mosquitoes. My regular order was a bowl of stir fried Chicken Noodles that was so delicious that it unfailingly spearheaded me into a better mood for Monday.
But one day, out of the blue, the restaurant closed down and in its place was soon built a school and never again did I taste stir fried Chicken Noodles quite so scrumptious. This ex-restaurant/school was on my way to school and every morning I’d look at it yearningly, until enough time passed and the school had been there for more years than I had dined at the restaurant that once stood in its place, that now, despite knowing that those Sunday night dinners were true memories, I do find it quite unreal.
But I do know that those noodles were real, and since I vividly remember how they tasted (as vividly as I remember the aquarium floor and hopping bunnies), I’ve missed it unfailingly. If only food memories could do us the courtesy to materialize when recalled…
Last weekend, I was picking up groceries, and managed to wander past the firm tofu, looking for something new to taste this week. They had a more than usual stock of Japanese goods up there, and even though the Daifuku mochi looked irresistable, I went with a pack of the Yakisoba noodles instead. I had to read through the ingredient list a thousand times to make sure there wasn’t some form of fish or meat or anything else objectionable to a vegan diet in there, but once the checks were completed, I felt pretty good about my choice and walked away feeling pretty excited. The daifuku could wait another week. I was in the mood for some stir fry.
(Affiliate link to Maruchan Nama Yakisoba Noodles on Amazon )
The amazing stir-fry Chicken noodles from the near-imaginary restaurant of my childhood had ruined me for noodles of all other nature, and the first time I had instant noodles was in the 12th grade, and even then, it was because I was force fed the stuff by a friend. I was over 25 before I’d voluntarily make myself a bowl. It felt like I was cheating on all other stir-fried noodles out there, being honestly tossed in their woks from scratch.
But my dear friends, I am happy to report that this Yakisoba Noodles, combines the brilliance of instant noodles with the authenticity of wok-fried deliciousness!!! What’s more, is that, despite being vegan, it reminded me of the real Chicken noodles from that unreal restaurant!!! Not to mention that it takes 15-20 minutes flat from scratch to finish! When I go back to the store next week, I am picking up every last packet of Maruchan’s Yakisoba Noodles from the shelves plus that Daifuku I left behind!