Beef Yakisoba (Healthy, No Sugar Added!) (2024)

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5 from 2 votes

What is beef yakisoba? Yakisoba is a Japanese stir fry dish made with ramen-style noodles, chopped veggies, and meat. This comforting dish is then flavored with yakisoba sauce, a sweet and savory condiment with similarities to Worcestershire sauce. In this healthy beef yakisoba recipe, I’m using rice noodles, lean strips of steak, piles of veggies, and a sugar free yakisoba sauce. You’ll love this spin on authentic beef yakisoba because it is healthier while remaining delicious!

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Yakisoba is the Japanese term for “fried soba” or “fried buckwheat noodles.” However, the dish yakisoba is typically made with Chuka soba (a Chinese wheat flour noodle) rather than a buckwheat noodle. In this recipe, I’ll be using gluten free ramen noodles made of millet and rice.

What counts as an authentic beef yakisoba recipe to you will depend on what you are accustomed to. Everyone puts a slightly different spin on this Japanese street food. I’ve even seen low carb and keto yakisoba using shirataki or zucchini noodles!

Perhaps you’re in Canada and most familiar with beef yakisoba from Edo Japan. Edo’s version of this noodle dish has beef, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots topped with the house teriyaki sauce.

Or if you’re from the western U.S., maybe you’ve tried beef yakisoba from Kabuki Japanese restaurant. Kabuki pairs thinly sliced beef and noodles with a mélange of cabbage, onions, and bean sprouts. Yum!

Many of us though (particularly in the U.S.) may be most familiar with Maruchan yakisoba. Plastic packages of inexpensive ramen noodles with dry seasoning packets tend to be popular with college students. If this is what yakisoba means to you, let me show you why homemade beef yakisoba is better!

Table of Contents
  • The BEST Beef Yakisoba Recipe
  • Beef Yakisoba Ingredients
  • Beef Yakisoba Garnishes
  • Beef Marinade for Yakisoba Ingredients
  • What You Need to Make Sauce for Beef Yakisoba
  • What type of beef for yakisoba?
  • How to Make Beef Yakisoba
  • Leftover Beef Yakisoba
  • What are some other healthy beef recipes?
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Other Easy Stir Fry Dinners
  • 📖 Recipe Card
  • Beef Yakisoba (Healthy Recipe, No Sugar Added!)
  • 💭 Expert Tips from Dietitian Summer Yule
  • 💬 Comments

The BEST Beef Yakisoba Recipe

Why make this recipe when those microwave beef teriyaki yakisoba containers are so convenient? Well, here are a few reasons for you:

  • Easy and delicious: This quick beef yakisoba comes together entirely on the stovetop, so it doesn’t take too much effort. Plus, I think you’ll find it’s way tastier than microwave ramen. The additional work is definitely worth it!
  • Whole grains: Unlike most beef yakisoba recipes, this dish uses whole grain ramen noodles. Check out the “ingredients” section below if you want to learn more about them. Whole grains contain fiber and additional nutrients that tend to be lacking in refined grains.
  • No added sugar: This healthy yakisoba recipe has no added sugar, unusual for a dish of this type! The only kind of sugar here is the type naturally occurring in the vegetables (and some of the other ingredients).
  • Extra veggies piled in: I loaded this dish with lots of colorful veggies and shiitake mushrooms. If you’re looking to eat more veggies for health, I’ve got you covered with this one. (The veggies make the dish more colorful and pleasing to the eye as well, IMVHO.)
  • Plenty of high-quality protein: Beef plays a starring role in this dish, adding protein plus highly bioavailable iron and zinc. If you’d like a vegan or vegetarian version using “real foods,” try substituting the beef for chunks of seasoned tofu. (FYI, my personal definition of “real food” is foods that are not ultra-processed.)

Beef Yakisoba Ingredients

Wondering what you need to make beef yakisoba? Here’s what I used for this delicious noodle recipe:

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  • Lean beef, cut into strips
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil or avocado oil
  • Sliced white onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Sliced green pepper
  • Sliced snow peas
  • Broccoli slaw mix
  • Sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • Noodles

Cabbage, carrots, onions, and bean sprouts are often used in yakisoba recipes. If you’d rather not use the broccoli slaw, you could try a cabbage-based coleslaw mix instead. Other veggies, like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower could also work here.

It was a little tricky to find a whole grain noodle good for yakisoba. I ended up using gluten free Lotus Foods Millet and Brown Rice Ramen. These noodles are heartier than regular rice noodles making them a good substitution for yakisoba noodles (which are usually made with wheat).

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The noodle packets I purchased came with red miso seasoning packets which I did not use here. The only ingredients in the rice noodles themselves are brown rice flour and millet flour.

An 80-gram portion of the noodles provides 4 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. This is far more fiber and protein than you’ll find in most white flour noodles.

Beef Yakisoba Garnishes

Yakisoba is typically served with a variety of garnishes. Here are some common toppings:

  • Pickled ginger
  • Oyster sauce
  • Seaweed
  • Bonito fish flakes
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sliced scallions

I used scallions, sesame seeds, and pickled ginger on our plates. The pickled ginger was an especially flavorful addition.

You’ll also need a pot to cook the noodles and a wok for stir frying the ingredients. If you don’t have a wok, another wide and flat sauté pan should also work well.

Beef Marinade for Yakisoba Ingredients

I actually did not use a beef yakisoba marinade, but I did make a sauce for this stir fry noodle dish. I think with the flavorful sauce, you don’t need to marinate the beef.

Most recipes for beef yakisoba sauce contain Worcestershire sauce and ketchup, both ingredients with added sugar. Skipping the Worcestershire and using a no added sugar ketchup makes my version refined sugar free. Even without the Worcestershire, there is still plenty of umami flavor from soy sauce, mushrooms, and other ingredients in the dish.

What You Need to Make Sauce for Beef Yakisoba

I already told you about the main ingredients for the stir fry. However, you’ll also need a few more things for the sauce. Here’s the roundup:

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  • Beef stock (homemade is best)
  • Ketchup with no sugar added
  • Rice vinegar (not seasoned rice vinegar)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Grated ginger root
  • Finely chopped garlic
  • Toasted sesame oil

Beef stock is my preference here, but you can substitute with vegetable broth if you prefer. For the ketchup, I prefer True Made Foods Vegetable Ketchup. It gets natural sweetness from fruit and vegetable purees, so no added sugars or sugar substitutes are used.

What type of beef for yakisoba?

Lean cuts of beef such as sirloin, flank steak, or skirt steak are the best choices for beef yakisoba. For the best results, cut the beef into thin strips against the grain. (FYI- I did not do this, but it is a must if you use flank or skirt steak.)

All of the above said, I used a different cut of beef. (I lucked out getting some nice steaks on sale!) It’s fine to tweak this recipe to use what you have.

How to Make Beef Yakisoba

Let’s do this! Start by slicing your vegetables and cutting the beef into strips. Make the sauce by whisking the stock, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil together. Once we get cooking, things move fast!

Set a medium-sized pot of water to boil over medium heat. We’ll need it later for the noodles.

Heat some oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with black pepper. Brown the beef in the wok, stirring frequently. This took approximately 4-5 minutes. Set the beef aside.

Wipe out the wok (if needed) and heat a little more oil over medium-high heat. Add all of the vegetables and the shiitake mushrooms.

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Stir fry the veggies for 3-4 minutes and then add the beef back to the wok.

Beef Yakisoba (Healthy, No Sugar Added!) (6)

When the water is boiling, add the noodles to the pot. Cooking times will vary depending on the noodles you use. Check the package of the product you buy to get the timing right.

The millet rice noodles I used took four minutes to cook. Break the noodles up with a fork towards the end of the cooking time if they're sticking together. (This is more likely to happen with blocks of ramen noodles.)

Be sure to thoroughly drain the noodles right after cooking. It’s important not to overcook them. You don’t want to end up with a pile of noodle mush.

Add the cooked noodles and sauce to the wok. Turn the stovetop heat to high and stir frequently, letting everything absorb most of the sauce. This should take no more than 2-3 minutes.

That’s it! Garnish your beef yakisoba and serve immediately. You’re in for a treat!

Beef Yakisoba (Healthy, No Sugar Added!) (7)

It’s true this healthier beef vegetable yakisoba recipe isn't "authentic." I can say, however, that it is authentically Summer. Haha

Leftover Beef Yakisoba

IMVHO, this dish isn’t great as leftovers because the noodles begin to stick together. In other words, I wouldn’t use this recipe as a meal prep.

If you’d like to make this recipe ahead of time, stir fry the beef and veggies together and make the sauce. When it is time to serve, cook the noodles, add to the reheated beef and veggies, and stir in the sauce (on the stovetop). Using freshly cooked noodles makes a world of difference to the texture of this dish.

What are some other healthy beef recipes?

If beef’s what’s for dinner, you’ve come to the right place! I have lots of healthy recipes using beef for you to check out. After you make this recipe for beef yakisoba, why not try one of these:

  • Air Fryer Roast Beef
  • Air Fryer Taco Meat
  • Instant Pot London Broil
  • Keto Beef Jerky (EPIC Bar Copycat Recipe)
  • Meatloaf in Air Fryer
  • Keto Big Mac Salad

Frequently Asked Questions

How many calories does beef yakisoba have?

The calories in beef yakisoba will vary based on the size of your portion and the ingredients you use. This healthy pan fried noodles recipe has 611 calories per serving (¼ of the recipe).

Maruchan Yakisoba has 500 calories per container. (They call the container two servings, but realistically most will treat it as a single serving.) Even though it is higher in calories, the homemade yakisoba is still the better choice because it is more nutrient dense.

How do Japanese home cooks make yakisoba?

Here’s a simple authentic Japanese yakisoba from a food blogger in Japan. It has pork belly, so you know it’s got to be delicious!

Can you make beef yakisoba with spaghetti noodles?

Yes, you can use spaghetti noodles in this beef yakisoba recipe. Traditional yakisoba noodles (Chuka soba) or bricks of ramen noodles would also work. (Just make sure to discard the seasoning packets if using ramen noodle bricks.)

What are the differences between ramen, udon, and soba?

“Ramen” commonly refers to a Japanese noodle soup. It has a rich and savory broth, Chinese-style wheat or egg noodles, plus meat and veggies. Ramen noodles tend to be long, thin, and springy.

In the U.S., “ramen” often evokes a just-add-water microwave meal made with thin noodles sold in a hard brick with a salty seasoning packet. (Yup, the homemade version is definitely the more nutritious option!)

Udon are thick and chewy wheat noodle from Japanese cuisine. Udon can be used instead of ramen or Chuka soba in this dish. If you make this substitution, it may be more correct to call your dish yaki udon.

Another type of Japanese noodle is soba. Soba is a buckwheat flour noodle, though sometimes wheat flour is also added, so it isn’t necessarily gluten free. You can also make this beef yakisoba with soba noodles if you’d prefer.

Can you make beef yakisoba in an instant pot?

You could make this an instant pot beef yakisoba recipe by using the instant pot’s “sauté” function instead of a wok. Don’t put the lid on while it cooks, and be sure to stir regularly (as you would on the stovetop). I still recommend cooking the noodles separately on the stovetop before adding to the beef and veggies.

How do you make beef yakisoba gluten free?

Make this beef yakisoba without gluten by swapping the soy sauce for gluten free tamari or coconut aminos. Many yakisobas use Worcestershire sauce (which may contain gluten) and wheat noodles (which always have gluten). With this recipe, you only need to swap the soy sauce for gluten free beef yakisoba.

Can I make ground beef yakisoba?

Yes, you can! As an added bonus, using ground beef in yakisoba will probably be cheaper for you than using steak.

You can substitute ground beef for the steak in this recipe. Instead of browning steak strips, brown ground beef crumbles and set them aside. Add the cooked beef mince back to the wok after stir frying the veggies, just as you’d do with the steak.

Other Easy Stir Fry Dinners

Stir fries are a great way to get healthy food on the table fast! After trying my beef yakisoba, here are some other healthy stir fry recipes for you to check out:

  • Air Fryer Stir Fry (Easy Recipe!)
  • Instant Pot Stir Fry Recipe with Chicken
  • Inside Out Egg Rolls

📖 Recipe Card

Beef Yakisoba (Healthy, No Sugar Added!) (8)

Beef Yakisoba (Healthy Recipe, No Sugar Added!)

Summer Yule

This healthy beef yakisoba recipe uses rice noodles, lean strips of steak, piles of veggies, and a sugar free yakisoba sauce. SO GOOD!

5 from 2 votes

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Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 20 minutes mins

Course Dinner

Cuisine Japanese

Servings 4

Calories 611 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. sirloin, flank steak, or skirt steak (454 grams; cut into thin strips) May substitute with 1 lb. ground beef
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 5 teaspoons avocado oil (divided)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup white onion, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, sliced
  • ½ cup snow peas, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup broccoli slaw
  • 3.5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced (99 grams)
  • 14 ounces millet and brown rice ramen noodles, dry 397 grams (or use your favorite noodles for yakisoba)
  • pickled ginger, sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, crushed red pepper flakes (optional; for garnish)

To make the beef yakisoba sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons beef stock
  • ¼ cup no added sugar ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Don't be a stranger! 😊If you love this recipe, please come back and leave a rating. This helps readers and I'd love to hear from you. Thank you ❤️

Instructions

  • Slice the vegetables and mushrooms. Cut the steak against the grain into thin strips. Sprinkle the steak with black pepper.

  • Whisk the stock, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil together. Set this sauce aside.

  • Set a medium-sized pot of water to boil over medium heat.You'llneed itlater to cook the noodles.

  • Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in the wok, stirringfrequently. This tookapproximately 4-5minutes. Set the beef aside.

  • Carefully wipe out the wok (if needed) and heat the last 3 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Addall ofthe vegetables and the shiitake mushrooms. Stir fry the veggies for 3-4 minutes. Add the beef back to the wok.

  • When the water is boiling, add the noodles to the pot. Cooking times will vary depending on the noodles you use. Check the package of the product you buy to get the timing right.The millet brown rice noodles I used took 4 minutes.

  • Gently break the noodles up with a fork towards the end of the cooking time if they are sticking together. Thoroughly drain the noodles when they are finished cooking.

  • Add the cooked noodles and the sauce to the wok. Turn the stovetop heat up to high and stirfrequently, letting everything absorb most of the sauce. This should take no more than 2-3 minutes.

  • Garnish as desired and serve.

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Equipment

Notes

💭 Expert Tips from Dietitian Summer Yule

This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles).This healthier beef yakisobagets the bump to level 3 due to the presence of flour (in the noodles).Believe it or not, over half the calories in this dishare coming from the noodles. You are getting325 caloriesjust from noodles with each serving of this one!

Does this surprise you? Many people aiming to “eat healthier” to lose weight drop the beef from this dish while leaving (or increasing!) the noodles.I believe thisis a mistake for two reasons:

  • The lean beef is the main source of PROTEIN in this meal. Protein can help you to feel full, so thatyou’reless likely tograzebetween meals. Depending on the cut of beef you use, the reasonableportionhere onlyprovides150-180 caloriesper serving.
  • Regardless of whether you prefer low carb, counting points, directly tracking calories, etc. you must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. Piling on the noodles also piles on the calories withoutprovidinga lot of protein or volume to meals. Adding more non-starchy vegetables in place of the noodles will keep the fiber you would get from whole grains for far fewer calories.

Luckily,it’sreally easyto make alow-caloriebeef yakisobarecipe. Simply use shirataki or spiralized squash in place of the noodles. This swap is alsoa great wayto make this yakisobalow carb (andperhaps keto).

Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe and does not include the optionalgarnishes.

nutrition info disclaimer

All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.

The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.

"To taste" means to your preferences, which may have to be visual to follow food safety rules. Please don't eat undercooked food x

Nutrition

Calories: 611kcalCarbohydrates: 71.8gProtein: 37.6gFat: 16.9gSaturated Fat: 3gPotassium: 637.4mgFiber: 7.6gVitamin A: 20% DVVitamin C: 71.2% DVCalcium: 10.7% DVIron: 30.6% DV

Keywords beef yakisoba, beef yakisoba recipe, gluten free yakisoba, healthy beef yakisoba, healthybeef yakisoba recipe, how to make beef yakisoba, no sugar beef yakisoba, whole grain yakisoba, yakisoba noodles, yakisoba recipe

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Beef Yakisoba (Healthy, No Sugar Added!) (9)

Summer Yule

Hello! I'm Summer, a registered dietitian and home chef who loves to cook, eat, and create high quality content for you! Every recipe on this site has been tested by me to help ensure your success in the kitchen. All eaters are welcome here 🙂

summeryule.com/about/

Beef Yakisoba (Healthy, No Sugar Added!) (2024)

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