Yakisoba (焼きそば), literally fried buckwheat or Sōsu Yakisoba (ソース焼きそば), the same, but in sauce, is considered a Japanese dish but may have originated in China as a variant of fried noodles. It first appeared in food stalls in Japan during the early 20th century. Although soba means buckwheat, typically suggesting noodles made from that flour in mainland Japan, yakisoba noodles are made from wheat flour. It is typically flavored with a condiment similar to oyster sauce.
It is prepared by frying ramen-style noodles with bite-sized pork, vegetables (usually cabbage, onions or carrots) and flavored with yakisoba sauce, salt and pepper. It is served with a multitude of garnishes, such as aonori (seaweed powder), beni shoga (shredded pickled ginger), katsuobushi (fish flakes), and mayonnaise.
Yakisoba is most familiarly served on a plate either as a main dish or a side dish. Another popular way to prepare and serve yakisoba in Japan is to pile the noodles into a bun sliced down the middle in the style of a hot dog, and garnish the top with mayonnaise and shreds of pickled ginger. Called yakisoba-pan, pan meaning bread, it is commonly available at local matsuri (Japanese festivals) or konbini (convenience stores).
Sometimes, Japanese white Udon is used as a replacement of Chinese style Soba and called Yakiudon. This variation was started in Kitakyushu or Kokura in Fukuoka Prefecture.
In Okinawa, Yakisoba is popular with Okinawans and U.S. service members stationed on the island alike. After the 1945 hostilities ended on Okinawa, the US military command supplied American food products to the malnourished residents. The preferred Okinawan Yakisoba was prepared from spaghetti, Spam, ketchup, any available vegetable (usually canned), and mayonnaise for frying. Mess halls and other on-base eateries often serve yakisoba. Chopped hotdogs are a popular addition to yakisoba made on Okinawa, in addition to other meats such as ham, chicken, and pork.