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[Latest Edition] Top Japanese Convenience Store Instant Yakisoba: Super-Spicy Noodles, Rare Collabs, and More!

"Yakisoba" is a popular Japanese noodle dish that features simple but delicious flavors that will have you hooked from your first bite! This article compares the latest varieties of instant yakisoba available at convenience stores so that you can find out what is on offer and just how good they taste!

What Is Yakisoba?

"Yakisoba" is a dish of Chinese-style noodles and pork, stir-fried with vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, onion, and bean sprouts, and flavored with Worcester sauce. It is a common home-cooked food in Japan, but you can also find many yakisoba specialty restaurants around the country. In addition, as all that is needed to cook it is a griddle, it can be found at many festivals and outdoor events.

Instant or "cup" yakisoba is sold at any of the numerous convenience stores in Japan. "Cup" yakisoba can be ready in minutes just by adding hot water, waiting a short while, discarding the water, and then mixing in the sauce. Since first appearing on the market in Japan in 1974, numerous manufacturers have produced a wide range of instant yakisoba products. The standard options are Worcester sauce flavor or soy sauce flavor, but recently, variations such as salt flavored noodles and an increasing array of rare flavors offered in collaboration with well-known food brands have appeared on the market.

Two of the most famous instant yakisoba are Nissin’s "UFO Yakisoba Condensed Umami Thick Thick Sauce" (198 JPY (incl. tax)) or Peyoung Sauce Yakisoba (198 JPY (incl. tax)), both of which have been loved for more than 40 years. If you have never tried yakisoba, pick up one of these at a convenience store, and find out just how good it tastes!

Without further ado, here is an introduction to the latest instant yakisoba found at convenience stores, along with my impressions of each.

1. Maruchan's "Ore no Shio Large Yakisoba with Tarako and Karashi Mayonnaise" - 232 JPY (Incl. Tax) - Mini Stop

Although Worcester sauce is the most common flavor of yakisoba, these noodles are flavored with a "tarako" base which provides a light flavor. "Tarako" is salted cod roe, known for its unique aroma and salty taste. As soon as you sprinkle the tarako powder sachet onto the yakisoba, its unique aroma fills the room. The noodles are thin, making them perfect to mix with the tarako powder and allowing the fabulous aroma to spread with every bite, making the dish even tastier.

Adding the enclosed sachet of karashi (Japanese mustard) mayonnaise gave the dish a more rounded taste to complement the saltiness.

Maruchan is also known for its chewy, standard Worcester sauce flavor "Mukashi Nagara no Yakisoba," so be sure to give that a try, too.

1. Maruchan's "Ore no Shio Large Yakisoba with Tarako and Karashi Mayonnaise" - 232 JPY (Incl. Tax) - Mini Stop

2. Maruchan's "Fujinomiya Yakisoba" - 232 JPY (Incl. Tax) - Lawson

"Fujinomiya Yakisoba" is well known as a local delicacy of Fujinomiya, a city in Shizuoka Prefecture. Part of Mount Fuji, a World Heritage Site, lies within Shizuoka Prefecture, hence the name of this dish. The main elements of Fujinomiya Yakisoba are chewy noodles, "nikukasu" (the bit of the meat that is left over after rendering lard which is then deep fried in oil), and dried sardine shavings. This instant yakisoba faithfully reproduces the taste of Fujinomiya Yakisoba by using these authentic ingredients.

The firm bite of the noodles is incredibly satisfying. The sweet, salty sauce mixed with the flavor of the sardines result in a range of flavors with every bite. In addition, the sweetness from the cabbage added a nice touch, and I was able to easily eat the whole box without getting tired of the flavor. Once you’ve tried regular yakisoba, you should definitely give this one a go and see how it compares.

2. Maruchan's "Fujinomiya Yakisoba" - 232 JPY (Incl. Tax) - Lawson

3. Nissin "Moko Tanmen Nakamoto Karauma Yakisoba" - 235 JPY (Incl. Tax) - Seven Eleven

This instant yakisoba is the result of a collaboration between Seven Eleven and Moko Tanmen Nakamoto, a ramen chain known for their super-spicy ramen. Nakamoto boasts a level of spice that will impress even the hardiest spice lovers. This instant yakisoba includes a spicy mayonnaise sauce made with chili, garlic, and miso that recreates the spices of Nakamoto. As soon as I added the sauce, the spicy aroma pierced my nostrils and instantly whet my appetite!

Upon trying a bit, I noticed that it was indeed very spicy. I am usually totally fine when eating spicy food, but this made my ears and tongue prickle with the spiciness! However, there was more to the flavor than just heat. I could clearly taste the miso and smell the garlic aroma as I ate. Also, the noodles are nice and thick, so it definitely won’t leave you hungry. This one is on my repeat list for sure!

3. Nissin "Moko Tanmen Nakamoto Karauma Yakisoba" - 235 JPY (Incl. Tax) - Seven Eleven

4. Myojo "Mikasa Kanshu Salt Yakisoba" - 248 JPY (Incl. Tax) - FamilyMart

This instant yakisoba was created in collaboration with Mikasa, a yakisoba restaurant based in Jimbocho, Tokyo. Mikasa is so popular that there is always a line of people waiting to get in, so this instant yakisoba became a huge hit once it could be casually purchased at a convenience store.

The noodles are so springy that you would think they were fresh! It comes with a salt-based sauce and a thick, deluxe sauce flavored with black pepper. When eating it, the first flavor is a refreshing taste from the salt, followed by the deeper flavors of the deluxe sauce and the taste of sesame oil. It is the perfect dish for those who prefer light and simple flavors to denser, richer dishes.

Myojo is probably best known for its well-loved, classic yakisoba "Myojo Ippeichan Yomise no Yakisoba". The rich mayonnaise sauce is to die for.

4. Myojo "Mikasa Kanshu Salt Yakisoba" - 248 JPY (Incl. Tax) - FamilyMart

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What did you think of the instant yakisoba introduced above? Give one a try next time you're at a convenience store in Japan!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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