Fort Worth Japanese Society Izakaya Pub Luncheon Menu

Yakisoba

Takoyaki with Octopus, Shrimp, or Cheese

Sunomono with Wakame

Spicy Stir-fried Edamame

Regular Edamame with Sea Salt

Yakitori

Yaki Onigiri
We had the above menu at a recent lunch event for the Fort Worth Japanese Society.  I am on the board and the events committee so earlier in the year when we were thinking of monthly lunch ideas I mentioned the Izakaya Pub.  In Japan an izakaya is typically an establishment where people stop for drinks (place for sake is the literal meaning of izakaya) and food.  The food varies but you might compare it to Japanese “tapas”, small plates of many types of food.  I had read that lately the izkaya food is being served at daytime restaurants in Japan, not just sake/beer bar type places, so I thought it would be fun to serve a selection of these foods for a luncheon.  The board members liked the idea so we came up with a plan.
Sam and Elishia brought lots of red lanterns to hang (red lanterns are often outside the door of izakayas) and along with other members decorated the building.  Elishia wrote signs in Japanese and English to hang over each station (table) where the food was being prepared.  We had Sam, John, Michael, Cameron, and my son, Glenn outside preparing yakitori.  John also prepared lots of takoyaki batter and Akiko and Mikako spent the entire time making takoyaki.  Sonya sliced a dozen English cucumbers and made the sunomono, and spicy edamame for those who wanted it.
I was at the yakisoba station and cooked it as quickly as I could.  Fortunately I had done most of the work prior to the event so I had a big container of cooked chuka soba, and containers of vegetables and pork, already cooked.  I just had to heat oil, toss in the vegetables, meat, noodles, and sauce.
We estimated around 55 guests, so there was a lot of yakisoba to cook!
Yakisoba Recipe

1 pound pork loin, frozen slightly and sliced, then cut into thin strips
sprinkle lightly with low sodium soy sauce and 2 T sake
1 c mushrooms, shiitake or white, sliced
½ c vegetable oil
4 oz cabbage, cut into 1 inch wide strips
Small carrot, cut into thin sticks
½ green pepper, cut into thin sticks
1 c bean sprouts
½ c onion, cut into thin strips
8 oz chuka soba, cooked according to package directions (DO NOT OVERCOOK!)

Sauce:
1 T sake
1/3 c chicken stock
1 ½ tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1-2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
½ tsp sugar
White pepper to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
or used bottle Yakisoba sauce, 2 T per serving
Garnish:  Benishoga (pickled red ginger)
Aonori or strips of nori (seaweed)
Heat a wok or skillet and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Cook  the pork and remove.  
Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and stir fry the vegetables on high heat for 1-2 minutes.  Remove.  Cook enough for 2 people at a time by adding a tablespoon of oil to the hot pan, some pork, vegetables and noodles.  Add sauce, adding more to taste.  Serve with pickled ginger.