Oota Yakisoba – Why is it dark? (History, Recipe, and Restaurants)

Oota Yakisoba is considered one of the numerous Yakisoba dishes available in Japan. Nonetheless, this type of Yakisoba stands out from the remaining as a consequence of its characteristics. Should you’re interested by it, proceed reading below.


What’s Oota Yakisoba?

Oota Yakisoba has typical characteristics. Along with that, the thickness of the noodles and the toppings are different. The best way of blending the sauce can be not the identical. As a matter of fact, there are not any requirements for seasoning and methods of producing.

Meanwhile, greater than eighty restaurants in Ota City serve this dish with different thicknesses of noodles. While some are serving Chinese-style noodles, some are also using spaghetti-style Yakisoba. Thus, Oota Yakisoba is characterised by its lack of distinctiveness.

Except for its current name, some locals still call it Joshu Ota Yakisoba. Joshu is, in truth, the old name of the world of Ota City. Subsequently, many individuals are still calling it that way.

What are the characteristics of Joshu Ota Yakisoba?

What are the characteristics of Joshu Ota Yakisoba?

The normal Yakisoba sauce they use for it has green seaweed and pickled red ginger toppings. In fact, thick noodles are mandatory. However, the cabbage has a crunchy texture and barely sweet taste.

In fact, the unique and thick sauce blends with the noodles well. The sweetness of the cabbage also helps bring out the unique wheat flavor of the noodles. Eventually, they called this standard “10 noodles, 10 meals”.

Why is the sauce dark?

Why is the sauce of Oota Yakisoba dark?

Due to wealthy and thick sauce, it appears to be dark. Some would say it’s black, but it surely’s more on the darker shade of brown. Even so, Joshu Ota Yakisoba in some stores appears to be a bit lighter.

The 2 predominant ingredients of the thick and dark sauce are Worcestershire sauce and natural caramel. Since each of them are dark in color, it creates an ever darker shade when combined. The thickness of the natural caramel can be what makes the sauce of Ota City’s soul food thick but not sticky.

What does it taste like?

It has a mellow sweetness due to cabbage and natural caramel. While many individuals expect it to be too salty, it’s actually not. There may be also a kick of sour and spicy taste, but not overwhelming. It still has the umami flavor of standard yakisoba which makes it a favourite amongst many individuals.

Along with that, Joshu residents prefer a rather salty seasoning. Thus, it’s no surprise that Joshu Ota Yakisoba is best for individuals who just like the strong taste.

What’s the history of Oota Yakisoba?

What is the origin of Oota Yakisoba?

Numerous people consider that the roots of Yakisoba began in Ota City, Gunma Prefecture through the early Showa era. It was also during this when many locals were working at Fuji Heavy Industries. A theory says that a migrant employee introduced Yakisoba to the factory which is formerly Subaru.

It became really famous amongst the workers due to its deliciousness. Along with the taste, the indisputable fact that it’s easy to eat helped its popularity. In a while, Yakisoba restaurants and kiosks began lining up the streets resulting in Daiko-In Temple.

As of May 2019, over eighty restaurants in Ota City sell Joshu Ota Yakisoba. It also became a key contributor to revitalizing town. Hence, it’s protected to say that Oota Yakisoba is the soul food of Ota City.

Oota Yakisoba became considered one of the Three Major Yakisoba in Japan. Meanwhile, the opposite two Yakisoba on the list is Yokote Yakisoba and Fujinomiya Yakisoba.

Also, they sold along with the opposite two sorts of Yakisoba and called it the “Mikuni Domen Series”. Joshu Ota Yakisoba Norenkai, which is a citizen volunteer group, has been actively promoting Joshu Ota Yakisoba in open events. As well as, in addition they exhibit it in Donryu-ichi every May.

The Differences Among the many Three Major Yakisoba in Japan

The Differences Among the Three Major Yakisoba in Japan (Yokote Yakisoba, Fujinomiya Yakisoba, Oota Yakisoba)

The areas where the Three Major Yakisoba comes from are called “Yakisoba Towns”. As a matter of fact, they concluded a three-same-noodle agreement to strengthen this. Yokote Yakisoba is from Akita Prefecture. However, Fujinomiya Yakisoba comes from Shizuoka Prefecture.

All of those Yakisoba kinds appear dark, but Joshu Ota Yakisoba has the darkest color. Each Yokote Yakisoba and Fujinomiya Yakisoba use thick and straight noodles. While Oota Yakisoba’s noodles are thicker.

In fact, the common ingredients these three have are Worcestershire sauce and cabbage. These two are essential in completing the recipe.

Oota Yakisoba Recipe

The thing about this local Yakisoba dish is that it’s actually easy to make. Read on to know the way you possibly can recreate Joshu Ota Yakisoba within the comfort of your personal home.

Oota Yakisoba ingredients


Good for 1-2 individuals
Yakisoba noodles (thick) 220 g
chopped cabbage 120 g
apple juice 2 tbsp.
lard 1 tbsp.
water 2 tbsp.
Sake 1 tbsp.
Worcestershire sauce 5 tbsp.
natural caramel 1 tsp.
pickled red ginger appropriate amount
Aonori appropriate amount

The right way to make Oota Yakisoba?

How to make Oota Yakisoba?

Steam the noodles along with the cabbage. Don’t forget to cover with a lid for faster cooking.

As soon because the cabbage turns transparent, mix the ingredients for the thick sauce. Ensure to cover all of the noodles and cabbage with sauce.

Place as much cabbage at the underside of the plate before putting the noodles. This manner, you possibly can see more of the noodles.

Sprinkles with the appropriate amount of Aonori and pickled red ginger in accordance with your liking. Lastly, serve while it’s hot.


  • You may as well add minced pork so as to add flavor to the dish.
  • Adding a bit amount of salt before mixing the sauce ingredients can prevent the sauce from sticking to the cabbage.

Where to eat Oota Yakisoba?

Should you go to Gunma Prefecture, don’t miss visiting a number of the Yakisoba restaurants below.

Iwazakiya (岩崎屋)

Iwazakiya (岩崎屋)

This Gunma store is so famous that it’s often featured in television shows and magazines. Their Oota Yakisoba ingredients are easy. The sauce also looks thick, but the quantity of saltiness is excellent. Not only do they serve this Ota City local food, but in addition they sell Yaki Manju and Miso Oden.

Address: 697-8 Teraicho, Ota, Gunma 373-0052, Japan
Contact Number: +81276370258
Business Hours: 11:00 to 18:00 (closed on Tuesdays)

Sukehira (助平屋饅頭 総本舗)

Sukehira (助平屋饅頭 総本舗)

Sukehira is originally a Yaki Manju store before they began selling Joshu Ota Yakisoba. Also they are considered one of the well-known restaurants in Gunma. Their loyal customers often recommend adding a fried egg on top of their Oota Yakisoba. They cater to each dine-in and take-out customers.

Address: 526-11 Nitta Kizakicho, Ota, Gunma 370-0321, Japan
Contact Number: +81276560049
Business Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 (closed on Mondays)

Chirorinmura (ちろりん村)

Chirorinmura (ちろりん村)

Despite the strong taste, their Oota Yakisoba has a light-weight flavor. Chirorinmura is a straightforward take-out store that uses locally-grown cabbages in making its menu. Additionally they sell ready-to-eat original sauce which you could cook with Yakisoba noodles at home.

Address: 319-1 Uchigashimacho, Ota, Gunma 373-0813, Japan
Contact Number: +81276459273
Business Hours: 10:30 to 14:00 (closed on Tuesdays)

Kawatomi (かわとみ 上州太田焼きそばのれん会)

Kawatomi (かわとみ 上州太田焼きそばのれん会)

Kawatomi’s Oota Yakisoba comes with fried potatoes on top. It adds as much as the feel of the dish. It also makes it much more fulfilling. One other thing that stands out is the marginally spicy aftertaste.

Additionally they sell Eggplant Kabayaki or popularly referred to as the Vegan Unagi Don. It’s principally grilled eggplants with sweet sauce on top of steamed rice.

Address: 178-2 Godocho, Ota, Gunma 373-0004, Japan
Contact Number: +81276371390
Business Hours: 11:30 to fifteen:00 (closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays)


Oota Yakisoba is considered one of the Three Major Yakisoba in Japan. It’s characterised by its thick noodles and dark sauce. While it appears to be too salty, it’s often not. It also has a pinch of sweetness due to cabbage.

If you ought to know more about Yakisoba, click here. Don’t forget to depart a comment below!

Translate »