I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of yakisoba sauce substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured that I’ve got you covered.
The best yakisoba substitutes are the homemade version (it’s really easy to make!) and chuno sauce. You can also try other Japanese condiments like tonkatsu , okonomiyaki, or takoyaki sauce. For substitutes you might already have to hand, try Worcestershire sauce or a generic stir-fry sauce.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I made noodles to test different yakisoba sauce substitutes.
Yakisoba sauce is a Japanese condiment often paired with noodles. It has a savory, tangy flavor with a hint of sweetness. Basically, it’s delicious!
I was looking for an accessible substitute that could replicate this flavor profile.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Homemade Yakisoba Sauce||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Chuunou Sauce||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Other Japanese Sauces||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Worcestershire Sauce||Replace with 1/2 the amount||9/10|
|Teriyaki Sauce||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Stir-fry Sauce||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Steak sauce + soy sauce||Replace in a 1:1 ratio 1/2 steak sauce 1/2 soy sauce||8/10|
Homemade yakisoba sauce
Just One Cookbook has an easy yakisoba recipe that only requires five easy-to-find ingredients and less than 10 minutes to make!
Simply toss everything in a bowl, mix it, and you’re good to go (see the recipe at the bottom of this page).
The best part about making yakisoba sauce from scratch is the freedom to customize it to suit your preferences.
If you’re vegan, swap out the Worcestershire and oyster sauces for your favorite vegan alternatives.
You can also adjust the sugar in the recipe if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
How to substitute: Replace yakisoba sauce in a 1:1 ratio with homemade yakisoba sauce.
Chuno (or chunnou) sauce
Chuno sauce is an all-purpose Japanese sauce you can use if you can’t find yakisoba sauce.
It boasts a sweet-salty flavor that tastes almost exactly like yakisoba sauce, albeit slightly less savory.
But trust me, the difference was so subtle I could barely tell. I almost confused the two bowls of noodles!
And you can always add a teaspoon or two of soy sauce to boost your chuunou sauces umami goodness.
I thought I would have a hard time finding this ingredients, but luckily I found some in Walmart’s international aisle.
How to substitute: Replace yakisoba sauce in a 1:1 ratio with chuno sauce and add soy sauce as needed.
Other Japanese sauces
Other Japanese sauces, like tonkatsu, okonomiyaki, and takoyaki, share similar ingredients with yakisoba sauce, making them viable alternatives.
The subtle differences in ratios give each sauce a unique flavor profile, and with a few minor adjustments, they can make fantastic substitutes.
- Tonkatsu sauce – this matches yakisoba’s savory-sweet and tangy flavors well but has a thicker consistency. I thinned it out with a little water before adding it to my noodles. Psst… I also did an experiment to find the best tonkatsu sauce replacements.
- Okonomiyaki sauce – this is slightly sweeter and thicker than yakisoba sauce. But diluting it with a bit of vinegar makes it thinner and offsets the sweetness.
- Takoyaki Sauce – this is also sweeter than yakisoba sauce, so it also needs a bit of vinegar to make the flavors more balanced.
How to substitute: Replace yakisoba sauce in a 1:1 ratio with diluted tonkatsu /okonomiyaki /takoyaki sauce.
Yakisoba sauce is actually based on Worcestershire sauce – so if it’s all you have it can work as a quick and dirty substitute.
And to make it even more like yakisoba sauce, mix in a pinch of sugar and cornstarch and cook it down for a minute.
This will increase the sweetness and also give it a thicker texture so it can cling to the noodles.
Pro tip: the noodles will only need a thin coating of this sub because it will have.
How to substitute: Replace yakisoba sauce with half the amount of Worcestershire sauce mixed with sugar and cornstarch.
Teriyaki sauce is another Japanese condiment you can use if you can’t find yakisoba sauce.
It boasts a sweet flavor with a bit of tang that’ll remind you of yakisoba sauce.
I find it slightly too sweet, so I like to mix it with a splash of lemon to add more acidity and lighten it.
Psst… you can also add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce to make it more savory.
How to substitute: Replace yakisoba sauce in a 1:1 ratio with teriyaki sauce.
If you’re in search of a quick and tasty solution, stir-fry sauce is a superb substitute for yakisoba sauce.
Its a delightful blend of oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
I used my favorite Kikkoman stir-fry sauce, and my noodles were finger-licking good.
But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making it from scratch. Check out my go-to stir-fry sauce from RecipeTin Eats (it’s as easy as making homemade yakisoba sauce).
How to substitute: Replace yakisoba sauce in a 1:1 ratio with stir-fry sauce.
Steak sauce + soy sauce
With its rich, savory-sweet flavor, steak sauce already has the essence of yakisoba sauce.
But adding a splash of soy sauce takes it to a whole new level, intensifying those flavors and bringing an extra layer of umami goodness.
Plus, it helps dilute the thick steak sauce and thin it out so it’s more suited to using as a noodle sauce instead of a dipping sauce.
How to substitute: Replace yakisoba sauce in a 1:1 ratio with a mixture of steak sauce and soy sauce.
Other substitutes to consider
The list above features my top picks for yakisoba sauce substitutes, but here are other options you can try if you have them:
- Unagi sauce – this has a sweeter flavor profile than yakisoba but is still loaded with umami goodness and can serve as a base for your noodles. You can add a splash of rice wine vinegar to tone down the sweetness.
- Bulgogi sauce – this is not an exact substitute for yakisoba sauce, but it works well if you don’t mind a slight flavor change. It has an added layer of smokiness.
Avoid using black vinegar
I came across this substitute suggestion while researching the forums, so I had to try it. But after tasting it, I don’t recommend using it as a substitute alone for yakisoba sauce.
It may have a less acidic flavor than regular vinegar, but it’s still a lot tangier than yakisoba sauce.
You would have to mix it with something sweet like ketchup or teriyaki sauce to make it work.
Homemade Yakisoba Sauce + 8 Other Substitutes
- 7 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp sugar
- In a small jar or bowl, combine the oyster sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar. Mix well
- Add the Worcestershire sauce and whisk again until everything is fully combined.
- Use immediately or store in a jar for up to a month.