We recently took a trip to the Asian market, so I pulled up some Japanese recipes for inspiration. I searched through my Japanese recipe Pinterest board and 3 cookbooks ~ Japanese Cooking, Takashi's Noodles, and a cookbook written in Japanese that is geared towards guys cooking for the first time, haha. I made a long list of potential recipes & ended up picking three, all from Takashi's Noodles!
We started off with the Yakisoba on pg.32 ~ stir-fried noodles, thin slices of beef, mushrooms, and vegetables. The results were so-so. I wanted to make this for two meals, and since you never know what "serves 4" really means, we doubled the recipe. We ended up with *tons* of food, enough for at least 3 large dinners (6+ servings), and had to cook things in batches because it wouldn't all fit in one pan! I love Asian food, so I wasn't complaining too much. ;)
I had two issues with the final meal, which might be blamed on the ingredients. We weren't able to find any plain dried ramen noodles as he recommended and ended up using some refrigerated noodles instead. (I should have just grabbed some cheap packs of instant ramen!) Everything ended up a little too soft & liquidy, so I think a stiffer noodle could have helped that. The second problem was the sauce, which basically tasted like steak sauce. I felt it was too strong & wished it was a little sweet. The main ingredient in this was Tonkatsu sauce, with the note "semisweet" beside it, so perhaps a different brand of Tonkatsu sauce would have been sweeter.
It's hard to judge how well a foreign recipe comes out when you've never eaten the actual meal before! I took the leftovers and drained off most of the liquid, added some brown sugar, and cooked it a little longer to try & remedy the problems mentioned above. We bought thought it tasted a lot better that way. If I make this again I'd probably start over with a new recipe and see how that one differs.