Can I use okonomiyaki sauce for yakisoba and stir-fries?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 17, 2022

17 easy recipes anyone can make...

All the tips you'll need to get started in Japanese cooking with, FOR A LIMITED TIME, FREE as our first email: the complete Japanese with ease cookbook.

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Do you love yakisoba and stir-fries, AND have a bottle of okonomiyaki sauce wasting away in the fridge?

It’s made to have a slightly sweet and savory flavor that goes well with noodles and vegetables.

So we gave it a try, and here are the results.

Okonomiyaki sauce for yakisoba

You can use okonomiyaki for yakisoba and other stir-fries because of the same base ingredients as Worcestershire and oyster sauce. It is a lot sweeter than most sauces, which often contain soy sauce for saltiness, so substituting some okonomiyaki sauce with soy sauce will get the best results.

What is Okonomiyaki sauce and what does it taste like?

Okonomiyaki sauce is a Japanese condiment that is made with oyster sauce, sugar, ketchup, and Worcester sauce. It has a slightly sweet and savory flavor that goes well with pancakes and vegetables like cabbage.

It is sweeter than your average stir-fry sauce, so we’d have to take a closer look and compare it to other sauces.

It’s meant to be used as a topping for pancakes in small(ish) amounts, not to flavor a whole plate of noodles.

Can Okonomiyaki sauce be used for yakisoba?

Japanese yakisoba sauce is a bit saltier and less sweet than okonomiyaki sauce. It’s also made with ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and oyster sauce, but it also has soy sauce.

It also has less sugar per cup, so it goes better with stir-fries than okonomiyaki sauce does.

If you use okonomiyaki sauce for yakisoba, you should use less of it and substitute the rest with either soy sauce, if you have it, or water and a pinch of salt. This would balance out the sweetness of the sauce.

Maybe you’d enjoy the first bite or two, but after the third, you’d think, “wait a minute, this is way too sweet for a whole plate of food.”

Have you ever tasted food like that?

That being said, okonomiyaki sauce is probably the sauce that comes closest to yakisoba in terms of ingredients and flavor profile when you leave out the sweetness, so it’s a perfect base if you mix it well.

Okonomiyaki vs yakisoba sauce

Worcestershire, oyster sauce, and ketchup give okonomiyaki and yakisoba sauce a similar flavor profile, but the extra sugar and lack of soy sauce in okonomiyaki make it much sweeter than was intended for yakisoba.

Can Okonomiyaki sauce be used for other stir-fried dishes?

The same goes for other stir-fried dishes. If you use okonomiyaki sauce, use less of it and add either soy sauce or water to balance out the sweetness.

What is in a typical stir-fry sauce?

Typical stir-fry sauces are made with soy sauce and sugar. Sometimes they also have ginger, garlic, and chili pepper flakes.

The most popular sauce for stir-fries is probably Hoisin, which is made of soybean paste, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, and spices.

Soy sauce is a great addition to use next to okonomiyaki sauce because most stir-fries will already call for it. You almost always want a little saltiness in your dish when eating a full meal.

Okonomiyaki sauce already has Worcestershire sauce for umami and a little bit of oyster sauce, so you could probably get away with not using sesame oil, but adding garlic and other spices would be necessary to make most stir-fries taste good.

How to use Okonomiyaki sauce in yakisoba and stir-fries

If you want to use okonomiyaki sauce for yakisoba or other stir-fries you probably want to add a little something extra to make it usable for a full plate of food.

It already has. a lot of the base ingredients other sauces have, so it does make a good partner in a mix of other ingredients to make the sauce less sweet, and the dish a complete dinner.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

Read for free

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.