We know Japan makes great instant noodles, but does apple pie yakisoba pass the test?
Japan is so famous for instant noodles that there’s even a Cup Noodle Museum, and just about any grocery store or neighborhood convenience store will have a shelf stocked with instant ramen and noodles of all kinds. One old standby is Peyoung (ペヤング) yakisoba, a soup-less version of instant noodles made by Maruka Foods. Most of the Peyoung products try to recreate instant versions of yakisoba, Japanese fried noodles, in various flavors. And after staying on the shelves for years, there’s no doubt that some of those products are pretty tasty.
Above you’ll see Peyoung’s standard yakisoba. The packaging is simple, but it’s eyecatching.
Like so many brands in Japan, Peyoung also frequently releases limited-time-only specialty flavors, seasonal editions, and other yakisoba varieties. Just a few of those are the giant “Gigamax” edition, a variety flavored with salt, green onions, and pork (instead of the standard yakisoba sauce), and an especially spicy version that has been known to bring full grown adults to tears.
But today we’re not going to cry over our yakisoba. No, today we’re going to skip the spicy and indulge in something sweet! Because this is apple pie yakisoba.
The packaging is designed with an image of an apple floating in space, lighting up the galaxy like a shining star. When I saw it on the grocery store shelf I had to stop and stare, my heartbeat racing until I made the decision. I had to buy one and find out what was inside.
Unwrapping the plastic and peeling off the paper seal, inside was a cube of what looked like standard instant yakisoba noodles, and then some hints of what was to come. Seeing those freeze-dried apples, my expectations were rising.
Preparing the noodles went like any other Peyoung product. You add the freeze-dried produce to the noodles (usually that’s cabbage, but today it is apples!) but leave the sauce out, and then pour in hot water. After waiting three minutes, you pour the water down the sink and mix in the sauce. Ta-da! You’ve got yourself yakisoba! Except in this case, can we really call it that?
After mixing everything together, it was finally time to try this sweet apple pie yakisoba, with the strong scent of cinammon already reaching my nose. At the first mouthful I could tell that this was really “dessert yakisoba,” and with the sweet sauce and chunks of apples so reminiscent of pie filling, it’s definitely apple pie something! But the flavor isn’t very overpowering, either. I was worried it might be too much, and the apple pie flavoring would make the yakisoba too rich, but I actually think it was pretty balanced.
Of course, I had to see if I could make this savory, too. I added a little bit of soy sauce, and with that more intense flavor it changed back from dessert to dinner!
If you like trying new foods or appreciate a good novelty flavor, I’d definitely recommend you try Peyoung’s “Apple Pie Taste Yakisoba” (アップルパイテイストやきそば). For more updates and info from Japan, including more strange taste tests like cheese chocolate and strawberry Coke, follow us on twitter, instagram, and facebook!