The most popular person at any Japanese street festival is the yakisoba guy. Standing at a small cart with a hot griddle, he wears a twisted hair band and holds two giant spatulas, one in each hand. With great energy and fanfare he stir- fries a heap of vegetables and pork with chukasoba noodles— the yellow, springy Chinese-style wheat noodles more commonly known as ramen. He ﬁnishes with a glug of the special bottled sauce that tastes like a spicier version of tonkatsu sauce, and customers walk toward him like zombies.At home, however, the dish is best cooked one portion at a time. At Japanese grocery stores, chukasoba are sold in the refrigerated section in bags with sauce packets, and labeled “yakisoba.” I typically ignore the packets and instead use the tastier Otafuku brand yakisoba sauce. Why don’t I make my own? Well, then the stir-fry would be a chore (you wouldn’t make your own ketchup for a burger, would you?) rather than a quick lunch or perfect late- night snack.Recipe excerpted with permission from Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Masaharu Morimoto. Click here to purchase your own copy.