Strange Snacks of the World–Noodle Sandwich


Japanese bakeries tend to have an imaginative approach to bread products. There are the perfectly square, unnaturally puffy white loaves, and then there are buns stuffed with canned corn and cheese, and tea sandwiches filled with multi-colored mostly-mayo spreads. The downtown branch of Cafe Zaiya is right across the street from my office, so I often go to get a onigiri snack and to gaze at the day’s bready confections.

That’s how I discovered yakisoba pan, or fried noodle sandwich, which is a popular snack in Japan. This carby wonder is made from a soft hot dog bun stuffed with fried ramen noodles, bits of pork, pickled ginger, and, of course, lots of mayo. Genius! A noodle bowl is impossible to eat on the run; the bun allows you to slurp fried noodles anytime.

Quoth Wikipedia:

Another popular way to prepare and serve yakisoba in Japan is to pile the noodles into a bun sliced down the middle in the style of a hot dog, and garnish the top with mayonnaise and shreds of pickled ginger. Called yakisoba-pan, pan meaning bread, it is commonly available at local matsuri (Japanese festivals) or conbini (convenience stores).

Get your carbo-load on at Cafe Zaiya, which has two locations.

69 Cooper Square

18 East 41st Street


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