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Japanese cooking can be a little tricky, since many recipes involve a lot of complex prep work. Yakisoba, though, is a snap. The stir-fried noodle dish is quick and easy, and unlike more rigidly traditional Japanese fare, there’s a lot of room for putting your own spin on it by fiddling with the standard ingredient list of pork, carrots, and cabbage.

For example, with a few simple tweaks for Halloween you can whip up an awesome batch of Ghost Forest Yakisoba.

The recipe comes courtesy of Satoko Panta-ni, a regular contributor to Cookpad, Japan’s most popular recipe-sharing website. As long as you’ve got access to an Asian grocery store the ingredients aren’t hard to track down, and the only cooking equipment you’ll need is a knife and a frying pan.

yakisoba noodles – 1 pack
violet cabbage – 100 grams (3.5 ounces)
thin-sliced pork – 30 grams
kamaboko fish cake
dried nori seaweed
water – 70 milliliters (2.4 ounces)

First, slice the cabbage into bite-sized pieces. Toss them into the frying pan along with the pork and start stir-frying everything, adding salt and pepper to taste.

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After a short while, add the noodles and water, and continue cooking. Once you’re done, put everything on a plate.

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Next up, it’s time to make some ghosts. Don’t worry, you won’t have to kill anybody. Instead, grab some kamaboko and your knife, and cut out shapes of whatever spooky creatures you want haunting your yakisoba. Once you’ve got their bodies done, add facial features by sticking pieces of seaweed onto them.

▼ Ordinary kamaboko

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▼ Boo! Ghost kamaboko

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If you don’t have extensive carving experience working in the medium of fish cake, you can also use cookie cutters, if you happen to have any in shapes appropriate for Halloween.

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Also, if you find the prospect of eating kamaboko to be scarier than your lunch housing a company of ghosts, Satoko Panta-ni says you can substitute cheese for the bodies of the incorporeal undead.

Now, all that’s left to do is let the specters run amok by adding them to your plate.

▼ Frighteningly cool

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Really, there’s no better way to get into the Halloween spirit than by eating a couple of, well, Halloween spirits. Dig in, and you’ll be well fortified with some vegetables and protein to help make up for all those delicious empty calories from your trick or treating haul.

Related: Satoko Panta-ni Cookpad page
Source: Cookpad via IT Media
Top image: Cookpad
Insert images: Cookpad, Yoshigai