If it's a takeaway night around here then you can be pretty confident that it's also probably the end of the working week. Orders are often placed in the car on the way home from swimming training and much thought is given to the mood board for the evening. Will it be the crunchy breaded chicken fingers with the tasty tomato dipping sauce from the Italian place or perhaps an enormous, spicy burrito from the Mexican? Maybe it will be a burger with all the toppings (although experience has taught us that they don't travel well) or could it be a pizza or two (which feeds nicely into leftovers for snacking over the weekend)?
But there's one thing that I CAN guarantee - if noodles are on the cards and we're considering food from Wagamamas, then Hella will always, always go for a Chicken Yakisoba.
What is Chicken Yakisoba?
It's a Japanese noodle stir fry that's a tangle of meat and vegetables and which has a sweet, slightly salty sauce tossed through it. It's the sauce that sets it apart from other stir-fried noodle dishes - like a Japanese Worcestershire sauce which is thicker than its European cousin. Traditional Yakisoba noodles sold in supermarkets are precooked, so you don’t need to boil them before stir frying but they're not always easily available so you can also use either wheat noodles or traditional buckwheat noodles, such as soba noodles, which is what I've opted for here. These will need pre-cooking according to the packet instructions.
And why is Chicken Yakisoba always our popular choice?
It's easy; it's tasty; it's not too this or not too that; it's a great example of how simple, freshly cooked food can be the most comforting of all. Especially at the end of a long week.
In the interest of trying to avoid splashing on takeaways, I thought I'd have a go at making this myself and I'm pleased with the result. Roughly, this is how I make it -
- Prepare the vegetables
- Mix the sauce in a jar or small bowl
- Cook the noodles
- Cook the chicken in a wok and put it to one side to rest.
- Stir fry the vegetables in the same wok
- Add the noodles and the chicken to the wok with a little water and heat until the water has evaporated
- Add the sauce to the wok and toss to combine
- Garnish with spring onions to serve
Be sure to get everything prepared before you start cooking, because it all happens quickly.
Here's what I love about this homemade Chicken Yakisoba -
- I love that much of it can be prepared ahead of time
- I love that the exact vegetables in the recipe can be swapped for whatever you have in the fridge
- I love that it's a great way to use up small-ish quantities of leftover meat (I'm thinking pork and turkey as well as chicken)
- I love that it comes together really quickly
- I love that any leftovers heat up nicely for lunch the next day
- I love that the easy flavours make it a popular dish across the generations
Frequently asked questions
Can I use a different type of noodle?
Yes, absolutely. And if you don't have any noodles to hand, this dish also works with spaghetti or linguini.
Can I use a different meat instead of chicken?
This is a very versatile dish so you can replace chicken with whatever you like. Pork is the most traditional (minced pork would work well) but also prawns or turkey would be great (I'm looking at you, Christmas leftovers) or skip the meat altogether and allow the vegetables to be the main event.
In short, I will be making this Chicken Yakisoba regularly - apart from those times when only a takeaway, delivered to the door will do …Print