Are you hard pressed to find quick dishes that easily incorporate healthy vegetables into the mix?
Indeed, I am challenged by this daily. My two athletic sons mow through the meals like there’s no tomorrow, and I am constantly challenged to find ways to work more greens into their diet.
Feeling fairly exasperated by the whole thing a few weeks ago, I resorted to the Asian noodle option. Shoreline’s Central Market had a large display of Asian ingredients on display for Chinese New Year and one of the sections featured the fresh Yakisoba noodles made here at Wan Hua Foods in Seattle. Alongside the noodles was OtaJoy Yakisoba noodle sauce. Admittedly, I fell for the marketing gimmick, grabbing the store’s handy recipe card and buying the noodles and sauce.
Well, it was a good move. These noodles, which sell for under $3 per two pound pack, are superb for quick and easy stir fries. The noodles can be used promptly after purchase or, even better, they can be frozen in smaller portions.
I have found that the frozen noodles defrost quickly and cook just fine.
Rather than give you a strict recipe for my Five Minute Yakisoba Noodles, I am going to lay out the basic steps because this approach lends itself to adaptation and flexibility, leaving you, the cook, to incorporate bits and bobs of vegetables that you might have handy in the bin.
Five Minute Yakisoba Noodles
Step One: Chop fresh ginger, garlic and onion. I usually use about one to two tablespoons of each. Sliced scallion works great too.
Step Two: Chop miscellaneous vegetables into roughly one- or two-inch pieces. I’ve used snow peas, sprouting broccoli from my garden, celery from the fridge, sliced peppers and even a handful of bagged coleslaw mix.
Step Three: Drizzle some oil into a large skillet or wok. Preheat over moderately high heat until oil sizzles when water is flicked onto the oil. Add the garlic/ginger/onion mixture and stir quickly to heat. Do NOT let it burn.
Step Four: Add the mixed vegetables and cook, stirring for a minute or so, or until the vegetable start to turn a bright green. DO NOT overcook. Turn the heat down to moderate if it looks too hot.
Step Five: Add a handful of the noodles, breaking them up into strands as you add them. Grab a pair of tongs and toss. (Note: the noodles do not need to be precooked so that is part of the beauty of this recipe! Furthermore, you can adjust the quantity of noodles to suit your taste or dietary needs.)
Step Six: Add two or three tablespoons of the Yakisoba sauce, tossing quickly with the tongs.
So, it really is this simple to make a quick Asian noodle dish at home. I’ve made this many times since I first purchased the ingredients. My sons hardly notice the vegetables and the dish overall makes a great accompaniment to sliced steak or teriyaki chicken. Feel free to experiment.