Thursday’s bento post will feature this stirfry. It’s quick, simple, and light. No cornstarch is involved. Three ingredients make the sauce. It can easily be made vegetarian by pulling out the chicken and adding more veggies. It all started with my cry for help when I had tried yakisoba at a local Japanese restaurant. I had tried this same dish once before at Waka House, and while I had quite enjoyed it, it wasn’t something that I thought, “I must make this at home.” However, the yakisoba at my local joint made my tastebuds rejoice, and I’ve been on a hunt every since: reading articles, finding ingredients, mentally prepping myself.
Then, Kim came to town, and while out and about I purchased a package of snow peas. Snow peas pretty much mean “make a stir fry.” And my thoughts led back to that yakisoba and some of the ingredients I had purchased for it.
I have to give credit to great luck and the fates smiling that several things seemed to fall in place as I started work on this recipe. First, I had finally found and purchased five spice powde. My brother has told me for quite some time to purchase this stuff and use it in my stirfry. “It’s that elusive quality that you are missing,” he said. I was worried when I opened the package as the smell of cinnamon hit the olfactory nerves. I am growing more and more adverse to cinnamon flavored items as I grow older (save for cinnamon French toast). But I bravely soldiered on. In the end, I found that the brother was right. The cinnamon that I smelled was not overly present in the dish. And the flavoring did have that elusive “something” that was no longer missing.
When I first started my yakisoba quest, I read articles online, tips from readers, and went in search of ingredients. Yakisoba sauce packets that had been mentioned are non-existent in my area. However, the combination of a cookbook recipe, a very helpful man at the store, and my explanation of what I was after led to the recommendation of Kikkoman’s Soba Tsuyu, a dipping sauce for soba noodles. This started me on my way to this recipe.
These three ingredients make up the sauce: 1 tbs of soba sauce, 1/2 tbs of Maggi soy sauce, and 1/8 tsp of chili garlic sauce. The chili garlic sauce will give the whole dish a slight kick of heat. Don’t worry, I’m a spice wuss so it is truly just a slight kick. However if you prefer your food especially spicy, add more of the chili garlic sauce to your flavor preference.
This recipe is scaled for about 2-3 servings, just enough for my dinner, plus 1-2 bentos in the week. If you’re feeding a family, you need to scale up and tweak the amount of seasoning you plan to use. As I prepped this recipe for posting, I weighed the ingredients. Hopefully, this will help you scale up the recipe as needed.
To get started, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces, 258 grams or about 9 ounces
- Diced onions, 86 grams or about 3 ounces
- Thinly sliced carrots, 82 grams or about 3 ounces
- Snow peas cut into bite-size pieces, 110 grams or about 4 ounces
- Dried chinese noodles of your choice (cooked) 55 grams or about 2 ounces (measurement is dry)
If you are wondering how the carrots were sliced so thinly, it certainly wasn’t due to my overwhelmingly wonderful knife skills (they are mediocre at best). It is due to the handy dandy (and cheap!) mandoline I purchased from Ichiban Kan when they still had their online store. Let’s all take a moment of silence to remember what we once had but lost……
On with the recipe.
Heat your pan on a medium high setting (# 6 on my stove) with two tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Oh, did I forget to mention that this “stirfry” falls in that not exactly category of this blog? No? Well, it does. So please feel free to substitute sesame oil to your taste and amount preferred. I have a rough time with that strongly flavored oil and instead used a garlic flavored olive oil.
Once the oil is well heated, place the chicken into the skillet and immediately begin stirring it in the pan. The goal is to have most sides of the chicken hit the skillet and turn white.
Add the 1/2 tsp of five spice powder, plus a pinch more if you are so inclined, and stir around the pan trying to coat all chicken pieces with the powder.
Push the chicken to the outer edges of the pan and add your onions. (Sorry for the blurry picture but the steam from the pot in the bottom right corner caused me some issues). Be sure to continue to stir the ingredients in the pan.
Once the onions are about halfway translucent, push everything in the pan to the edges and add the carrots and snow peas. As you cook, you’ll notice that the snow peas start to turn a very bright green. When it seems they are at their brightest, your dish should be just about done. Cook for about 30 – 45 seconds more. The snow peas and carrots should be cooked to an al dente style texture.
Remove your stirfry to a large mixing bowl and add the cooked noodles and soba sauce mixture. Mix the ingredients together well, plate, and enjoy!
Soba Sauce Stirfry
This isn’t a true stirfry in the strictest sense; however, it is one of my foolproof recipes for a quick and easy dinner with leftovers for a bento box.
For the Sauce:
1 tbs Kikkoman Soba Tsuyu sauce
1/2 tbs seasoned soy sauce
1/8 tsp chili garlic sauce
Mix all three ingredients in a small prep bowl and set aside for the end of the recipe.
For the noodles:
55 grams (2 oz.) of dried chinese noodles
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Set aside for the end of the recipe.
For the stirfry:
258 grams (9 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
82 grams (3 oz) carrots, thinly sliced
86 grams (3 oz) onions, diced
110 grams (4 oz) snow pieces, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tsp all spice powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Set your pan on a medium high setting heat two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Place the chicken into the skillet and immediately begin stirring it in the pan.
- Add the 1/2 tsp of five spice powder and stir to coat the chicken with the spice.
- Once all sides of the chicken have turned white, push the chicken to the outer edges of the pan and add the onions Be sure to continue to stir the ingredients in the pan.
- Once the onions are about halfway translucent, push everything in the pan to the edges and add the carrots and snow peas.
- Once the snow peas turn a very bright green, cook for about 45 seconds more (or until the peas and carrots are to a tenderness you like).
- Remove stirfry from pan to a large mixing bowl
- Add the cooked noodles and soba sauce mixture.
- Mix the ingredients together well.