“How I find important place with bus and tube? Is impossibility. Tube map is like plate of noodles. Bus route is in-understandable.”
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, Xiaolu Guo
I was doing a photography course in London when I caught these two friends enjoying some noodles on my camera.
Of course I couldn’t resist the temptation to look a bit more closely to what they were eating. I looked up the Wagamama menus online and I guessed it must be teppanyaki. And then, of course, I had to find out what teppanyaki really was.
It’s a Japanese term for food cooked quickly on a griddle. I experimented with this recipe and I concluded that you could get a very similar result by using a large frying pan, thereby cutting down on mountains of unnecessary washing up.
This is my version. I was a bit dubious about the straight-to-wok Udon noodles, but they were given hearty approval by the Saucy Dressings’ Chief Taster, who has high standards.
Recipe for Teppanyaki Noodles with Chicken and Prawn
For three hungry people or four as part of a two or three course meal. Or you could make for two and then reheat the leftovers with a bit of shredded omelette for lunch the following day.
- 1 chicken breast, sliced
- 325g/1 cup frozen shelled prawns
- 5 tbsps/80g/⅓ cup mirin or sake (or add a teaspoon of sugar to some dry sherry or vermouth)
- 5 tbsps/80g/⅓ cup good quality thick, dark soy sauce
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Sesame oil for frying
- 1 banana shallot, peeled and chopped small
- 6 spring onions, including an inch/couple of cm of the green, finely sliced
- 300g/10 oz bean sprouts
- 1”/2 cm grated ginger
- 4 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 150g/5 oz Amoy straight to wok Udon thick noodles
- Marinate the sliced chicken in the mirin and soy sauce, ideally overnight
- Unfreeze the prawns (if you are in a hurry you can do this by soaking them in very hot water).
- Dry fry the sesame seeds – set aside
- Heat some vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Take the chicken out of the marinade with a slotted spoon leaving the marinade in the container. Fry the chicken briefly on both sides until just tender – a couple of minutes. Make sure it’s cooked through, but don’t overcook or it will become tough and dry. Set aside in a largish bowl and keep warm
- Fry the prawns on both sides until cooked through, add to the chicken to keep warm
- Fry the banana shallot, the grated ginger and the green pepper until the shallot is slightly translucent – about five minutes – your aim is to keep the vegetables quite crunchy as an interesting counterpoint to the soft noodles. Add to the chicken and prawns, keeping them slightly separate, keep warm
- Add the marinade to the frying pan, bring to a simmer and reduce.
- Meanwhile, in a large, flat-bottomed wok, heat the sesame oil, then add the bean sprouts and the noodles. Add the green pepper, shallot and ginger back into the wok, mix together and put onto warmed plates
- Arrange over the pieces of chicken and prawns
- Pour over the reduced marinade
- Sprinkle over the spring onion and the sesame seeds – serve immediately