Soba "Chow Mein"

I love soba noodles because of its nutty flavor and quick cooking time. The scallion sauce is fantastic as it is, so if you want a low-sodium meal, you can skip the soy sauce and oyster sauce altogether.

In my early years in the workforce, no one left the office earlier than 9. Right after I clock out, I would jump in my car and prowl the city for late night eats. Back in those days, I mostly nourished myself with Chinese or Japanese food since a lot of Chinese and Japanese restaurants were open until midnight. For some reason, I used to feel that food tasted better late at night--be it a simple bowl of chow fan strewn with dumplings or a colorful tray of sushi.

Office workers nowadays are extremely lucky to have a dizzying array of late night dining options--from Korean to Thai to Vietnamese. It is a truly magnificent thing that you can now taste the flavors of the world just by driving a few blocks away from your house.

Although I work full-time, I make it a point to come home as early as possible to spend more time with my kids. And since it's not ideal to cart one's tots to hole-in-the-wall establishments on a weeknight (no matter how insanely "authentic" it is), I allow my kids to experience different cuisines right at the comfort of our home.

I'm quite happy my kids are adventurous eaters. There are a few things they refuse to eat, but I reintroduce it after 6 months just to test if they have changed their minds. Sometimes, it's not about dish itself, but the ingredients. Or vice versa.

Among my kids' favorite meals include Vietnamese Spring Rolls (sans Sriracha), Tom Yum Goong (heat toned down of course), Chow Mein (a great way to incorporate vegetables in their diet), and Beef Boolgogi (their absolute favorite). As for me, my ultimate late-night craving has always been, is, and will always be Spicy Tuna Sashimi. It's deceptively easy to make and requires no special skill at all.

This August, we will be exploring different Asian dishes. My friends are astounded how I am able to gather several "exotic" ingredients for my crazy kitchen experiments. I tell them these unusual sauces, herbs, spices, and whatnot are all available at Rustan's Supermarket.

So bring out your chopsticks and ricebowls! You are in for a serious treat.

Soba “Chow Mein”


1 pack soba noodles, cooked according to package instructions and shocked in cold water

Scallion sauce:

1 bunch scallions, sliced diagonally
1 small ginger, sliced into thin squares
1 bulb garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil


1 chicken thigh filet, sliced into strips
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Cayenne pepper
½ cup, wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted with hot water and sliced thinly
3 tablespoons olive oil

Sautéed spices and vegetables:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper, julienned
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 cup broccoli florets


1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (you can also use mirin)


1.    Make scallion sauce first. Using a wok or a large pan, stir fry scallions, ginger, and garlic in olive oil, taking care not to brown the spices. Remove from pan.
2.    Saute onion, red bell pepper, carrots, and broccoli over moderately high heat. Remove from pan.
3.    Season chicken thighs with with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Sear over medium heat with wood ear mushrooms until cooked. Remove from pan.
4.    Saute the soba noodles in scallion sauce. Add the sauce and toss gently. Crank up the heat and add sautéed spices and vegetables and chicken.
5.    Serve!


Easy 5-step recipes featuring the freshest and most exciting ingredients from Rustan's Supermarket.