Easy noodle stir-fry

A simple and versatile way to get a great dinner on the table in a few minutes with a minimum of fuss.


This isn't the kind of furiously hot, maniacally fast stir-frying that requires teppanyaki skills in your own kitchen. It's a much simpler, more manageable affair, an almost casual kind of cooking that makes this recipe, and all of its possible variations, a regular in my midweek rotation.

I'm head over heels for wok-ready noodles, which save time – you don’t need to pre-cook them – and washing-up. You can find them everywhere now. The 200g (7 oz) packets of hokkien noddles are perfect for two people as part of this dish.

You can see that your options here are infinite. I like hokkien noodles, with plump udon a close second, but go with the ones you like. The same goes for vegetables – this is a great way to clear out the crisper drawer – just cook them in order from hardest to softest. If you’re going with a leafy vegetable, like pak choy, you can add it after the noodles as it only needs a few seconds to wilt down.

A note on soy sauce: if you're reducing a sauce, as you are here, start with a salt-reduced soy to avoid the final result being too salty. I cook with Chinese light soy as a rule, reserving Japanese-style soy for use as a condiment.

Easy noodle stir-fry


Serves 2.

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 clove garlic
500g (1 pound) chicken thigh fillets
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
100g (4 oz) baby corn
100g (4 oz) snow peas
1 long red chilli
200g (7 oz) wok-ready hokkien noodles

Heat the peanut oil, or other frying oil of your choice, in a roomy frying pan or wok over medium high heat. Grate in the garlic as the oil is heating up – this will stop it burning – and cook until fragrant and the oil is hot.

Cut the chicken into forkable chunks, remembering that it will shrink as it cooks. I usually get between 6 and 9 pieces out of a thigh fillet. Add the pieces to the pan in a single layer and let them seal well. Turn, with tongs or a spoon, and seal the other side. Give a lazy stir around to finish sealing all over, cooking until some colour starts to develop.

Add the soy and oyster sauces, stirring until the chicken is nicely coated.

Chop the baby corn stalks into three and stir in. After a minute, add the snow peas, trimmed and halved, and the chilli, finely sliced.

Once the vegetables are close to cooked, stir in the noodles and keep stirring for one minute, until the noodles are soft and have absorbed the sauce. Check a piece of chicken to make sure it’s cooked through completely and serve immediately.