’13 Minutes tops’ Balanced Noodle meal

  • Yield : 1.5kg
  • Servings : 4 to 6
  • Prep Time : 5m
  • Cook Time : 13m
  • Ready In : 18m


  • 800g Hokkien noodles
  • 350g minced tofu for Vegan or chicken/minced meat
  • 350g vegetables of your choice – cut thinly
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark or mushroom soy
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce (try vegan sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup manis
  • 2 teaspoons garlic granules or freshly grated garlic
  • 20g spring onion bases – finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup water


Over a moderate heat place a large wok or a fry pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot cook the garlic and spring onions, stir for a minute, then add the mince. Stir the mince to cook to brown but not stew. If it begins to stew it is because you need to increase the heat and cook for roughly 3 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients and start stirring to coat the sauce with the noodles.  Cover the pan and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes stirring once or twice for even cooking and coating. Uncover the pan and stir until all the liquid has been absorbed and the noodles looks dry and caramalised. Check for seasoning, if needed, more or less of light soy sauce may be used.  Serve as a meal, snack or salad, hot or cold.

Variations and My Story

When making this noodle I generally select vegetables like; bean shoots, snow peas, carrots, capsicums, bok choy, choy sum, mushrooms and spring onions. I only add my vegetables during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking because I like my vegetables underdone and also my description of vegetables don’t take long to cook. Usually I would use some freshly chopped chilies and add them at the stage of cooking the garlic, but, if I know that my guests don’t enjoy chilies I usually garnish my finished dish with green coriander and cut chilies which they can avoid if they don’t like hot meals. The size of this dish is a family-size and there will be plenty leftovers for snacks, lunch or even breakfast like it is eaten by many in South East Asian countries.

My recent student from Kadoma city, Osaka was delighted to see this noodle dish made on her first day of arrival. I felt it was necessary to make something familiar to welcome her on her first day and that did the trick. She said with glee ‘Soba’! I smiled and said ‘similar’! You see before we knew that we were receiving her we had already booked a Sunday lunch with our dear friends Nick and Voula. They had a beautiful table spread of lunch consisting of roast lamb, stuffed vegetables, lasagna to name a few to welcome my student. Followed by a selection of home-baked cakes. I cooked my noodle dish freshly there for Voula to watch and learn which she didn’t need to anyway seeing her spread of food and what a talented cook she already is! My students first impression of Australian food was that it was “large”! Later on I had to explain to her that this is a Sunday special but we don’t generally have this much spread everyday. She was most certainly  relieved and happy because earlier that evening I asked if she would like to eat dinner she indicated that she didn’t want to get ‘fat’ so little please! Then I gathered that she was actually quite a small eater but when she would take more than she would usually take she indicate that she was taking extra because it is delicious! I do feel that Japanese students tend to be smaller eaters and that if a large quantity of food is put in front of them it can sometimes put them off eating. I have learnt to make food and present it in smaller quantities when I house a female student from Japan, I wonder if this is so with other Homestay/host families too?

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Voula on September 2, 2013

    Since watching you cook this lovely very easy dish a while ago, I thought I’ll try it on my own last night after a long tiring day. Yes, you were right, it was simple to cook, healthy, tasting amazing and even my 3 year old enjoyed it. My 2 eldest sons took the left overs for lunch the day after, and they commented how tasty it was cold. Thanks Sarj for showing me a great simply dish that the whole family enjoys and it didn’t break the budget.

    • posted by Sarj on September 2, 2013

      Dear Voula, it’s stories like yours and your families is what makes me passionate about cooking. I am so delighted that you have had a great success in cooking my dish! 🙂 x


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