Review: Yutaka Soybean Noodles

I really love Japanese food, so I was pretty excited when Yutaka sent me a couple of boxes of their new soybean noodles to play with. Japanese food is vibrant, flavoursome, and usually very healthy, full of fresh vegetables and lean protein. These noodles have the added benefits of being gluten free and organic. As someone who doesn’t have to eat gluten free, I was interested to see how these noodles would compare to more standard offerings. Would I notice a difference?


I was sent a box of the regular soybean noodles and a box of the edamame soybean noodles. I decided to make the recipes by Ching He Huang on the back of each box, rather than coming up with some wild creation of my own. This time, I wanted to be sure I was cooking with the noodles as intended, because I definitely don’t claim to be an expert in Asian cuisine.

The noodles themselves couldn’t be easier to cook – just pop them into boiling water and simmer for six minutes – and would be a great base for lots of dishes. I had a taste of them simply cooked, drained, and tossed with some sesame oil before continuing on with the recipes. They were flavoursome and substantial, and fairly robust. They would stand up well to bold ingredients and spices, and didn’t fall apart, overcook, or become clumpy.


The recipes on the noodle boxes were fairly simple and easy to follow. They would be a good starting point for anyone unaccustomed to Asian cuisine. I found myself upping the quantities of the seasoning ingredients and spices to give the dishes more of a depth of flavour, but that’s down to personal taste.

Pictured are the edamame noodles, with which I made Chicken Edamame Noodle Soup. It was a lovely, light, and fairly mild dish, that involved poaching chicken thighs in a flavoured broth that formed the base of the soup. Chicken breasts tend to be more popular than chicken thighs, but I’ve always preferred the latter. They are far more succulent and flavoursome, and less prone to drying out, so I was glad to see them in this recipe. Finished with beansprouts and spinach, the soup was nutritious as well as tasty. The leftovers were also great the next day.


In summary…

These noodles would be a great option for anyone who is following a gluten free diet, but are delicious in their own right and would be enjoyed by all, regardless of dietary restrictions. You could feed these to a group of mixed eaters – in a big platter of sharing noodle stir-fry or cold noodle salad, for instance – and satisfy everyone without having to make a separate gluten free option. I doubt anyone would notice these were gluten free without being told, so everyone would be happy.

I’m looking forward to buying this new offering from Yutaka and adding them to my ‘cupboard of carbs’ (which is stuffed with various types of rice and pasta), and using them as a base for simple and healthy dishes. Or maybe I’ll fry them, when I don’t feel like doing anything simple or healthy. One or the other.

*I was sent these products free of charge for review purposes, but all opinions are my own.

Pork Belly Ramen

I am calling this dish ‘ramen’ because ‘bowl of broth with things in it’ isn’t a great title for a recipe. However, this is in no way authentic ramen, and I am sure that any Japanese people would be completely horrified that I am calling it that. I have never been to Japan so I have probably never even eaten authentic Japanese food.

It is delicious though, so it’s not all bad.


I fed this to James and he gave it the thumbs up, so you can rest safe in the knowledge that is has been tested on, er, one other person. Still, it feels right for the season to me: it’s warm and fragrant, and feels quite wholesome and nourishing.

In other news, I am not such a fan of January. I know this is not scientifically true, but it does actually seem to be getting darker in the mornings rather than lighter. I was planning to do some food photography first thing today, and then realised I couldn’t because at 8am it’s still properly middle-of-the-night pitch black outside. Also, if it keeps raining like this then it’s definitely going to flood here.

Anyway, instead of moaning (okay, fine, as well as moaning), I am going to re-watch one of my favourite YouTube videos. It’s of J.K. Rowling being a goddess. The woman can do no wrong.

She’s amazing. Yes, technically watching that video was twenty minutes of procrastination, but now I feel much more positive about the world.

What were we talking about? Oh right, ramen. Or ‘ramen’.



Since this is not real ramen and there is no authenticity to be corrupted, there is no disadvantage to messing with the recipe below and using whatever you have in the fridge. Try another meat or cut it out entirely, switch it up with the vegetables, up the chilli if you like it spicy: anything goes. I’ve listed the ingredients I used as a basic guide.

If you wanted to start with raw meat, you could cook it in the broth to add flavour and make that stage of cooking longer.

This should make enough to serve two people generously.


300g cooked meat – I used pork belly, but leftover chicken would be great, and duck would be lovely
Handful of dried mushrooms (say about 10 g)
Thumb sized chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
1l vegetable stock (or dashi, if you can get hold of it, which I can’t)
1 tsp miso paste
1 tsp umami paste
2 pak choi
handful of radishes
1 fresh chilli
1 large or three small spring onions
2 eggs
2 nests of rice noodles (or insert your preferred noodle here)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Put your dried mushrooms and chopped ginger in a large, deep frying pan (preferably one with a lid) and cover them with the stock. Stir in the miso paste and umami paste. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes with the lid on.
  2. While the broth is simmering, prep your pak choi by separating the leaves and the stems and slicing them. Thinly slice your radishes, chilli, and spring onions. Add the stems of your pak choi to the broth to cook. Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil, add your eggs, turn the heat down so the water is simmering gently, and cook them for 6.5 minutes – use a timer. When the time is up, immediately get the eggs out of the pan (saving the water) and run them under cold water until the shells no longer feel hot, then peel them and set aside.
  3. For the last 3 minutes of broth cooking time, add the sliced pak choi leaves to the stems that are in there already.
  4. Pop the noodles into the pan of boiling water and cook them according to pack instructions – usually only 2-3 minutes. When cooked, take them out, run them under cold water, and drain them well. By now, your broth should be nice and flavoursome. Take if off the heat, add the soy sauce and sesame oil, stir and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed. When you’re happy, put your drained noodles into the broth to warm through.
  5. When ready to serve, put the noodles and broth into wide, shallow bowls and top with the vegetables. Halve your eggs and add one to each bowl, and then finish with the meat and any additional garnish.