Ramen Stir Fry Noodles, just like the food trucks serve! Seared chicken thigh meat, caramelized onions, carrots and cabbage fried on cast iron in a light sweet and savory Asian sauce.
Do you know the Asian noodles that are served often at fairs or festivals out of food trucks or tents? If you love them as much as I do, you've got to make these ramen stir fry noodles at home.
They come fried on big grill, with chicken pieces and cabbage, carrot and onion, in a simple but delicious sweet and savory sauce.
The noodle is a long Asian style egg noodle, like a ramen noodle, which I like to make homemade, using the recipe linked. It's got just a little bite and chew to it. But, you just buy Asian egg noodles at the grocery store (not to be confused with rice noodles).
These food truck style ramen stir fry noodles are so delicious, I couldn't wait until the next festival to have them, so I started making them at home, and now we eat them at least every other week.
They're a super easy and quick meal to make, which actually makes them perfect for weeknight dinners or lazy weekend dinners alike.
Chicken thighs- Skin removed, and cut into pieces. Can substitute chicken breast, but dark meat is preferred.
Asian egg noodles- Found in the Asian grocery aisle. In a pinch, thin spaghetti or vermicelli can be used. It's not recommended to substitute with rice noodles.
Garlic clove- peeled and minced.
Onion- sweet onion or yellow onion.
Rice vinegar- can substitute white vinegar, but rice vinegar is preferred.
Brown sugar- can substitute granulated sugar, or raw sugar.
Vegetable oil- or other neutral oil with a high smoke point like canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil or corn oil.
Prep the veggies:
Peel and mince the garlic, and thinly slice the scallions (both for the sauce).
Cut the cabbage into 1-inch pieces.
Julienne the carrots (or shred using a cheese grater).
Peel the onion, and slice into slivers or wide petals.
Make the sauce:
The sauce only has a few simple ingredients in it. In a mixing bowl, whisk together, the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ground ginger, minced garlic and sliced green onion. Set it aside.
Cut the chicken:
Remove any skin from the chicken thighs. Cut into bite size pieces, and pat dry with paper towels to remove any extra moisture (for better caramelization).
Sprinkle the chicken thigh pieces lightly with salt and pepper.
Cook the noodles:
Cook the noodles first. If you made my homemade ramen noodles, they only need to boil for 1-2 minutes. For store bought noodles, follow the directions on the back of the package.
Drain the noodles in a colander, then shock them with cold water, tossing them while the water runs over them until they're all cooled.
Drizzle with a little vegetable oil, and toss to avoid sticking. You can just do that right in the colander. Set the noodles aside.
Heat the skillet:
If you have a cast iron skillet or cast iron griddle, this would be the best time to use it!
The sear that you get from cast iron, along with the caramelization just can't be matched with other pans.
However, if you don't have cast iron, use your favorite, shallow skillet.
Heat the skillet on medium high heat. Test that it's hot enough by sprinkling some water drops on it; they should sizzle right away and disappear within seconds.
Add the oil and spread it around with a flat spatula or tip the skillet to cover the surface of the pan. Once it ripples, it's ready. If it starts to smoke, it's too hot.
Cook the chicken:
Add the chicken to the hot skillet, in a single layer, with even space in between the pieces.
Don't immediately move it around, allow it to caramelize on the bottom completely. If the pieces are stuck to the pan, they're likely not browned enough, so allow to cook for another minute or two
Once a test piece of chicken easily pulls away from the pan and has a deep brown crust, add the onions and sauté until the chicken and onion is browned and caramelized.
Add the cooked noodles, cabbage and carrots and fry for 1-2 minutes. If necessary, drizzle in a little more oil to prevent sticking.
Pour in one third to one half of the sauce in the hot pan and toss the ingredients while frying until the noodles are coated.
Taste the noodles, and add more sauce if desired for stronger flavor, and fry for another minute after adding the sauce.
Turn off the heat and serve.
Food Truck Fried Noodles (Ramen Stir Fry Noodles)
- 8-10 oz Asian egg noodles (like chow Mein)
- 1 lb. chicken thighs skin removed, cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ pound cabbage chopped
- 3-4 carrots peeled, and julienned or shredded
- 1 medium sweet or yellow onion slivered, or cut into one inch long strips
For the Sauce
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar can substitute granulated or raw
- 1 tsp rice vinegar can substitute white vinegar
- ½ tsp ground ginger or fresh, grated
- ⅛ cup water
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- ½ bunch green onions (scallions) thinly sliced
- Cook noodles according to package directions, or for 1-2 minutes in boiling water if you're using homemade ramen noodles.
- Drain noodles and run cold water over them until they're all cooled, then drizzle with a tablespoon or two of oil and toss to prevent sticking (just do this directly in the colander).
- Chop the cabbage, onion and carrot if not already done so, and mince the garlic. Thinly slice the green onions.
- Whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, scallions, ginger and water. Set aside.
- Heat a large, cast iron skillet or griddle to medium/high-high heat, then add oil. Sauté and continue to brown until done.
- Add chicken thigh meat, spread out, and let brown undisturbed until bottom side is browned.
- Add onion to the skillet and cook until caramelized.
- Add the noodles, cabbage and carrot, to the skillet.
- Whisk the sauce again to ensure it's evenly combined, then pour one third to one half over the skillet and noodles and toss to combine as it fries for 2-3 minutes.
- Taste the noodle and add additional sauce and fry for another minute or two until satisfied with the amount of sauce.
- Turn off the heat and serve.
- If you can't find Asian egg noodles (like chow Mein), try my recipe for homemade ramen noodles.
- Cast iron is the best way to get a good caramelization on these noodles, otherwise use your favorite heavy but shallow skillet.