Skip to content

Orange Ginger Chicken with Soba noodles

2011 October 10

Remember when I was a vegetarian and there were no meat recipes on the blog?


I know, only a few of you have been with me for that long but surely someone out there reading remembers!  Raise your hand.  Leave a comment if you’re feeling generous.  :)

Anyway.  Even though I didn’t eat boneless skinless chicken breasts for many years, I cooked them quite often for the Omnivore.  I got giddily excited when they went on sale for $0.99/lb and stocked the freezer.  They seemed so versatile and were easily added to my vegetarian meals to satiate a request from my meat loving husband.

And because they seem fairly benign I also chose boneless skinless chicken breasts as my first meal for my reintroduction to meat.

The meal was veggie fried rice with some sparse chicken chunks.  I was going to ease in.  I wish my first bite of meat after many years had been a glorified experience in which the heavens opened, angels sang, and light shone upon my fork.

It was not.  I gagged.  Rubbery.  Dry-ish.  Bland-ish.  Boneless chicken breast.

Had I been serving that to my husband for years?  No wonder he never made a comment about it…there was nothing to say.  It was worse than eating tofu.  It was, in short, horrible.


I rarely buy boneless skinless breasts now.  I usually buy a whole chicken and break it down myself.  Or I roast a whole chicken, pull the meat from it, and continue as directed by recipes.  But sometimes I get excited about chicken breast sales and I stock up.  And then I get flashbacks of that horrible gag worthy experience.

But I’m here to tell you that this recipe will not induce gags.  It was wonderful.  My husband and I fought over the leftovers.  I won.  Soba noodles are so great and tender.  They are much healthier than enriched white flour noodles but don’t have the stiffness and grittiness that my husband hates about whole wheat spaghetti.   If you can’t find them, however, in sort of pasta can substitute.

Orange chicken with sesame soba noodles and green beans

1 orange, juiced
1 T minced ginger
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup soy
1 tsp sriaracha
1 T brown sugar
1 T canola oil
1 T sesame oil
1/2 lb green beans
2 chicken breasts
zest from the orange
6 ounces soba noodles


  1. Marinate chicken in minced garlic, ginger, and juice from the orange for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make a sauce of soy, sriaracha, brown sugar, and oils.
  3. In a saute pan, heat a small bit of oil to medium heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Add any of remaining marinade to pan and bring to a boil. Stir in orange zest. Cover and remove from heat.
  4. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in soup pot. Place green beans in a vegetable steamer over boiling water and cook 4-5 minutes until tender crisp.
  5. Boil soba noodles 3-4 minutes in a pot of boiling water until tender and flexible.
  6. Toss soy sauce mixture with green beans and soba noodles. Plate and top with a warm chicken breast.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4





  • shelby

    *raises hand* I remember! And although I’m definitely an omnivore, I always liked your blog because it was never preachy or judgy and your recipes were easy to adapt to add a little meat, if I wanted to.

    Totally agree on the chicken breasts. Thighs (or whole birds) are usually the way to do!

  • Elizabeth Akre

    This sounds delicious.  Can’t wait to try it.

  • Kate

    I remember when you were a vegetarian.  Your meals were amazing then, but I love being able to find gorgeous dishes like this too.

  • Kate

    I remember! And I was actually just thinking about that the other day when I read another of your posts. :)

  • Jessica

    Wow! This sounds perfect! 

  • Tara

    I remember!  This meal looks amazing and so healthy…and it seems like it would far exceed the rubbery chicken of yesteryear.

  • Ali

    new reader here, too bad wasn’t with you when you were a vegetarian but I bet you had great veggie recipes. The chicken looks great, what a way to make it!!!

  • Samantha Saari

    I remember!  This looks great, but just out of curiosity, what makes it “sesame”?

    • Anonymous

      Ack, I left the sesame oil out of the ingredient list!  Thanks for the heads up.

  • newlywed

    This looks and sounds great.  I know what you mean about boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.  I like to pound them to an even thickness so that they don’t dry out as much.

  • Knot Lauren

    I remember.  Though honestly, I don’t stop by often anymore.  You were my go-to veggie blog, but there are hardly any veggie recipes anymore. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the perspective, Lauren.  I eat vegetarian most of the time but I guess I didn’t realize I was in a rut of eating the same vegetarian meals that have already been blogged.  Don’t stray too far – I have two vegetarian main course meals scheduled to post this week!

      • Knot Lauren

        Looking at the most recent posts my mouth is watering!  I’ll have to bookmark them for later.  (Not cooking too much right now with a new baby in the house)

  • Brianna

    Those were the days, haha!  :)   Mmm the sauce on this chicken sounds really flavorful.