Wafu spaghetti with chicken and mushroom

Adam Liaw
Wonderful Japanese pasta: Wafu spaghetti with chicken and mushroom.
Wonderful Japanese pasta: Wafu spaghetti with chicken and mushroom. Photo: William Meppem

It's no surprise that a country obsessed with noodles such as ramen, soba and udon would take to pasta like a duck to water, but pasta in Japan is a law unto itself. Almost invariably involving spaghetti, and using ingredients such as nori seaweed, soy sauce and salmon roe, the pasta subculture known as "wa-fu" in Japan is something you won't find anywhere else. Italian purists may want to look away now.


400g dried spaghetti

1/4 cup vegetable oil

300g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm cubes

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

200g mixed fresh Asian mushrooms (enoki, shimeji etc), cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp mirin, or 1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp sake or vodka

1/4 cup very finely sliced spring onions


1. Cook the spaghetti according to the packet directions.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frypan over high heat and fry the chicken pieces and garlic until lightly browned, scattering with the salt.

3. Add the mushrooms and fry until just softened. Add the soy sauce, mirin and sake and bring to a simmer.

4. Add the spring onions and cooked pasta and stir through untiil coated.