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Restaurant staples, comforting classics and quick weeknight eats – Wagamama’s latest cookbook will help you make its best-loved dishes at home.
From the extensive scribble-able menus to the communal wooden tables – everything that would normally seem daunting just makes sense at Wagamama. When British-Chinese restaurateur Alan Yau first launched the chain in 1992, the inaugural Bloomsbury location quickly attracted the kinds of queues now more commonly seen at indefinable Shoreditch pop-ups. Almost 30 years and 150 restaurants later, its pan-Asian food is as recognisable as the glowing red star that welcomes you through the door.
Everyone has a different idea of what forms the perfect Wagamama spread. Whether you hack a dreamy plateful with a selection of sides, or keep things simple with a single signature dish – you’ll likely have a go-to order and, more importantly, a special way to make it your own.
FYI: Wagamama sees you. The brand’s latest cookbook, Wagamama Your Way: Fresh Flexible Recipes For Body And Mind, is full of customisable recipes that will help you make its iconic dishes at home – just the way you like them. From restaurant favourites to quick dinners and comfort dishes, expect nourishing recipes with plant-based ingredient swaps for every meat dish.
Sound better than a not-quite-as-good-as-the-real-thing Deliveroo? You’ll want to add these classic Wagamama recipes to your weekly repertoire…
If you’re a fan of the chain’s noodle offering, make the moyashi soba. Broccoli, courgette and ramen noodles are submerged in a rich miso and soy broth flavoured with sundried tomatoes for a warming, slurp-able dinner.
For a speedy seafood dish you can feasibly throw together mid-week, try the kaisen gohan, which sees prawns, mussels, scallops and squid rings flash-fried and tossed with punchy accoutrements. Expect full-on flavour, with limited cook and prep time.
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Finally, if you’re after a flavoursome vegan option, the tofu firecracker won’t disappoint. Make a chilli-heavy sauce with generous amounts of garlic and ginger, then use it to coat crispy tofu and crunchy vegetables. And for the true Wagamama experience, serve a tiny cup of green tea and a bottle of fluorescent chilli oil on the side…
Wagamama says: “One of our original Wagamama restaurant dishes, updated for today.”
- 45g sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ tbsp miso paste
- 1 tsp chilli paste
- 800ml vegetable stock
- 4 longstem broccoli, trimmed
- 2 nests ramen noodles
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ courgette, sliced lengthways and into large chunks
- 50g mangetout, trimmed
- ¼ leek, sliced lengthways and into large chunks
- 4 asparagus, sliced at an angle
- 150g beansprouts
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 spring onions, topped, tailed and sliced at an angle
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Place the sun-dried tomatoes, miso paste, chilli paste and 30ml of the vegetable stock in a deep bowl and, using a stick blender, make a smooth paste. Blanch the longstem broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes, then plunge into ice-cold water, drain and set aside.
Cook two portions of ramen noodles, following the instructions on the packaging and, once cooked, drain and divide between two ramen bowls. Place a wok or large pan over a high heat, warm the oil and stir-fry the courgette, mangetout, leek, longstem broccoli, asparagus and beansprouts, tossing occasionally and ensuring the veg is caramelised but still firm. Add the soy sauce and give a final toss.
In a separate saucepan, place the remaining vegetable stock and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add the paste, whisking to ensure there are no lumps. Ladle the hot stock over the noodles in each bowl, using chopsticks to separate the noodles and make a base. Add the stir-fried vegetables in a pile on top and garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds.
Tip: Use rice stick noodles and tamari sauce instead of soy sauce to make the dish non-gluten and vegan
Wagamama says: “An ‘at home’ take on a dish we used to serve in our restaurants, this is great for seafood lovers.”
- longstem broccoli
- ½ pak choi, leaves separated
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 8 raw king prawns
- 6 queen scallops
- 6 mussels
- 6 squid rings
- 75ml soy sauce
- 75ml water
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- pinch of salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1½ tsp potato starch
- 250g cooked udon noodles
- 1 small red chilli, finely sliced
- a pinch of shichimi powder
Blanch the longstem broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes, then plunge into ice-cold water and drain. Slice any big pak choi leaves into two and also set aside.
Place a wok or large pan over a high heat, warm the oil, then add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add all the seafood and vegetables and stir-fry, tossing continuously.
When nearly cooked, add the soy sauce, water and fish sauce and bring to the boil. Season with salt and sugar to taste.
In a small bowl, add a dash of water to the potato starch and mix to a thick paste, then stir this through the stir-fry to thicken the mixture. Once thick enough to coat the noodles, turn the heat down and gently simmer to keep hot. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the udon noodles for 30 seconds, then drain.
Divide the noodles between two plates, spoon the seafood and veg mix on top and drizzle over the sauce. Garnish with chilli and shichimi powder and serve.
Tip: If you want to cheat with the seafood, why not buy a seafood mix?
Wagamama says: “A vegan version of our restaurant classic. If you like spice, this is the dish for you.”
- 250g firm tofu, cut into 2.5cm cubes
- 150g jasmine rice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
- 8 spring onions, topped and tailed
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 6 long dried chillies, finely chopped
- 1 medium-size white onion, finely sliced
- 1 small red pepper, sliced into 2.5cm dice
- 1 small green pepper, sliced into 2.5cm dice
- 50g mangetout, topped and tailed
- 180ml firecracker sauce (see recipe below)
- ½ lime, cut into 2 wedges
- ½ tsp shichimi powder
- a few drops of sesame oil
For the firecracker sauce
- 50ml yakitori sauce (see recipe below)
- 50ml oyster sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
- 100ml sriracha sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
- 50ml vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp dried chilli flakes, to taste
- 6 tbsp runny honey or 3 tbsp agave syrup and 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
For the yakitori sauce
- 4 tbsp light soy sauce
- 110g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sake
Take six of the spring onions, slice them in half lengthwise and cut into 2.5cm pieces.
Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, then divide between two serving plates and keep warm.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan and cook the tofu until it turns golden brown on each side. Then add the ginger and garlic pastes and dried chillies and give a quick stir, then add the rest of the vegetables and keep stirring over a high heat. Once the tofu is hot, add the firecracker sauce, toss and stir well.
Spoon the stir fry onto the plate and garnish with lime and the remaining spring onions, finely chopped. Sprinkle a little shichimi powder over the rice and finish with a drizzle of sesame oil.
Tip: For a super-quick meal, you could buy our Wagamama firecracker sauce from a supermarket to make this dish.
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook for about 15–20 minutes until the sauce thickens to a syrup-like consistency. Add more chilli flakes to taste. Serve instantly or transfer to an airtight jar and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Place the light soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan and gently simmer over a low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then continue to simmer for about 5 minutes until the liquid starts to reduce and thicken.
Add the dark soy and sake, stir and leave to cool. Either use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. It should keep for several weeks.
Wagamama Your Way: Fresh, Flexible Recipes For Body And Mind (£20, Kyle Books) is out now
Photography: Howard Shooter