Lake Minnetonka Asian Noodles Dishes

Dive into one of these eight delectable noodles dishes.
Chilled ahi noodle salad at the Wayzata Eatery.

While the Italians are certainly known for popularizing the noodle, many Asian cultures had already perfected the noodle while Caesar was still in diapers. This versatile ingredient takes on many forms and can complement a wide variety of ingredients and flavors. The Lake Minnetonka area has a surprising variety of Asian-style noodles to choose from. Whether you prefer to play it safe or venture into a new culinary experience, there is something interesting for everyone to try.

Japanese Soba Noodles with Shrimp
Sakana Sushi
This stylish spot in downtown Wayzata is known for their creative nori rolls, nigiri and sashimi. But taking a deeper look at their menu reveals another option. If you aren’t a fan of sushi, don’t fret—the yaki soba noodle dish will aim to please. The slightly sweet sauce is a melting pot of Asian flavors: garlic, soy and oyster sauce. The noodles are sautéed with carrot, egg and green onion, and garnished with a bit of cilantro. Six jumbo shrimp adorn the generous plate of noodles, though you could also opt for chicken, beef or vegetables instead. $15. 683 Lake St. E., Wayzata; 952.476.7000

Chicken with Pepper Black Bean Sauce and Pan-fried Crispy Noodle
Ming Wok of Excelsior
When we asked about the pan-fried crispy noodle, the waiter beamed with delight. She explained that the chef first cooks the noodles to tender perfection, then crisps them up in the wok making for a happy juxtaposition of textures. We ordered the chicken and added vegetables; the customer is king here and everything is customizable. The plate of noodles came out in a flash and was enough for two people to share. The uniform mound of noodles was crisp on the outside and tender below. This was covered by a plentiful pile of stir fried vegetables, including broccoli, snow peas, baby corn, straw mushrooms and carrots. The sauce was nice and spicy, with a strong flavor of black pepper and crushed chili peppers. $12.95. 205 Water St., Excelsior; 952.470.1010

Tempura Udon
Yumi’s Sushi Bar
When we first spoke with the owner, Yumi—a friendly woman who seems to know all of her customers—she suggested that her sushi plays more to her strengths than her noodle dishes. We would suggest that she change that opinion because the noodles she is serving are excellent. The tempura udon is a generous bowl of tasty, thick wheat noodles and a side plate of mixed tempura. The staff was full of interesting tidbits: We learned the soup is meant to represent the earth, the broth embodies the sea, the noodles the land and the tempura the mountains. They also suggested that you eat the tempura parsley at the end of your meal to cleanse your palate, though we weren’t sure if we were ready to abandon the delicious flavor of the soup quite yet. $12.95. 28 Water St., Excelsior; 952.474.1720

Vegetable Pad Thai with Tofu
Big Bowl
This family friendly spot is serving up something for everyone. They have a make-your-own stir fry bar, a kids’ menu and even some dishes with unique ingredients like pork belly for the adventurous. We found the vegetable pad Thai with tofu is able to please the vegetarian as well as the gluten-free crowd. Traditionally, this is known as a warm noodle salad true to its roots, and that is how Big Bowl is serving this dish. Complete with loads of veggies and fresh, high-quality tofu, this dish is bursting with flavor. You’ll find green beans, Thai basil, cilantro, peppers and bok choy on your plate for a well-rounded meal. And you can customize it to your liking, with either a squeeze of a lime wedge or some of the provided spicy accompaniments. $10.95. 12649 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.797.9888

Chilled Ahi Noodle Salad
Wayzata Eatery
“Just enough spice to let you know you are alive.” This quote from the head chef at Wayzata Eatery was a good way to describe the chilled ahi noodle salad. There was a tinge of heat permeating this dish, but nothing too fiery. This fine dining spot prepares a monthly feature based on one of many worldly cuisines, all of which are treated with impeccable thought and care. This summer, make sure you are on the lookout for the chilled ahi noodle salad. The flavors of Thai vinaigrette, Japanese wasabi and Sriracha oil provide the aforementioned heat while the crunchy carrots, edamame, fresh sprouts and sweet corn provide a clean and healthy balance. The veggies are mixed within the chilled wheat noodles and wild mushrooms, and topped with fresh sprouts. The dish is surrounded by several pieces of sesame-encrusted, sashimi-grade seared tuna. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed. $14. 1179 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata; 952.288.2866

Orange Chicken
Pairings Food & Wine Market
Through orange chicken isn’t something new for most Minnesotans, this version will be sure to surprise you. Fragrant, sweet and bold, this is a new twist on orange chicken that we hope catches on. Large chunks of white-meat chicken breast are served over a bed of rice noodles in a sweet orange sauce with just a slight kick. There are fresh vegetables, too, including bell pepper slices, peapods and green onions to give a healthy note to the dish. If you’re like us, you’ll definitely notice the strong citrus undertones, and you might think it’s from the pretty slices of fresh citrus on the plate. If you take a closer look, you’ll find several pieces of fresh orange zest mixed right in. A note to other restaurants: It shouldn’t be such a novel idea that orange chicken actually tastes like orange. $12.95. 6001 Shady Oak Rd. S., Minnetonka; 952.426.0522

Chow Mien with Barbecue Pork
Happy Garden
While most of the Asian food offerings are on the east side of the lake, head to Mound if you want to get your fix of just about any Chinese entrée you can think of, thanks to the extensive menu at Happy Garden. They have plenty of noodle dishes including lo mein, chow fun and the crispy chow mein. Their chow mein is a simple dish with your choice of meat or veggies. The barbecue pork version has lots of tender pieces of pork, napa cabbage and thinly sliced carrot. The sauce is slightly sweet and the crispy chow mien noodles provide an interesting texture. As one of the few non-pizza places offering delivery, this is a great choice if you’re hungry but don’t want to leave the house. $7.50. 2212 Commerce Blvd., Mound; 952.472.6343

Next time you’re feeling under the weather, consider the bowl of ramen noodles at Origami. This isn’t the ramen your kids are eating off at college; there is no seasoning packet to flavor this clean yet full-tasting broth. This is the real deal! At Origami, you will be served a large bowl of perfectly cooked noodles that is hearty, filling and tastes wonderful. It’s covered with a variety of authentic toppings, including tender slices of roasted pork, wilted spinach, snappy bamboo shoots and a surprisingly approachable fish cake. With such variety, you can alter each bite to conform to your individual taste. $11.25. 12305 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka; 952.746.3398