Cathay Pacific’s Noodles of Asia Contest and a Follow Me Foodie Noodle Recipe!

Cathay Pacific Kicks off Noodles of Asia Campaign

Calling All Chefs, Cooks & Noodle Aficionados! The search is on for the perfect noodle dish: prizes and fame await!

How cool is this?! Cathay Pacific is hosting a Noodles of Asia contest in search of the perfect Asian inspired noodle dish. “Yan Can Cook” can explain it better than I can. So check out his video!

From March 20 – April 19, 2013, chefs, cooks, foodies and noodle aficionados are invited to enter Cathay Pacific’s Noodles of Asia Contest. See the Cathay Pacific Canada Facebook page or their US Facebook page for details. From there, visit their “Noodles of Asia” board and re-pin the official contest pin; then create and upload photos of an original, Asian-inspired noodle recipe to Pinterest and hashtag #CXnoodles.

I am thrilled and honoured to be one of the three judges for this unique contest. Together with Martin Yan of “Yan Can Cook” television fame and Sang Yoon, chef and proprietor of Father’s Office gastropubs and Lukshon Restaurant in Culver City, CA, we are looking forward to trying your best noodle dish! And yes, I’m totally stoked to be judging along side Martin Yan and Sang Yoon! It will be a dramatic and noodl-icious showdown.

The winner of Cathay Pacific’s first ever Noodles of Asia contest will receive two round-trip Premium Economy tickets from one of Cathay Pacific’s six North American gateways (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver) to Hong Kong – plus a city tour of Asia’s World City, sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

And as for your award winning noodle dish? It will hit instant fame… along with you, the talented creator! Your noodle dish will be featured on Cathay Pacific’s in-flight menu on North American flights to Hong Kong.

Judging process:

  1. The top 10 entries with the most Pinterest likes will be selected.
  2. Cathay Pacific will review and shortlist the top five.
  3. If the recipe is short-listed into the top five, it will be judged at M.Y. China by Yan, Yoon, Pak, Cathay Pacific’s very own Peter Ho, Regional Catering Manager, North America and Satomi Aoki, Senior Flight Purser. The recipe must meet Cathay Pacific’s rigorous culinary standards, and judges will score based on presentation, appeal, taste, and ease of transportation / practicality for an in-flight entrée.

For full terms and conditions, please visit

5 Spice Maple Roasted Squash & Edamame with Warm Soba Noodles in Miso-Sesame Soy Sauce Recipe

Cathay Pacific Asian Noodles 6Recipe by: Mijune Pak of Follow Me Foodie
Recipe tested and photos by: Brenda (@mightyvanilla)

To get in the spirit of National Noodle Month (March) I’ve also included my recipe for 5 Spice Maple Roasted Squash & Edamame with Warm Soba Noodles in Miso-Sesame Soy Sauce. Get creative and show your love for noodles by entering Cathay Pacific’s Noodles of Asia Contest! Hope to try your recipe and maybe even order it one day for Follow Me Foodie to Hong Kong – Part 3!

This recipe is vegetarian and peanut free. If you like, you can easily substitute the Kabocha squash for smoked tofu, chicken, pork, beef, or even shrimp. It’s a very versatile recipe, so go ahead and have fun with it! Change the noodles or try it chilled. Enjoy and good luck!

Tip: Noodle choice does make a difference. Thicker noodles go well with heartier, richer and creamier meat based sauces and broths while thinner noodles go well with lighter soups, sauces, broths and salads.

Serves 4-6 as a main course


For the squash:

  • 4 cups (750g) of Kabocha squash that has been peeled and cut into ¾” pieces
    • A small squash is 1-1.5 kg, you will use about half the squash for this recipe
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp 5 spice powder
  • ½ tsp salt

For the dressing:

  • 2 cloves raw garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sweet white miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp tahini or Asian sesame paste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable stock or water

 For the mushrooms, edamame & noodles:

  • 1 package of dry soba noodles (4 bundles, 320g)
  • 1 package of frozen & pre-cooked edamame beans, already shelled (454g, about 3 ½ cups)
  • 16 ounces large shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and the caps thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • coarsely ground pepper to taste

For garnishing:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onions

Notes for success

  • Squash skin is quite thick and tough so use a sharp knife and carefully cut away the skin from the flesh.
  • Whisking together the squash flavourings before adding the squash pieces helps to give them an even coating.
  • The dressing and garnishes can be made ahead of time.
  • The mushrooms and edamame can be prepared ahead of time and reheated just before the noodles start cooking.
  • Cook the soba noodles to al dente. The noodles are quite thin so they cook quickly. Check the package directions for the recommended cooking time.
  • Having as much of the other components ready ahead of time makes for a quick and easy last minute assembly. The squash is the most time consuming component to prepare and cook.
  • The recipe makes a large amount but the leftovers keep well.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Empty the bag of frozen edamame beans into a large colander. This allows the beans to thaw while the excess ice melts and drains away.

  3. While the oven is heating, prepare the squash. Use a large chef’s knife to split the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and scrape off as much of the fibrous stringy bits as you can; a melon baller works well for this.

  4. Cut one of the squash halves in half again, so that you have two quarters of squash. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away the peel from the two squash quarters, then cut the squash into pieces that are approximately ¾” in size. You should have approximately 4 cups of squash. Reserve the other squash half for another use.

  5. In a mixing bowl that is large enough to hold all of the ingredients for this recipe, whisk together the 3 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp olive oil, ¾ tsp 5 spice powder, and ½ tsp salt. Add the squash pieces and stir them until they’re evenly coated.

  6. Roast the squash pieces in a baking dish or greased baking sheet until they’re fork-tender, about 35 minutes. Stir the squash after 15 minutes of baking, then again after 30 minutes of baking. Check for doneness at the 30 minute mark.

Cathay Pacific Asian Noodles 2

  1. While the squash is baking, prepare the rest of the components.

  2. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a blender (I used my Vitamix). Start the blender on low variable speed and slowly increase to high. Blend on high speed for 10-20 seconds. The dressing should be completely smooth, and the texture should be thick but still pour easily. Add another tablespoon of vegetable stock or water if it is still too thick.

Cathay Pacific Asian Noodles 3

Cathay Pacific Asian Noodles 4

  1. Pour the dressing into the mixing bowl that was used for the squash and set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boiling.

  3. While the water is coming up to the boil, heat a large frying pan over medium heat and toast the sesame seeds until they are golden brown. Keep moving them in the pan so that they do not burn. Remove the sesame seeds from the pan and set them aside.

  4. Lightly toast the pine nuts in the frying pan, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove the nuts from the pan when they’re golden brown and set them aside.

  5. Increase the frying pan’s heat to medium high. Add the 2 tsp of olive oil and cook the sliced mushrooms for several minutes. Season with the ¼ tsp of salt and some ground pepper.

  6. When the mushrooms are done and most of the mushroom juices have cooked off, add the thawed edamame beans and stir to heat them through. Remove the pan from the heat.

Cathay Pacific Asian Noodles 5

  1. When the pot of water is boiling, cook the soba noodles to al dente doneness. Check the packaging for the recommended cooking time and test a noodle for doneness a minute before the end of the recommended cooking time, then test again every 30 seconds.

  2. When the noodles are done, strain them well in the colander. Add the noodles to the bowl and mix them with the dressing until evenly coated.

  3. Divide the noodles evenly between plates, then top with the mushrooms, edamame, and roasted squash. Garnish each plate with sesame seeds, pine nuts and green onions. Serve immediately.

Cathay Pacific Asian Noodles 1



  • Marisa says:

    I love this recipe just bought some soba noodles will have to gather the rest of the ingredients.
    I have entered some recipe to the Cathay Pacific Noodle Contest, followed by hashtags..I don’t see my recipe pinned to their board.
    Am I doing something wrong? I would also like to make a board and post it as well as others have..but I can’t seem to figure it out??
    Does the hashtag go in the description or comment section ?

  • Mijune says:

    @Marisa – thanks, Marisa! To clarify the contest: Cathay does not actually re-pin all the contest entries to their Pinterest page/board. As long as you hashtag your pin correctly, that’s considered an entry.

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