Black Bean Chicken at Yea’s Wok (Newcastle, WA)

There are many good things on the menu at Yea’s Wok, which I’d been patronizing for many years. It was an immediate success when it opened and has been going strong ever since. The dish that I seem to order more often than anything else is their Chicken with Black Bean Sauce (☆☆☆½). Spicy from fried red chile peppers, it is an umami bomb from its gravy of soy sauce, sugar and garlic for a start, other magical ingredients lurking underneath, suffering only from being somewhat salty. Today’s serving had a tad too much garlic. But, as the name suggests, most of its incredible flavor comes from fermented black beans that have an appealing fermented and salty taste that only those who’ve eaten it can appreciate. The chicken breast pieces here are always tender, likely having been mixed with baking soda. Zucchini, snow peas, carrots, baby corn, red bell peppers and mushrooms are happy companions.

Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

A friend with whom I’ve been coming here on many occasions has settled on his own favorite, Szechuan Style Noodles (☆☆☆½), a generously sized bowl of noodles, tofu, mushrooms, baby bok choy, edamame and ground pork mixed in a very savory, spicy sauce. It was so good that next time I might have to forsake my usual.

Szechuan Style Noodles
Szechuan Style Noodles

Good hot and sour soup is hard to come by, but Yea’s (☆☆☆½) version is very good. Sour, peppery and spicy, it really satisfies. The soup contains tofu cubes, ribbons of egg, shredded bamboo shoots and green onions in a silky broth.

Hot and Sour Soup
Hot and Sour Soup
Yea’s Wok
6969 Coal Creek Pkwy SE
Newcastle, WA 98059

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