People in northen China eat more noodle than people in the south. There are many variations of noodle, the one that's pulled, made with machine, made with hand, thin, think, wide, black, yellow, white, and so on...

. Notes about wet noodle and la mian
. Recipe: Fried Noodle
. Recipe: Cold Noodle
. Recipe: Beijing Noodle

wet  Noodle

. There are many different types of noodle in China. Of those, there are dry (the dried packaged sold in Supermarket, say) and wet noodle.

Wet noodle is noodle that just being made using flour and water. Wet noodle takes only 2 mins to cook, or even less for those who like tougher texture. Tips for living China: If possible buy the fresh wet noddle. It's faster to cook and tastes much much much better!

DryNoodle Dry noodle pre-packages noodle, takes longer time to cook, probably around 7 minutes, depending on the width (thin, wide, really wide, hair-sized, etc).

La Mian 拉面 is noodle that's made by being "pulled" (la). It's really impressive, the person doesn't use other tool other than his hands. Not even a knife. He divides the dough to 2 than to 4 than to 8, 16, ... by pulling it. Below are photos taken in Shan Dong in one highway rest area (Jan 2010). Tips for living in China: try it at least once while you are in China.

la mian la mian la mian la mian

. Tip: For meat, use a tender meat. For example sirloin, chicken breast or chicken drumstick which has more flavour. But it's all up to the taste, one can omit meat too and have a great vegetarian dish!

Read my note about stir frying meat here

BeijingNoodle  Beijing Noodle

A very common homemade dish, especially for important occasion like birthday. Below is a recipe for 4 people.

The best way is to dice ginger really finely so you can eat it. But if you have no patient, just slice it and don't bother to eat it later. Really important to mix the ground pork with egg white to prevent it from crumbling together. The texture we want is for the ground pork not to crumble together but all sit separately, smoothly. I use three eggs, but egg's size varies. If you like egg, you can use more.

Noodle 1 lb
Ground pork 1 lb
Egg 3
Hoisin sauce (甜面酱, tian mian jiang) 100 gr - around 1/2 cup
Ginger 1/2, dice very finely
Green onion 6 cm, cut half than slice
Cornstarch 1 teaspoon
Garlic: to be eaten raw later with the meal. Really fires up the taste :D
Coriander for garnish
Wine 2 tablespoon, optional. Can use water instead.

. Put the hoisin sauce in a bowl, add water of the same quantity and mix well
. Mix ground pork and white egg from 1 egg and cornstarch, set it aside. . Beat the 2 eggs + 1 yellow egg. Fry, set aside.
. Stir fry ginger and green onion until soft, add the meat mixture. Stir well.
. When the meat is half cook or the pan starts to be too dry add wine
. Stir, add fried egg. Then add the hoisin sauce mixture little by little (say 1/4 bowl at a time). Keep stirring so the meat won't crumbled together
. Cook noodle till done, remove water, set aside
. When done pour over noodle. Garnish and eat with raw garlic* if desired :D

* in fact this is the way to eat it: yes with raw garlic. Some parts in China do eat lots of garlic and green onion raw during meal time.

Fried Noodle  Simple Fried Noodle 炒面

Fried noodle is a dish by itself, although it's a great dish to turn leftover to a great dish too. Below is a recipe for a simple fried noodle. But, we can use leftover stir fry vegetable or meat too. Below I use cabbage, but one can use chinese cabbage, brocolli, bean sprout, leftover veggie, etc.

Noodle , depends on the type... Say, use non-wet noodle 1 lb
Chicken meat. I use from two drumsticks, cut small.
Shrimp 6, peel skin
For hot taste use 花椒 (Si Chuan pepper) and other types of hot pepper
Garlic 1 clove, slice
Ginger 2 cm slices
Green onion 5 cm
Wine 1/4 cup
Soy sauce 2 tablespoon Cabbage 1/cup (see my note about veggie above)

White egg 1
Cornstarch 1/2 tablespoon
Vinegar (醋, cu) 1 tablespoon
Coriander for garnish
For hot taste use 花椒 (Si Chuan pepper) and other types of hot pepper

1. Cut meat thinly. Optional: If you use non tender meat, should marinate first for a longer time or use variuos meat tenderized flour. I prefer the natural step: pick a tender type of meat. Some like to marinate it with white egg, slices of ginger, one clove of garlic, cornstarch 1/2 tablespoon, 1 tablespoon of wine. Let it sit for 20 mins.
2. Cooke noodle. Boil water in a pot. When water boils, add noodle. After 3 mins (you can taste it to check if it's your desired texture), take noodle, put it in a plate. Let it cool.

stir fried meat and vegetable

3. Put about 1 tablespoon oil in a wok. Use one third of garlic, green onion, and ginger, stir fry vegetable for 3 mins until tender. Set aside. Clean the wok.
4. Put about 1 tablespoon oil in a wok. Use one third of garlic, green onion, and ginger, stir fry meat for a few minutes, add wine, 1 table spoon soy sauce. Keep stiring until done. If too dry, add water. Set aside. Clean the wok.

5. Put about 1 tablespoon oil in a wok. Put the remaining of garlic, green onion, and ginger, and the stir fried veggie and meat. Stir fry for 1 min, add the noodle. Fold and mix nicely, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and vinegar (optional). If it gets too dry, add a bit of water. add salt.
6. Serve, garnish with coriander (optional)

Cold Noodle  Cold Noodle 凉面

There are many variations for cold noodle. But for sure,all have Chinese vinegar in it. One version below. This one is very commong in Beijing.

Noodle 1 lb Some use yellow noodle (egg noodle) rather than the white one (pure flour).
Cucumber 1/2, chop finely
Coriander for garnish

For sauce:
Chinese vinegar
Soy sauce 7 tablespoon
Hot oil 辣椒油 2 tablespoon
Sesame oil 1.5 tablespoon
White sugar 1 tablespoon
Chinese vinegar 2 tablespoon
Sesame paste 芝麻酱 2 tablespoon
Garlic, chop finely 1 clove
Green onion, chope finely 3 cm
Si Chuan hot pepper 1 teaspoon

. Cook noodle till done, remove water, set aside
. Put all ingredients for sauce together, mix well
. Pour over noodle, add cucumber, mix well

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