Hong Kong Crispy Noodles

by Sarah

in Asian Dishes, noodles

hong kong crispy noodle

Hong Kong Crispy Noodles are a Chinese restaurant classic, featuring vegetables and protein cooked in broth, atop a bed of fried egg noodles. The noodles are pan-fried so that they brown just slightly, and the best noodles are crispy through and through – even in the center of the noodle disc!

hong kong crispy noodlehong kong crispy noodle

I’ve been experimenting with this dish for a while after first trying it in a restaurant a few years ago. Although I used to live in China, I’ve actually never had this while I lived in China since I lived in Northern China and this is a dish that’s been perfected in Southern China, notably Hong Kong probably does this dish the best – hence the name. At first I tried flattening egg noddles into one neat disc and then cooking it both sides flipping once one side is done. With this method I noticed the center of my noodle disc would be soft and kind of under-cooked, even if I heated both sides quite slow – and especially if I used a whopping amount of noodles. For this recipe in particular I decided rumple the noodles up right when the got to the oiled pan, and continue stir frying until every noodle was crispy. Although this means it doesn’t come out as one cohesive disc, it does make for a much yummier noodle since everything is crispy. The noodles are so crispy in fact, they tangle on each other and the finished product is still one body just like the disc method would be.

hong kong crispy noodle

One thing I realized while practicing this noodle, was that using the proper kind of egg noodle saves you a lot of time! You can either use raw noodles that you then boil, drain, and then fry. Or just use cooked egg noodles that you can fry ASAP. I find that this brand of cooked egg noodles works best because I save the boiling time, it starts out not as soggy, and thus the noodle turns out crispier. It also cooks very fast! So you should have both eyes straight on the noodle as you are cooking it and be a diligent noodle stir-er because these noodles will cook in just under five minutes at medium heat. In the past I have left them for just 1-2 minutes too much and made the mistake of using medium-high heat the whole time, causing the noodles to burn and turn black and ashy in taste.

hong kong crispy noodle ginger and garlichong kong crispy noodle fillinghong kong crispy noodle brothhong kong crispy noodle mixed soup

For the top of the noodle I cooked some shrimp, scallops, and squid with vegetables. But you can omit the seafood and make this a vegetarian noodle, or swap the seafood for beef. Another popular protein is deep fried tofu, which you can buy already fried at your local Asian Store. Once you select and prep your fillings, you stir fry till everything is almost cooked, then boil it in broth that you later thicken with cornstarch mix.

hong kong crispy noodle

Hong Kong Crispy Noodles
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Seafood and vegetable stir fry on top a bed of crispy, crunchy hong kong style noodles.
Author:
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
Stock
  • 1 cube vegetable boulion
  • 3 cups water
Sauce
  • ½ cup of stock (Above)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
Noodles
  • ½ package (8 oz is half package) cooked hong kong noodles (see photos above)*
  • Vegetable oil
  • 6 shrimp, thawed if frozen
  • 8 mini scallops, thawed if frozen
  • 5 rolls of squid, thawed if frozen
  • 1 inch piece ginger diced
  • 5 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 cup uncooked broccoli sliced to florets
  • 1 small zucchini cut into semi-disc
  • 1 medium size carrot, cut into semi-disc
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 4 mushrooms sliced lengthwise
Instructions
  1. If using frozen seafood, thaw the seafood in a bowl of water
  2. Start by making the noodles. Coat a wok/non-stick pan bottom with a 1 mm - 2mm layer of vegetable oil
  3. Turn your pan to medium-low for a slow fry that evenly crips everything.
  4. Fry the noodles by stirring frequently. Some like it to look like a disc by doing one flip to cook both sides, but I recommend more frequent stirring to make sure the noodles are crunchy through and through even in the center. Watch carefully this takes only a few minutes before noodles blacken and overcook.At the end turn to medium and crisp noodles quick before putting on a platter.
  5. Once noodles are crispy all the way and very lightly browned, turn off the pot, and put the noodles on the serving plate.
  6. Prepare your vegetable stock. I like to boil a piece of vegetable bouillon in 3 cups water. I will eventually only use 2 cups for the vegetables however and another ½ cup for the sauce. Some will evaporate or turn into small bubbles, so starting about 3 cups will make sure you have enough.
  7. Cut your vegetables: 2 large florets (1 cup) broccoli, 1 small zucchini cut intent semi-discs, ½ carrot cut into semi-disc, ½ onion chopped, 4 mushrooms sliced lengthwise.
  8. Make your sauce: ½ cup stock + 2 tablespoons corn starch + 2 teaspoon sugar+ 1 tsp sesame oil + 1 tsp fish sauce. Give it a good stir after you add cornstarch and everything else, to disperse the cornstarch. Set sauce aside.
  9. Turn your wok back on (you should still have some oil left from before, if not, add 2 teaspoons oil) and heat till oil is hot (about 15 seconds on medium high).
  10. Add diced ginger and garlic "the aromatics" and stir fry 10-15 seconds, until you can smell the fragrance of both.
  11. Cook the veggies in your wok till semi cooked (just stir 2 min medium high heat), tossing frequently with a spatula.
  12. Add the thawed seafood and toss 1 minute.
  13. Add 2 cups stock and let cook covered about 2 minutes same heat. It should be boiling at the end. It's okay if the wok contents look soupy at this step!**
  14. Re-mix our sauce with a fork so the cornstarch is dispersed. Then add the sauce to thicken the mixture. Mix with spatula for 1 minute as you see the sauce thicken.
  15. Spoon the vegetable/seafood/sauce mixture over noodles and serve!
Notes
*It is very helpful to use the exact type of noodles I have shown in the images (see the green and red packaging). I have tried different types of noodles, including ones where I boil it before cooking, and this particular one cooks the fastest for the crispiest noodles. Because it is pre-boiled you also save one step.
**it is important not to overcook your veggies, so look at them as you cook to make sure they look "fresh" still. For example all the veggies should total only be cooking for about 5-6 minutes at the max. The seafood it is important to add last as all three types here cook pretty fast, once the shrimp is orange it means the seafood is cooked.

 

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