• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Fred12fred

Soy sauce noodles?

33 posts in this topic

My wife and I were watching a recent tv show (I think it was Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, but could have been No Reservations (Tony Bourdain)) where the person was in Hong Kong.

In one scene, they showed someone making soy sauce noodles, which gave my wife a serious Proustian moment as she grew up in HK and misses it badly. Ever since then, she's been craving this dish.

And, I have no idea what how to go about making this for her.

From what I can tell, the dish seems to be just egg noodles, soy sauce, and bean sprouts. They're all stir fried on high heat. That's it.

Clearly, there must be something more to this. Is it just soy sauce or some special blend of things? Garlic? Onion?

I pretty much know that the "secret" is going to be in the frying part, but I'd at least like to have a small chance of recreating this by knowing what to put in the dish.

So, I turn to the great masses of eGullet and ask: does anyone know what this dish is? And, can you please help me figure out how to recreate it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love soy sauce noodle! With a bowl of plain porridge, it's great anytime of the day! I have to say that I never tried to make this at home as I could get that at many places in Hong Kong and in San Francisco. Now I'm in Australia and nowhere near a large Chinese population, I should learn how to make it. Other than beansprouts, I have seen versions with green onion or chinese chives in them. Some places use onion but I don't like that. I don't mind a sprinkling of toasted sesames on top though.

I'm hoping someone here has a good recipe as I can't wait to try it out myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been googling everything I can think of and have come up pretty empty.

This looked promising but link they provided doesn't go anywhere helpful...but it looks like just soy plus sugar(?) and beansprouts...

The only other thing I've seen is this post which seems like a variant of the dish.

http://tastesofhome.blogspot.com/2011/01/hong-kong-soy-sauce-noodles-udon-with.html

Interestingly, he mentions using mushroom soy sauce instead of regular.

Does this sound right? I've never had the dish so I have no basis for making a judgment on that.

This might drive me to complete distraction. :hmmm:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not surprised that sugar may be used. I tend to use a little of that it stir fry dishes to balance out the soy sauce. I also tend to mix regular and dark soy (or mushroom soy) when frying up noodles. The regular soy gives it the salt and the dark/mushroom soy gives it a nice thickness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I make these, I blast the wok and do the following:

-- cook the bean sprouts without oil very quickly, maybe 30s, then dump into a bowl;

-- squirt in a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil or chicken fat and then dump in some sliced onion, cooking them quickly until they're slightly browned on the edges, and remove to the same bowl (I'll often add the green part of scallions here, too);

-- squirt in a bit more oil if needed, and then throw in the egg noodles. You want them to pick up a little bit of color but not burn; this takes serious attention. When you've gotten the wok hei you want, add the vegetables back in and squirt in some dark soy sauce.

You can tweak with sugar, red chili pepper, greens, even meat or fish, but that's the basic approach. The key is getting the wok uber-hot so that you get that wok hei on the noodles. It's not worth trying to accomplish if you don't have a source of very high heat and a seasoned wok (in my opinion).

Let us know how it goes!


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like comfort food. I wonder if katsup manis would get you some of the richness and thickness barring the availability of the super hot pan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This dish is nothing more than meatless lo mein.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This dish is nothing more than meatless lo mein.

And how do you prepare yours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't it just 銀絲炒麵 (Silver thread stir fried noodles). The silver threads being the beansprouts.


Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the comments.

Ben: To me, lo mein is more saucy than what I imagine this dish to be. But, then again, my experience with lo mein comes from the 1980's chop suey era Chinese restaurants... :raz:

CFT: I tried googling silver thread noodles but didn't find a recipe, but I can see that it could very well be the same dish.

heidih: kecap manis would be good in something like this. I'm filing that away as something to try. Thanks!

Chris: Thanks for your summary of how you do things. I am going to follow your "recipe" tonight. I got my mushroom soy sauce and beansprouts all set!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The show was (I'm 99% sure) Zimmern's. He was hanging in the kitchen of a place in Hong Kong. One of the keys was the soaking of the noodles before cooking - that seemed to be important. They then went on to say someone needs to work there for 2 years before they can cook the noodles.

And the noodles were cooked using chopsticks as the utensil - not a wok ladle or spatula. That was the way they made sure that all the noodles were exposed to the wok and the sauce.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my mother's recipe for these noodles (improvised singaporean style) is soy sauce, sesame oil, fried shallots and then throwing in bits of deep fried pork lard to the mix for flavours. dash of vinegar,sugar, ketchup optional and then mix the blanched egg noodles and bean sprouts with the sauce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no recipes for soy sauce noodles.

Just like there is no recipe for fried rice.

Anything goes.

I do a soy sauce Ramen noodles with EVOO, light soy sauce, and parmesan cheese top.

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no recipes for soy sauce noodles.

Just like there is no recipe for fried rice.

Anything goes.

I do a soy sauce Ramen noodles with EVOO, light soy sauce, and parmesan cheese top.

dcarch

With all due respect, your recipe would not necessarily fly in Hong Kong :wink: .


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no recipes for soy sauce noodles.

Just like there is no recipe for fried rice.

Anything goes.

I do a soy sauce Ramen noodles with EVOO, light soy sauce, and parmesan cheese top.

dcarch

With all due respect, your recipe would not necessarily fly in Hong Kong :wink: .

LOL!

You have not tried my Spam fried rice yet.

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have not tried my Spam fried rice yet.

Actually Spam - the Chinese version of it called "lunch meat" - is quite popular in Hong Kong. We use Spam in sandwiches with eggs, baked bao with eggs, ramen noodles with eggs. While it may not be on the menu, I am sure you can order Spam fried rice in Hong Kong.


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This dish is nothing more than meatless lo mein.

And how do you prepare yours?

Heidih, "lo mein" means mixed noodles, which in all its permutations and interpretations is akin to the generic "fried rice" ie: there is no set recipe. Reduced to its basic connotations, it means stir fried noodles to me (and most people). But, there is always a "but" in any argument, interpretations can trump the standard orthodoxy of what we normally assume is the "correct" form and format.

Like this: the Japanese term "ramen" is in fact the corruption of the Chinese term "lo mein". Most native bred Japanese cannot produce the "L" sound, just as most native Chinese speakers have trouble with the "R" sound. We all know of the various guises and forms that the humble "ramen" can assume.

To answer your question, I would have to reply: "Whatever ingredients I have on hand would determine how I cook my meatless lo mein, or soy sauce noodles. Or, better still whatever my wife feels like having - dry-ish, moist, wet, or crisp.

I hope that I have answered your question.


Edited by Ben Hong (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"---- Most native bred Japanese cannot produce the "L" sound, just as most native Chinese speakers have trouble with the "R" sound. We all know of the various guises and forms that the humble "ramen" can assume.

--"

So my Spam fried rice would be Spam fried lice?

dcarch :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night, I took a stab at cooking this dish.

I don't have a 8,000,000 BTU stove, and I knew going into it that this would be the key issue, but I've had some success in getting that great smokyness that you would get from a wok by using a cast iron pan, so I wasn't too concerned.

So, I got all set by opening all the windows that I could, turning on the fan, and, most importantly, disconnecting the smoke alarm! I put my pan on the stove and got it blazing hot.

I kept it really simple, just noodles, bean sprouts, mushroom soy and brown sugar.

My wife declared it: "Tasty and good...but...not what I remembered" Which is about what I expected.

Now the trick will be for me to somehow turn this into a trip to Hong Kong to get the real thing... :laugh:

My personal post-mortem is that I think I fried the noodles a bit too much as they turned pretty crispy. I would prefer noodles that had some crunchy bits but still had a softness to them. Also, I think the austerity of just using soy is a bit too bland for me. I'll probably throw in some scallions and garlic if I try this again.

Thanks again for everyone's input! That's what I love about eGullet. :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have not tried my Spam fried rice yet.

Actually Spam - the Chinese version of it called "lunch meat" - is quite popular in Hong Kong. We use Spam in sandwiches with eggs, baked bao with eggs, ramen noodles with eggs. While it may not be on the menu, I am sure you can order Spam fried rice in Hong Kong.

It's a very popular topping for ramen and macaroni in soup as well. And you can always get luncheon meat and fried eggs for breakfast. I kinda remember that we slice and dip the luncheon meat and fried them up in a pan at home when I was growing up in Hong Kong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kept it really simple, just noodles, bean sprouts, mushroom soy and brown sugar.

....

My personal post-mortem is that I think I fried the noodles a bit too much as they turned pretty crispy. I would prefer noodles that had some crunchy bits but still had a softness to them. Also, I think the austerity of just using soy is a bit too bland for me. I'll probably throw in some scallions and garlic if I try this again.

I wouldn't use brown sugar as it isn't a popular ingredient in Hong Kong. I would try the recipe with just white sugar. Also, maybe use a mix of dark and light soy. I find the combination gives the food a more complex flavor than get using one.

Charred bits of noodles - yes! Crunchy noodle - no!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"It's a very popular topping for ramen and macaroni in soup as well. And you can always get luncheon meat and fried eggs for breakfast. I kinda remember that we slice and dip the luncheon meat and fried them up in a pan at home when I was growing up in Hong Kong."

What do you dip the Spam in before you fry it? Egg?


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
most native Chinese speakers have trouble with the "R" sound

No they don't. Some Cantonese speakers do. There is an [r] sound in Mandarin. I've been living in China for 15 years and have met only one or two people who couldn't say [r].

the Japanese term "ramen" is in fact the corruption of the Chinese term "lo mein"

No. It's much more likely to be a 'corruption' of "la mian" (拉面), something quite different.


Edited by liuzhou (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you dip the Spam in before you fry it? Egg?

Yes, egg. Sorry, didn't realize that was left out. :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By sartoric
      I make this a lot. Traditionally served with dosa, but great with all kinds of Indian food, even just scooped up with bread or pappads for a snack. Although it's slightly different every time, depending on the tomatoes and chillies used, plus the strength of the tamarind, it's easy, quick to make and always delicious.
       
      In a blender - half a medium red onion chopped, 7 dried red chillies broken up a bit, 2 ripe tomatoes chopped, 1 tsp of sea salt, 3 tsp tamarind paste.

       
      Whizz until purée like about 2 minutes.

       
      In a sauté pan over medium heat add 60 ml sesame oil (gingelly), when it's hot but not smoking add 1 tsp black mustard seeds.   

       
      Quickly cover the pan to prevent escape and sizzle for a minute.

       
      Add 1 tsp of urad dal (black lentils, skinned and split they are light grey).

       
      Fry until golden, another minute or so.

       
      Throw in about 20 curry leaves. These splatter so cover the pan again. 

       
      Lower the heat and add the  blender contents.

       
      Simmer, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes, until you get a runny jam consistency.
       
      Ta da !

    • By Soul_Venom
      The best Chinese food restaurant I have ever been to is a place called the Imperial Buffet in Aberdeen SD. Their General Tso's is unlike the Tso's anywhere else. The closes comparison I could make is the Orange Chicken at the Panda Garden only 3x better. Their Lo-Mein Noodles are done with the skill of a master Italian pasta chef & perfectly seasoned. They also used to do a mean fried squid. I say used to because they had it when I lived in Aberdeen from 02-04 but didn't when I visited in 15'. One of their other discontinued specialties was a dish advertised as 'Golden Fried Cauliflower'. Note, this was NOT a breaded product. The cauliflower was cooked as though it had been boiled perfectly. It was not greasy as I recall but was a golden orange color as was the sauce it was evidently cooked in. I never could identify the flavors in that sauce. I wish I could describe it better but it has been well over a decade since I had it. Is anyone familiar with it or something similar? I can't seem to find anything like it online & all my searches just bring up links to breaded deep-fried crap.
    • By liuzhou
      An old friend from England contacted me yesterday via Facebook with a couple of questions about Five Spice Powder.

      Thought there me be some interest here, too.

      Is there anything more typically Chinese than five spice powder (五香粉 - wǔ xiāng fěn)?
       
      Well, yes. A lot.
       
      Many years ago, I worked in an office overlooking London’s China town. By around 11 am, the restaurants started getting lunch ready and the smell of FSP blanketed the area for the rest of the day. When I moved to China, I didn’t smell that. Only when I first visited Hong Kong, did I find that smell again.
       
      In fact, FSP is relatively uncommon in most of Chinese cuisine. And if I ever see another internet recipe called “Chinese” whatever, which is actually any random food, but the genius behind it has added FSP, supposedly rendering it Chinese, I’ll scream.

      I get all sorts of smells wafting through the neighbourhood. Some mouth-watering; some horrifying. But I don't recall ever that they were FSP.
       
      But what is it anyway? Which five spices?
       
      Today, I bought four samples in four local supermarkets. I would have would have preferred five, but couldn’t find any more. It's not that popular.
       
      First thing to say: none of them had five spices. All had more. That is normal. Numbers in Chinese can often be vague. Every time you hear a number, silently added the word ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. 100 km means “far”, 10,000 means “many”.
       
      Second, while there are some common factors, ingredients can vary quite a bit. Here are my four.

      1.


       
      Ingredients – 7
       
      Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cassia Bark, Sand Ginger, Dried Ginger, Sichuan Peppercorns.
       
      2.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Coriander, Sichuan Peppercorn, Licorice Root.

      3.
       

       
      Ingredients – 15
       
      Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Coriander, Tangerine Peel, Star Anise, Chinese Haw, Cassia Bark, Lesser Galangal, Dahurian Angelica, Nutmeg, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, Amomum Villosum, Cumin Seeds, Cloves.

      4.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Pepper (unspecified – probably black pepper), Sichuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Cassia.
       
      So, take your pick. They all taste and smell almost overwhelmingly of the star anise and cassia, although there are subtle differences in taste in the various mixes.
       
      But I don’t expect to find it in many dishes in local restaurants or homes. A quick, unscientific poll of about ten friends today revealed that not one has any at home, nor have they ever used the stuff!
       
       
      I'm not suggesting that FSP shouldn't be used outside of Chinese food. Please just don't call the results Chinese when you sprinkle it on your fish and chips or whatever. They haven't miraculously become Chinese!

      Like my neighbours and friends, I very rarely use it at all.

      In fact, I'd be delighted to hear how it is used in other cultures / cuisines.
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
    • By liuzhou
      A few days ago, I was given a lovely gift. A big jar of preserved lemons.
       
      I know Moroccan preserved lemons, but had never met Chinese ones. In fact, apart from in the south, in many parts of China it isn't that easy to find lemons, at all.
       
      These are apparently a speciality of the southern Zhuang minority of Wuming County near Nanning. The Zhuang people are the largest ethnic minority in China and most live in Guangxi. These preserved lemons feature in their diet and are usually eaten with congee (rice porridge). Lemon Duck is a local speciality and they are also served with fish. They can be served as a relish, too. They are related to the Vietnamese Chanh muối.
       
      I'm told that these particular lemons have been soaking in salt and lemon juice for eleven years!
       

       

       
      So, of course, you want to know what they taste like. Incredibly lemony. Concentrated lemonness. Sour, but not unpleasantly so. Also a sort of smoky flavour.
       
      The following was provided by my dear friend 马芬洲 (Ma Fen Zhou) who is herself Zhuang. It is posted with her permission.
       
      How to Make Zhuang Preserved Lemons
      By 马芬洲
       
      Zhuang preserved lemons is a kind of common food for the southern Zhuang ethnic minority who live around Nanning Prefecture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. The Zhuang people like to make it as a relish for eating with congee or congee with corn powder. This relish is a mixture of chopped preserved lemons, red chilli and garlic or ginger slice in soy sauce and peanut oil or sesame oil.
       

       
      Sometimes the Zhuang people use preserved lemons as an ingredient in cooking. The most famous Zhuang food in Guangxi is Lemon Duck, which is a common home cooked dish in Wuming County, which belongs to Nanning Prefecture.
       
      The following steps show you how to make Zhuang preserved lemons.
       
      Step 1 Shopping
      Buy some green lemons.
       
      Step 2 Cleaning
      Wash green lemons.
       
      Step 3 Sunning
      Leave green lemons under the sunshine till it gets dry.
       
      Step 4 Salting
      If you salt 5kg green lemons, mix 0.25kg salt with green lemons. Keep the salted green lemons in a transparent jar. The jar must be well sealed. Leave the jar under the sunshine till the salted green lemons turn yellow. For example, leave it on the balcony. Maybe it will take months to wait for those salted green lemons to turn yellow. Later, get the jar of salted yellow lemons back. Unseal the jar. Then cover 1kg salt over the salted yellow lemons. Seal well the jar again.
       
      Step 5 Preserving
      Keep the sealed jar of salted yellow lemons at least 3 years. And the colour of salted yellow lemons will turn brown day by day. It can be dark brown later. The longer you keep preserved lemons, the better taste it is. If you eat it earlier than 2 years, it will taste bitter. After 3 years, it can be unsealed. Please use clean chopsticks to pick it. Don’t use oily chopsticks, or the oil will make preserved lemons go bad. Remember to seal the jar well after picking preserved lemons every time.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.