Long Life Noodles (Yi Mein)

Long life noodles (yi mein) are a classic Chinese noodle dish that my family makes at every party. It is extremely easy to make and represents a wish for longevity and a long life. This is why the noodles are extremely long and you don’t want to break them during the cooking process.

What are long life noodles (Yi Mein)?

Background

Long life noodles are a type of fried noodle that is commonly cooked to celebrate birthdays. The reason is because the long noodles represent longevity and having a long life. You can find these noodles at any Chinese grocery store. In order to cook the noodles correctly, it is important to not break them, otherwise it is bad luck. There are many different versions of this noodle and in banquets, it is common to get them with lobster as a course.

Long life noodles (pre boil)

Cooking long life noodles without breaking

Since these noodles have already been fried, they soften extremely quickly when under hot water. I placed them into a pot of boiling water and the second they start to separate, I strained and rinsed under cold water to stop them from cooking. The cooking process only took 30 seconds total so watch it carefully. After rinsing, they should feel el dente and only cooked about 70% through with a slight stiffness in the noodles.

Noodles after boil and strain

Toppings in noodles

Sausages

Sausage are my main source of protein in this noodle dish but you can really add anything you would like. Some popular options are thinly sliced pork or spam and you can even omit a meat source entirely.

Carrots

For the carrots, I like them julienned because this way they are cooked the most evenly. Carrots also add color and texture to the dish which is important.

Cabbage

Cabbage provides a similar role to the noodle dish as carrots do. I prepare them by thinly slicing.

White beech mushrooms

White beech mushrooms are a type of mushroom from east Asia. They typically come in a cluster and but can easily be separated to be washed. These mushrooms add another element of texture and flavor to the dish which I love. You can substitute these for shitakes or another type of mushroom.

Noodle toppings

Long Life Noodles (Yi Mein)

This is a classic Chinese noodle dish representing long life and longevity typically made during celebrations.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine cantonese, Chinese
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 200g yi mein noodles (1 package)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 75 g sausage
  • 75 g carrots
  • 75 g cabbage
  • 75 g white beech mushrooms (shimeji)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions
 

  • Bring a pot of water up to a boil and place your noodles in.
    200g yi mein noodles
  • After 30 seconds, once they begin to separate, immediately strain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside to dry. The noodles should still feels lightly firm in the middle.
  • Prepare all your toppings, slice sausages, julienne carrots, thinly chop cabbage, and separate mushrooms.
    75 g sausage, 75 g carrots, 75 g cabbage, 75 g white beech mushrooms
  • In a non stick wok, add 1 tbsp of oil over high heat. Add all your toppings and cook for 2 minutes.
    1 tbsp oil, 75 g sausage, 75 g carrots, 75 g cabbage, 75 g white beech mushrooms
  • Add the strained noodles along with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.
    1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp sugar
  • Stir until color is uniform across all noodles (2 minutes) and finish with sesame oil.
    1 tsp sesame oil

Notes

If you are making a double portion, be sure to cook in 2 batches. This way the noodles will cook more evenly and you can prevent them from breaking.
Keyword chinese, life, long, noodles

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