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Chinese Longevity Noodles (Yee Mein)

Yi mein noodles on a platter
Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
12 min
Yields
4 servings

Yee Mein/Yi Mein (伊面) is also called E-fu noodles and Longevity Noodles, which is why every Chinese banquet or celebration dinner isn’t complete until the arrival of a platter of delicious noodles (alongside fried rice) as the final savoury course. Yee Mein is a type of Cantonese wheat and egg noodles that are deep fried in the form of large discs. They are usually sold in the refrigerated section next to other packaged noodles such as chow mein noodles, etc. Note that the noodles need only a quick blanch in boiling water before being combined with toppings and sauce — don’t overcook them! The noodles have a unique mouthfeel that is chewy and somewhat spongy, making them an excellent medium for soaking up tasty sauces. Since Yee Mein is often served as a banquet finale after many courses or as one of several dishes in a family-style meal, it is often a simple meatless dish like this recipe. You can serve this along with a protein like char siu, meat, tofu, shrimp, etc. and/or a plate of cooked Chinese leafy greens.

Note: Straw mushrooms are native to East and Southeast Asia where they can be found fresh. Elsewhere around the world, they are typically sold in cans. They are delicate and tender with an earthy mild flavour. The canned straw mushrooms tend to have minor tin-y flavour due to the can but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Well-stocked Chinese or Southeast Asian grocery stores sell them in aisles with other canned pantry items. If you can’t find any, double up on shiitake mushrooms or substitute with another variety of mushroom such as oyster, king oyster, enoki, etc.

Related: Fried Sweet Peanut Dumplings for a Prosperous Lunar New Year

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ingredients

Sauce

3
cups chicken broth
3
Tbsp oyster sauce
1
Tbsp soy sauce
1
Tbsp dark soy sauce
2
tsp Shaoxing wine (optional)
½
tsp sugar

Yee mein

2
x 200g (7 oz) packages of Yee Mein noodles
Neutral cooking oil
1
large shallot, fine diced
3
bunches of scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts separated
3
thinly sliced ginger roots
8-10
large shiitake mushrooms (fresh or rehydrated from dried), sliced
1
can (about 15 fl. oz) straw mushrooms, well drained and halved lengthwise, see note
3
Tbsp cornstarch whisked with 3 Tbsp cold water for cornstarch slurry
Salt to taste, amount depending on sodium content in broth used above
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directions

Step 1

Bring a large wok/Dutch oven/pot of water to a boil for blanching noodles, most likely 1 noodle disc at a time due to their size. Set a large colander over a dish next to the stove.

Step 2

Meanwhile, whisk all sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Step 3

Once water is at or close to a boil, add 1 noodle disc and blanch briefly only until the noodles are fully loosened and heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Pull first batch out with tongs and into colander. Bring noodles to the sink and give it a rinse with cold water to stop cooking, then bring it back next to the stove. Repeat with second disc using the same water. Set aside in colander. Discard the water. Since Yee Mein is deep fried, there will be residual oil on the bottom of the wok/Dutch oven/pot, which you may wish to wipe with a paper towel, before using it for the next steps.

Yee mein noodles blanching in wok
Step 4

Heat the wok/Dutch oven/pot over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil, shallots, white scallion parts and ginger. Stir fry until shallots and scallions are just beginning to turn translucent.

Aromatics frying in wok
Step 5

Add shiitake mushrooms. Sauté until shiitakes are slightly browned on edges. Season with salt. Add straw mushrooms and toss until heated through.

Mushrooms added to wok
Step 6

Reduce heat if needed. Add sauce and bring to gentle simmer. Give cornstarch slurry a quick whisk to unsettle the mixture and pour into wok. Allow sauce to simmer briefly to thicken. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste with salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce, etc. For example, I use low-sodium broth in the sauce and usually need to add ½-1 teaspoons kosher salt.

Step 7

Add noodles and reserved green scallion parts into mushroom sauce and turn to coat everything well. Keep turning until noodles are piping hot. Do a final taste with the noodles and adjust seasoning as needed. Discard ginger slices if desired.

Noodles added to wok
Step 8

Serve immediately.

Yi mein noodles on a platter

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