Longevity noodles are a type of Yi Mein, which is a Cantonese egg noodle made up of wheat flour. This recipe calls for minimal ingredients, little time, and it’s better than takeout. I mean sure, sometimes Chinese takeout is *just* what you need after an exhausting road trip or an exasperating day at work, but if you have it in you to spend a measly 20-30 minutes cooking, make this instead; you’ll find extra joy and satisfaction in the fact that you made it yourself.
Yi Mein: Chinese Long Life Noodles [Vegan]
For the Noodles:
- 3 quarts water
- 12 ounces dry yi mein (longevity) noodles (look for egg-free noodles or choose long noodles)
For the Sauce:
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 2 teaspoons regular soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- A pinch ground white pepper
For the Vegetables:
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil divided
- 5 Shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced
- 8 ounces Chinese chives, cut into 2-inch long pieces and separate the light end pieces from the dark green pieces; you'll use them at different times.
To Make the Sauce:
In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the sugar and salt in 1 tablespoon of hot water. Once dissolved, and add the regular soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
To Make the Noodles:
- In a large wok or pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Place the noodles into the boiling water and boil them for 3-4 minutes. (The directions on the box may say to boil the noodles for longer, but since you're going to continue cooking them in the wok later, take them out once they're al dente, which should only take 3-4 minutes. This is to avoid mushy noodles.)
- When the noodles are done, drain them thoroughly so no water is left dripping, and set them aside.
- Heat the wok until it just starts to emit smoke, and drizzle 2 tablespoons of cooking oil around the perimeter of the wok.
- Add the mushrooms and the *light green* parts of the chives. Stir-fry for approx. 30 seconds. Because the mushrooms act like sponges, they will soak up the oil, so add another tablespoon of oil if the pan has dried up and the mushrooms look to be on the dry side.
- Finally, add the noodles and stir-fry everything for another 20ish seconds. If the noodles are on the cooler side, cook them a bit longer until they've warmed up; warming the noodles before adding the sauce is imperative.
- Drizzle the prepared sauce evenly over the noodles, and stir-fry everything together for about 1 minute, or until the sauce mixture has been evenly distributed. If there are any signs of sticking, add another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter of the wok and/or, if the noodles stick together, drizzle a bit of oil directly over the noodles. Use your best judgement. You can also add a splash of hot water to the noodles if they seem dry, even if you've already added the sauce.
- Stir gently and carefully so you don’t break up the noodles.
- At last, add the dark green parts of the chives and stir until they turn bright green and the noodles are heated through. This could take 1-3 minutes, depending on the temperature of your noodles when you started stir-frying, how hot your stove and wok are, etc.
- Finally, plate the noodles and serve.
Vegetarian oyster sauce can be found at most Asian groceries.
- Asian Sauce Recipes