Hong Kong noodles originated from the East, but their delicious taste has made them a hit worldwide. Many people enjoy stir-frying the dish because it is easy to cook, but you can also add nutritious ingredients and make it a well-rounded meal.
For our recipe, we recalled the noodles we ate in cafes in Hong Kong as well as online recipes before finally settling on our own version.
Follow along for a stir fry Hong Kong noodles recipe you can make at home and easily customise with any toppings. A homemade version would also be much healthier as you can control the amount of oil that goes into the wok. Let's get started.
What are Hong Kong noodles?
Hong Kong noodles is made of egg noodles, meat and vegetables stir-fried with sesame oil. The sauce is usually a combination of ketchup, chilli, and soy sauce. Some cooks may add chopped spring onions and vinegar to give the dish an even springier texture.
You will usually see this dish served in Asian restaurants as a crispy patty with sauce on top of it. The name can sometimes also refer to the pan-fried technique used in Hong Kong-style egg noodle recipes.
Within this delectable stir-fry, there are about 500 calories in one average serving.
Difference between Hong Kong noodles and chow mein
Although Hong Kong noodles are sometimes called Hong Kong chow mein, the former refers to pan-fried noodles which are partially cooked in boiling water so that they are ready for stir-frying.
In contrast, chow mein is a Cantonese term that directly translates into fried (chow) noodles (mein). However, if you prefer, you can use other variations, such as thin wonton strands, for your Hong Kong noodles recipe.
Chow mein is relatively ubiquitous around the world. The Japanese have their version of chow mein, also known as yaki udon.
Hong Kong noodles vs Singapore noodles
Hong Kong noodles are sometimes mistaken for their Singaporean counterpart as both are stir-fried plates with meat and vegetables. However, if you look closer, you will notice that the Singaporean version uses vermicelli (thin strands made from maida flour) and curry powder. Conversely, our Hong Kong style egg noodles recipe contains egg-based strands, which are flat and much thicker than vermicelli and soy sauces.
Interestingly, both dishes originated from Kowloon, but as Cantonese cooks travelled around the world, the country 'Singapore' somehow stuck and became synonymous with the plate.
Hong Kong noodles ingredients
Here are the main ingredients that you will need:
- Hong Kong-style egg noodles
- Beef or chicken
- Marinade (salt, cornstarch, water, Chinese Shaoxing wine)
- Sauce (salt, sugar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, beef broth)
Using a Hong Kong noodles packet is key to the dish since its firm texture holds well even under hot stir-frying conditions. These flat egg-based strands have a light dust of cornstarch coating and come in a patty shape. You can easily find a packet at your local supermarket.
However, if you cannot get these, you can also try ramen. Japanese ramen strands are slightly thinner, and the texture is more slippery. The thinner consistency will not make a difference to the final taste, but you must boil them before you stir fry them.
Make sure you adjust the heat and cooking time. The thinner strands will break apart easily, so you should stop once the wok starts to smoke.
Meat and other protein
You'll usually see beef if you're looking for a Hong Kong pan-fried noodles recipe. Beef brisket, flank steak or skirt steak are great choices because they're more affordable than ribs or tenderloin. Despite the lower price, these meat parts are equally tender and juicy after cooking.
However, if you dislike beef, you can always use chicken. Sliced chicken breast is chewy, which goes well with chow mein and adds protein to your meal. You can also use minced chicken to make meatballs, which add a burst of flavour to your final dish. Try our sweet and sour chicken balls recipe if you need a chicken side to add some oomph to your plate of chow mein.
In addition, seafood is a typical side dish for most Hong Kong style fried noodles recipes. While shrimps are often used, you can also add scallops. Seafood adds a light sweetness to the dish, so you get both savoury and sweet.
Some creative chefs have also tried adding lobster cheese. Check out our shrimp chow mein recipe if you want a simple, no-frills seafood mein recipe.
When it comes to vegetables for Hong Kong noodle ingredients, most will go well. You can use leafy or crunchy vegetables as long as you enjoy the taste. Most cooks will add a leafy vegetable such as bok choy, followed by chewy sliced ones such as mushrooms and carrots. Ginger and green onions are usually added because they add a sharp contrast to the smooth mien strands.
How to make Hong Kong noodles at home
If you are ready to try tossing up a storm with our Hong Kong style fried noodles recipe, we've got some cooking tips for you.
How to fry
Heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan or wok. You will know that it's ready for frying when your oil is glistening in the wok. However, one method to try is to put a wooden spoon into the pool of oil. Tiny bubbles will form, indicating that it's hot enough to cook.
We also recommend using corn or sesame oil because these oils lend a distinctive aroma to the final product.
Baking or air frying method
Try baking if you prefer not to use oil! Set your oven to 230-degree celsius (450 Fahrenheit) and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Additionally, you can also use an air fryer for cooking this Chinese stir-fried dish. Set it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees celsius (approx 660 Fahrenheit).
How not to overcook meat or protein
Avoid overcooking meat, as too much heat, can cause the meat to dry and the protein structure to toughen. But you can also marinate the meat with salt, Chinese Shaoxing wine, and soy sauce. Adding these ingredients will aid in breaking fibres and enhancing the meat's flavour.
Do it at least an hour before you cook the Hong Kong noodles. Another way is to slice against the grain while preparing your meat cuts. Cutting against the grain shortens the fibres, which makes the meat softer and easier to chew.
If you add seafood to your Hong Kong pan-fried noodles recipe, you have to be careful not to overcook it as the muscles are soft and easily ruined. For shrimp, to not overcook them, you should cook the shrimp first. Add them to the frying pan for 3-4 minutes until the flesh is pink and opaque. Then take them out and start cooking the rest of the ingredients.
Hong Kong Style Fried Noodles Recipe
- 200 g flank steak (sliced)
- 225 g fresh Hong Kong noodles (pan-fried)
- 4 heads baby bok choy quartered
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- Minced ginger
- ½ yellow onion
- ½ carrot sliced into strips
- 12 peeled and deveined shrimp
- 2 tbsps Shaoxing wine
- 2 tsps cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Marinade the beef in a medium-sized bowl. Combine sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Rinse and drain the noodles and set them aside to dry. Heat a large pan with two tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until hot. Toss in the shrimp, add Chinese Shaoxing wine and stir fry for about 2 minutes before setting it aside.
- Set the noodle patty in the wok, and cook without flipping until the bottoms turn golden. Turn the patty to fry the other side until golden. Add one tablespoon of oil, then add the beef.
- Flip the beef when golden brown, then cook the other side. Take it out and set it aside. Add one tablespoon of oil to the pan.
- Add the vegetables (carrot, ginger, onion and garlic). Stir fry for 30 seconds, then add the bok choy. Finally, add the sauce. Stir fry thoroughly and let the cornstarch thicken before adding the beef, noodles and shrimp to toss for a few seconds. Now you are done with this stir fry Hong Kong noodles recipe and are ready to serve.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
What is the best way to enjoy this steaming hot plate of mien? Why not pair it with a chilly cold cup of Hong Kong milk tea? If you want more of these tempting Asian recipes, hop over to our Instagram @honestfoodtalks!