Scallion (green onion) noodles are a common Chinese streetfood. They’re chewy, fragrant with scallion oil — and completely crave inducing. Even better, they’re one of the simplest, and quickest, dishes to prepare that you can find. It’s basically a two-step meal.
The basic recipe for scallion noodles is only noodles, oil, green onion, and soy sauce. But it’s common to add a protein (often a little bit of pork) and oyster sauce. Scrambled egg would be good too. In the version here, we used five-spice pressed tofu. We’ve also added a whole lot more green onion than is typical, but not unheard of. Because delicious.
Fresh noodles are commonly available, and are much better than dried if you can get them. They should be wheat-flour egg noodles of some kind (no, not all Chinese noodles are made with rice flour). We usually use either the thin, or wider (tagliatelle-like) “wonton” egg noodles. Some people use spaghetti-shaped Taiwanese noodles. Regardless. Don’t overcook your noodles! They should be a little bit chewy.
You can probably do this recipe without a wok — instead, use a heavy, flat pan to toss the noodles. I usually just use plain Kikkoman Soy Sauce, or a similar middle-of-the-road soy sauce. If you want to use half and half, light and dark soy sauce, that’s good, too.
These noodles keep for a day or so in the fridge. If you don’t eat them all first.
– 1/2 lb (200g) fresh egg noodles (like won ton, or lo mein)
– 1/3 c (80ml) oil (vegetable)
– about 3 c (750ml) scallion (green part only)
– 1/4 c (50 ml) soy sauce (or to taste)
– 150 g pork (minced, or cut into thin strips)
– 1 pack pressed, baked tofu
– 2 eggs, scrambled lightly
– 2 tbsp oyster sauce
– 1 tbsp sugar
Put a pot of water on high to boil. I usually don’t salt it, for the thin Chinese noodles, since we’ll be adding a lot of salt later. Meanwhile, chop the green part of the scallions into 5cm (2 in) strips. Split the dense base of the stem down the middle, so that the whole onion can fry. Save the white part for other uses, or start your own window-ledge green onion farm.
Heat the oil to nearly smoking at medium high heat in a wok, or a small pot. You’ll know it’s hot enough when a piece of green onion sizzles when added to the oil. Dump the scallions into the oil (be careful of splatters).
You’ll need to stir the onions fairly regularly. They’ll lose a lot of volume, and release a lot of liquid, quite quickly. The idea is to fry them until they dry out, get dark, and kind of chewy. But not burnt. You can tuirn the heat to medium low for this process, if you’re not in a hurry, to make sure the onions are cooked evenly, but don’t actually burn. Even at medium low heat, this will only be about 10-15 minutes.
While the scallions are cooking, chop your tofu, or other protein. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles, and cook them until they are almost (but not quite) done. Look at the package directions, but this will likely only be about 1-2 minutes. Pull one out of the water, and chew it to see if it’s done. There are no stupid tricks for this (like, please, don’t throw your noodles at the wall to see of it sticks — why do Americans think this is a good idea?) Drain the noodles, and rinse them in cold water to stop them from overcooking.
Once the green onions are nearly done to your liking (they’re still underdone in this picute) , add the protein (if using) and let it all fry together for a bit. You can throw some of the oyster sauce or soy sauce in at this point, to season the tofu, or meat. This will only be a minute or two. Then, throw the noodles in, and toss everything together.
While the noodles heat up, start seasoning with the soy sauce, sprinkling it over the noodles, a bit at a time. Taste the noodles, and decide if you want more soy sauce. Finish off with the oyster sauce (if using) and serve.