Longevity Noodles (Yi Mein) are an iconic Chinese noodle dish consisting of thick, bouncy noodles and thinly sliced mushrooms, all tossed together in a thin but flavor-packed sauce.
It might not be the prettiest or most photogenic dish, but it’s absolutely delicious, and a very common sight at celebratory occasions and banquets. After all, it’s believed that those who eat these noodles will live a long and lucky life… so long as they slurp the lengthy noodles up in full!
Little wonder why it’s such a common Chinese New Year Food.
So, if you too want to live a long and prosperous life, keep scrolling for our foolproof Longevity Noodles (Yi Mein) recipe. You’ll be shocked at how quickly and easily you can make it at home… read on and you’ll see what we Mein.
Tips for Nailing These Longevity Noodles (Yi Mein)
This is a simple, relatively foolproof recipe, but here are some important notes before you get started.
Pick the right noodles
Yi Mein isn’t really Yi Mein unless you buy the right kind of noodles. While we’re sure these seasonings would still taste great on top of any noodle type, it’s only Yi Mein that has the springy, bouncy, texture that makes this dish what it is.
So, when you are shopping for the noodles to make in this dish, make sure you buy the ones that are thick, and usually deep fried in a block like these:
Do NOT overcook the noodles
These Longevity noodles are super simple to throw together, and are relatively foolproof… BUT the one place where you can really mess things up is with the noodle texture.
Overcooking the noodles is all too easy in this dish, so make sure you only boil them for about 15 seconds, just enough to separate the noodles and remove some of the excess oil. It’s also important you drain them quickly and run them under cold water to halt the cooking process.
Since you will be adding the noodles back into the pan later, you can always cook them a bit longer in there if they’re not yet soft enough.
Make it vegan!
If you use vegan oyster sauce and veggie bouillon powder in this recipe, it can easily be one of the tastiest and quickest vegan/vegetarian-friendly Chinese dishes you can make at home.
Make it your own
Besides the noodles and the seasonings, there’s actually a surprising amount of flexibility with this dish. As we note in the ingredients list, you can use any kind of mushrooms you want (although shitake is common), or you could sub the mushroom for your favorite (neutral tasting) vegetables of choice.
The same can be said for the chives/green onions added at the end. While the dish typically uses yellow chives, you can also use green onion. The green leafy bits are the most typical, but use what you have! In Papa G’s case during this recipe session, he used thinly sliced green onion stalks, and that was fine too.
Don’t stress too much – this recipe really is easy, and so long as you use the right seasonings (and adjust to your taste), it’ll be delicious.
Ingredients for Our Longevity Noodles (Yi Mein) Recipe
- 225g (8 oz) Yi Mein, AKA Deep Fried Noodles
- 170g (6oz) Fresh or Dried Mushrooms of Your Choice, Sliced Into Thin Strips
- 1 tsp Shaoxing Wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp bouillon powder (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 170g (6oz) Chinese chives or green onion, julienned
Step by Step Instructions for Our Longevity Noodles (Yi Mein) Recipe
You won’t believe how quickly and easily these Longevity Noodles come together. Here are the step by step instructions!
To prep your mushrooms, slice them into thin strips. You can use any mushrooms of your choosing for this dish, although Shitake (dried or fresh) is quite typical.
To prep your chives or green onion for later, julienne them into thin strips.
Boil water and put Yi Mein in for 10-15 seconds. The goal is to get the oil out of the Yi Mein, not to cook it completely through because you’ll still be pan frying it later.
Drain the noodles, run them under cold water, then set them aside.
Heat a pan/wok to medium heat, and then add oil.
Add in your mushrooms, and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add a splash of cooking wine, and stir fry for another 30 seconds. Add a half cup of stock, then 1 tbsp of oyster sauce and let simmer for 30 seconds.
Add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp bouillon powder and then add your Yi Mein noodles.
Stir, then add a tsp of soy sauce (use dark soy sauce if you prefer a darker color).
Turn the heat up to high, then mix well. Have a taste, and adjust your seasonings to taste.
Finish off by adding a tsp of sesame oil. Turn off the heat and mix in your chives or green onion.
Plate up, serve, and enjoy!
We Hope You Enjoy Our Longevity Noodles (Yi Mein) Recipe!
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, or be sure to let us know if you’ve tested the recipe out. We’re always looking to improve our recipes and make sure they taste great for everyone.