The Washington Post

Long-Life Noodles

Long-Life Noodles 4.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Feb 10, 2010

In China, noodle dishes are a staple for birthdays and Chinese New Year because they signify a long life for whoever is eating them -- as long as the noodles are not cut short. The longer they are, the better.

The noodles in this dish are commonly labeled e-fu or yi mein. They are usually available dried and compressed into blocks. Fresh Shanghai noodles or, in a pinch, linguine can be substituted. Asian shallots are redder, smaller and milder than their Western counterparts; either can be used, as long as you add the correct measured amount. Chinese chives, also called garlic chives, are worth seeking out. They have a deliciously tangy flavor, and they turn a vibrant green after a couple minutes of cooking. All of the ingredients in the recipe are easily found in Asian markets; we bought ours at Great Wall Supermarket in Falls Church.

You can be flexible with this recipe: If you really like mushrooms, add more. If you must have meat, cut chicken, pork or beef into small pieces and stir-fry them along with the garlic and shallots.

Servings: 4 - 6
  • 8 medium dried black mushrooms
  • 2 cups very hot water
  • Two 9-ounce packages of fresh egg noodles or one 8-ounce package dried egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium or regular soy sauce
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
  • 3 small shallots, chopped (3 tablespoons)
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms (white or cremini), trimmed and sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 ounces enoki mushrooms, trimmed and separated into bite-size pieces (1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 5 Chinese chives or skinny scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Combine the dried mushrooms with the hot water in a medium bowl and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are rehydrated. Drain the mushrooms, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Slice the mushrooms into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. At the end of the cooking time, pour them into a colander and rinse under cold running water. Transfer the noodles to a large bowl; add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the soy sauce. Toss to combine.

Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the garlic and shallots; cook for 30 to 45 seconds, until fragrant. Add the black mushrooms and button mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms are almost cooked through. Add the enoki mushrooms, the reserved mushroom liquid, oyster sauce, chives and 1 teaspoon salt (add less salt if you are not using low-sodium soy sauce). Add the noodles, then stir quickly until the ingredients are well mixed and heated through (use a spatula in each hand to evenly toss the noodles, if necessary). Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook," by Patricia Tanumihardja (Sasquatch Books, 2009).

Tested by Jane Touzalin .

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6 using low-sodium soy sauce): 245

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 9g 14%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 32mg 11%

Sodium: 750mg 31%

Total Carbohydrates: 35g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 7g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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