Sichuan Preserved Vegetable, Egg and Tomato Noodles 2.000

T. Susan Chang

Book Report Sep 1, 2015

Use the sloppiest, ripest tomatoes of summer for this homely dish, which features a common flavor combination in Chinese cuisine.

You'll need chopsticks for scrambling the eggs in the wok.

Make Ahead: You'll need to soak the Sichuan preserved vegetable in water for 20 minutes, then rinse and finely chop it.

Where to Buy: Sichuan preserved vegetable (pickled mustard stems) is not hard to find in an Asian market if you know what you're looking for. It might come in a foil packet or a round crock. If you can't find it, you can use Tianjin preserved vegetable (pickled cabbage), which also comes in foil packets, but it doesn't have the tender crunch of the mustard stems. (Sichuan preserved vegetable might come pre-slivered; it will still need to be soaked, rinsed and chopped.) Light soy sauce is thinner than regular soy sauce (not the same as low-sodium) and is available at large Asian markets.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

  • 7 ounces dried wide, flat wheat noodles
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Knob of Sichuan preserved vegetable (zha cai; see headnote; use 3 to 4 tablespoons if it comes pre-slivered)
  • 1 scallion, white parts and green parts minced separately
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (see headnote)
  • 3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce (see headnote)
  • 2 large eggs, preferably free-range
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chile oil


Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a warm bowl.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic, preserved vegetable and the whites of the scallion; stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until the tomatoes start to soften and release their juices.

Add the water, sugar, ketchup, rice wine and light soy sauce. Cook for 1 minute, then transfer the mixture to a bowl.

Wipe the wok clean.

Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the wok. Give it a good swirl and heat it over medium-high heat.

Beat the eggs and salt in a cup, then add to the wok once the oil shimmers; they will puff up and sizzle. Stir with chopsticks just until the eggs start to set, then pour the tomato mixture back into the wok along with the scallion greens. Stir-fry, folding just until the ingredients are well incorporated.

If the sauce is looking too watery, whisk together the cornstarch with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl to form a smooth slurry. Stir into the wok until the sauce has thickened. If the sauce seems too thick, add only a tablespoon or two of water.

Remove from the heat and pour the contents over the noodles. Drizzle the chili oil on top just before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham,” by Lizzie Mabbott (Mitchell Beazley, 2015).

Tested by T. Susan Chang.

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