Shou Mian - Longevity Noodles
(Chinese egg noodles in broth)
Longevity, or long-life, noodles (shou mian, 寿面) are a popular Chinese dish for birthdays and Chinese New Year. As their name indicates, they symbolize living to a ripe old age. There are innumerable variations on the basic noodle dish; this one serves a simple broth over the yi mein egg noodles.
NOTE: It is very important not to cut or break the noodles while cooking or serving them. To do so would be very bad luck indeed!
- Chinese egg noodles -- 1 pound fresh, or 8 ounces dried
- Chicken broth (low sodium) -- 5 cups
- Light soy sauce -- 1/4 cup
- Sugar -- 1 tablespoon
- Salt and white pepper -- to taste
- Water -- 2 tablespoons
- Cornstarch -- 1 tablespoon
- Ham, chopped -- 1/2 cup
- Scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal -- 4
- Sesame oil (optional) -- 2 teaspoons
- Bring a large pot or wok of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the egg noodles and cook, until just done. Stir the noodles very carefully while they are cooking, preferably with chopsticks to avoid breaking any of the noodles. Drain the noodles carefully, rinse and portion them out into serving bowls.
- Add the broth, soy sauce and sugar to the pot or wok and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and white pepper.
- In a small bowl, make a slurry with the 2 tablespoons of water and the cornstarch. Whisk the slurry into the simmering broth to thicken it very lightly.
- Pour some of the broth into each bowl over the cooked noodles. Garnish each portion with ham, scallions and a few drops of sesame oil.
Longevity Noodles Variations
- Vegetables: Add vegetables to the simmering broth: shiitakes, sprouts, snow peas, spinach.
- Garnishes: Other garnishes to top your noodles with include a sliced hard-boiled egg, deep-fried tofu, poached and sliced chicken, or char siu pork.
- Stir a beaten egg into the simmering broth to form wispy ribbons.