Hong Kong-style fried noodles

Hong Kong-style fried noodles

Chinese Unchopped
20 mins
Cooking time
5 mins
Martin Poole

Noodles are a key ingredient in Chinese cookery, and learning how to handle them properly in the wok is essential. The ‘Tummy and Head’ technique needed to evenly distribute the vegetables among the noodles and keep each strand separate without any ‘clumping’ or breaking is one that many people find difficult to grasp at first, so don’t lose hope if it takes time to master. The Hong Kong tradition is to have these for breakfast alongside rice porridge and savoury doughnuts.


Quantity Ingredient
100g dried egg noodles or chop suey-style noodles
1 carrot
150g pak choi
100g bean sprouts
2 shiitake mushrooms, soaked, (see note)
1 spring onion
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil or garlic oil

The sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Soak the egg noodles in hot water for 3–5 minutes, until they have separated, then drain them and leave to dry on a clean tea towel for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare your vegetables: cut your carrot into matchsticks and finely slice your pak choi and bean sprouts. Drain and finely slice the shiitake mushrooms. Slice the spring onion into fine matchsticks and put them into a small bowl.
  3. BUILD YOUR WOK CLOCK: Place your sliced carrot at 12 o’clock, then arrange the pak choi, mushrooms, bean sprouts, noodles and sauce ingredients clockwise around the plate.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable or garlic oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking-hot. Add the carrots, pak choi and mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Push the vegetables to the back of your wok, add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for a further 20–30 seconds, then empty all the vegetables from the wok back into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Heat a further ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok to high heat, add the noodles and stir-fry for 1 minute, then return the vegetables to the wok along with the dark soy sauce. Stir the noodles from the centre of the pan outwards, while shaking your wok back and forth, until they are evenly coloured by the dark soy sauce. (This is what we call the ‘tummy and head movement’ at the School.)
  7. Add the spring onion and sesame oil and give everything one final stir. Serve in a large bowl.


  • To rehydrate dried mushrooms, cover them in 300ml hot water and leave to soak for at least 1 hour (preferably overnight). Drain them before using, reserving the soaking water for use in your recipe, if necessary.


  • Can’t find pak choi? Try using green cabbage, seasonal kale or even large spinach leaves instead.


  • These noodles must be made with a good-quality Chinese dark soy sauce and should take no longer than 2–3 minutes to cook – if you control the heat correctly, the sauce should caramelise well, creating a glazed finish of dark soy and sesame oil rather than noodles swimming in sauce.
School of Wok
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