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Long Life Noodles {Yi Mein}

A little chewy, somewhat spongy, and mind-blowingly delicious, these Long Life Noodles are tossed in umami flavors with shiitake mushrooms and garlicky Chinese chives.


  • 3 quarts water
  • 12 oz dry Yi Mein (Longevity) noodles

For the sauce

  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP hot water
  • 2 tsp regular soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP oyster sauce, or vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • A pinch ground white pepper

For the vegetables

  • 3-4 TBSP vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz Chinese chives, cut into 2-inch long pieces and separate the light end pieces from the dark green pieces; you'll use them at different times.


Making the sauce

  • In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the sugar and salt in 1 tablespoon of hot water. Once dissolved, and add the regular soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Cooking the noodles

  • In a large wok or pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Place the noodles into the boiling water and boil them for 3-4 minutes. (The directions on the box may say to boil the noodles for longer, but since you're going to continue cooking them in the wok later, take them out once they're al dente, which should only take 3-4 minutes. This is to avoid mushy noodles.)
  • When the noodles are done, drain them thoroughly so no water is left dripping, and set them aside.
  • Heat the wok until it just starts to emit smoke, and drizzle 2 tablespoons of cooking oil around the perimeter of the wok.
  • Add the mushrooms and the *light green* parts of the chives. Stir-fry for approx. 30 seconds. Because the mushrooms act like sponges, they will soak up the oil, so add another tablespoon of oil if the pan has dried up and the mushrooms look to be on the dry side.
  • Finally, add the noodles and stir-fry everything for another 20ish seconds. If the noodles are on the cooler side, cook them a bit longer until they've warmed up; warming the noodles before adding the sauce is imperative.
  • Drizzle the prepared sauce evenly over the noodles, and stir-fry everything together for about 1 minute, or until the sauce mixture has been evenly distributed. If there are any signs of sticking, add another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter of the wok and/or, if the noodles stick together, drizzle a bit of oil directly over the noodles. Use your best judgement. You can also add a splash of hot water to the noodles if they seem dry, even if you've already added the sauce.
  • Stir gently and carefully so you don’t break up the noodles. (Remember, long noodles = long life!)
  • At last, add the dark green parts of the chives and stir until they turn bright green and the noodles are heated through. This could take 1-3 minutes, depending on the temperature of your noodles when you started stir-frying, how hot your stove and wok are, etc.
  • Finally, plate the noodles and enjoy that noodle-pulling goodness!


This recipe is courtesy of The Woks of Life.