Vegetable Hakka Noodles

Vegetable Hakka Noodles02, SInfullySpicy

‘Lets find some other place to eat ‘, I muttered, annoyingly flipping the waxy pages of the menu before I decided I did not want to eat there. Barely few days after I came to the States, eating at a chinese restaurant which did not serve chicken manchurian or hakka noodles made little sense to me. Hurriedly grabbing the handbag I got up, blatantly asking him to hunt down the Chinatown for a place which serves decent chinese food.

Four year since, as much as I enjoy american-chinese at restaurants out here, when it comes to cooking at home, we settle for indo – chinese. Growing up, I fondly ate noodles  for sunday breakfast or evening snackage. My mom made them slightly greasy, soaking in sauce and tossed them with lots of colorful vegetables, sometimes she added shredded chicken, sometimes couple of runny eggs atop did the trick.

Hakka noodles or Veg Chowmein is an extremely popular (indo-chinese) street food in India.Cooke with Chinese condiments and Indian spices, it is an addictive treat.I can picture many of you scratching your heads right now. The way noodles are cooked has nothing to do with cuisine of Hakka in China. It just derives its name from there.Thin noodles are tossed in a spicy sauce and served on their own or as a side.

What is it about these? the sauce? spices? or is it the union of cuisines?

Again, like with most indian cooking, there are no set rules regarding how these have to be made. No two recipes will be the same, everyone makes them the way they like it.On my recent trip to Delhi, I was flabbergasted to see ‘chef’s special’ hakka noodles tossed with cashew nuts and sherry soaked cherries. Now beat that imaginative cooking!

You can add or skip any vegetables in this recipe. Just make sure that the vegetables have similar cooking time and they are cut in almost (similar) sizes.

Ingredients (serves 2 -4)

  • 7 oz thin egg noodles (or any other of your choice)
  • Water for boiling the noodles + 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp oil (for rubbing on boiled noodles, use any neutral oil)
  • 5 tbsp oil (use any neutral oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 thai green chillies , slit open, seeded(if you want)
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 1/4 cup scallions, white parts
  • 1 cup cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, finely cut into spears
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers (I have used a mix of colors)
  • 1/4 cup scallions (green parts)
  • Salt to taste

For the sauce

  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste (or puree)
  • 1-1.5  tbsp dark soy sauce (depending on brand you can adjust the quantity, I use this brand)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1.5 tbsp white vinegar (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder1
  • 1 tsp pure sesame oil ( optional but recomended for authentic taste)

Update : 01/14/2014 – I added about 1/4 tsp of black pepper powder ( reduced chili flakes to 1/4 tsp & few other changes) to hakka noodles yesterday & they tasted awesome! Maybe you want to try it if you make them. I m updating the recipe for these reasons because it was better.

Method

In a bowl, mix together the ingredients listed under the sauce and set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in salted water as per package instructions. Drain the noodles, rinse under cold water and rub with 1/2 tbsp oil.Set aside to cool down.

In a wok, heat up the oil on medium – high. Using your mortar & pestle, mince garlic, and green chillies together. Add to the oil and let cook for 5-8 seconds till you smell the aroma. Add the sliced onions, scallions (white parts) and green chillies to the wok and continue cooking till onions start to turn light brown on the edges. Add the sauce mix prepared above to the wok and cook on high for 2-4 minutes till the mixture thickens and gets shiny.

Next, add the cabbage, carrots, bell peppers to the wok and saute for 1-2 minutes(just so they get coated in the sauce but retain their crunch). Add boiled noodles to next along with green parts of the scallions. Toss everything together and check the seasoning,adjust salt if required.

Serve warm with gobi manchurian or chilli chicken/manchurian.

Notes:- I highly recommend letting the noodles sit for 30-40 minutes before you serve them. Warm them up slightly and add fried eggs, tofu to them. If adding a protein (chicken, shrimp), preferably add them cooked at the point when you add vegetables so that they get coated in sauce too.

Enjoy!

38 thoughts on “Vegetable Hakka Noodles

  1. dfolstad58 – I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
    dfolstad58 on said:

    This is a great post. Excellent pictures ,nice commentary and even a printablerecipe which is something that many food blogs failed to include. Great job you made me really curious and I will probably try to make this I love vegetables and noodles and being able to make it with Indian spices sounds ingenious. Thank you

  2. I’ve never had hakka noodles. But that looks and sounds delicious. I’m glad you didn’t use sherry-soaked cherries though!

    Gorgeous pix, as always!

  3. Huge fan of Hakka noodles here and ‘am loving it:) I remember noting down the recipe when I made it last. That was a few months ago. For some reason, I haven’t made it lately.. Time to use the wok again!;-) Love the pictures!

  4. So pretty. Gorgeous. My husband absolutely adores hakka noodles and I havent made any in a while! Thanks for this pretty reminder. xo

  5. oh yumm! Hakka noodles were a favorite growing up.. Interesting to see your very different sauce. I’ve never made one like that. Need to add hakka noodles to my dinner list for this week ..
    beautiful shots.

  6. Beautiful clicks. Love your photography.
    And yes, hakka noodles are a big time fav of any Indian.. but you add garam masala.. wow! Now thats explosive 🙂

  7. Bill and Merre Davis – Our RV – Retired and living a full time RV lifestyle. We are Nomads, progressive in our politics, Bill is a vegan, Merre nearly so. Bill a secular humanist with Buddhist tendencies. Merre probably agnostic. We have been together for 48 years and planning to go forward together.
    uglicoyote on said:

    Reblogged this on Vegan,Vegan.

  8. was looking for a good hakka recipe and yours is one of the better ones I have found so far 🙂 Will def give it a try this weekend! yummy pics making me hungry haha 🙂

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  12. Just had this dish at an Indian restaurant last night and it was also served with 2 small sides of sauce, as your picture shows. What is the light, spicy sauce? Is it just chiles and vinegar? And is the other just soy sauce?

    • You are right Paul. Thats chilies are pickled in the refrigerator with vinegar,salt & a clove or two of garlic (we do not serve the garlic but it enhances the flavor of pickling liquid) for 1-2 days. The other one is just soy sauce, in case someone wants to add it to the noodles. If you go to India,you might seldom see red chili flakes and sesame oil served along side too.

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    Chowringhee on said:

    Wow! It is such an interesting guide to cooking good food.This recipe looks easy and one I will add to my list!

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  16. Hi! This sounds wonderful but I have a question. The sauce ingredients call for tomato paste or tomato purée but when I go to the printable version, it’s not listed in the recipe anywhere. I know you said you made some changes to the recipe so I’m not sure which is correct. Do we add the tomato to the sauce or leave it out? Thanks so much…can’t wait to try this!

    • Yes the tomato sauce is needed. As you mentioned, I changed the recipe and missed noting that down. SO sorry, Will correct the printable version.

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