Recipe: Vegetarian Indo-Chinese Hakka Noodles

Recipe: Vegetarian Indo-Chinese Hakka Noodles

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

These Indo-Chinese Hakka noodles were a staple of my student life. They're a classic Indian street food and also make the perfect quick and easy midweek dinner — one that is equally child- and adult-friendly. You can make it vegetarian, like I have, or add shredded chicken, pork, and seafood.

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

Besides being a one-wok dish, which minimizes cleanup time, the best thing about these noodles is you can vary the vegetables to suit the season. I had carrots, snow peas, and cabbage that needed to be used up, so I added them to these noodles. If you have leftover roast chicken or pork, feel free to shred it up and add it to this dish as well — I often make this with leftover Chili Chicken. My aunt, whose recipe this is, makes a wicked seafood version with prawns, scallops, clams, and squid — although it's nowhere close to authentic, it's simply delicious.

The street food version of this dish is pretty spicy, but I do have a child who turns up her nose at hot food (gah!), so I keep it pretty mild in the wok and then jazz up my own plate up with generous lashings of Sriracha or chili sauce.

The key to this dish, as when making any stir-fry, is to have everything prepped and ready to go. A lot of the prep can be done in advance, so the noodles come together fast for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. I always make extras of these noodles because leftovers are perfect cold or warmed up for lunch boxes the next day as well.

(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

Vegetarian Indo-Chinese Hakka Noodles

Serves 4

10 ounces dry lo mein noodles (look for medium or wide noodles, if available)
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 large eggs, beaten
2 medium carrots, grated (1 cup)
Large handful snow peas or green beans, finely sliced (1 cup)
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded (1 cup)
3 tablespoon light soy sauce, plus extra if needed
3 tablespoons chili sauce (or 2 tablespoons Sriracha), plus extra to serve
Salt, to taste
Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish

Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water, then the noodles. Cook the noodles according to package directions, until tender. Drain.

Pour the oil into a wok over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and sauté quickly for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the eggs, let them set until the partly cooked, pushing the edges in like an omelet.

Add the carrots, beans, and cabbage, and stir-fry for 3 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, but with a bite. Add the noodles, along with the soy and chili sauces, and stir-fry, tossing everything together well. Taste and add more soy sauce and chili sauce to taste.

Take off the heat and stir in the fresh cilantro. Serve hot with extra chili sauce or Sriracha, if desired.


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