Noodles are often a part of Chinese Lunar New Year dinners because the long strands symbolize a long life. Now, there's no guarantee that eating noodles will extend your life, but it's a delicious way to round out a multi-course meal and make it a tad more special than the steamed white rice that's usually part of a Chinese meal.
My mother's version starts with a bed of chewy, thin egg noodles that get topped with layers of crunchy stir-fried vegetables and barbecued pork all tossed in a savory brown sauce. While the layering may look complicated, everything is just cooked in stages in the same pan and comes together in minutes. It's the perfect way to celebrate and usher in a new year with friends and family around the dinner table.
Chinese Barbecue Pork Makes All the Difference
While most of the ingredients can be found in well-stocked grocery stores, it's worth seeking out sweet Chinese barbecue pork if you can. Known as char siu, it's not actually barbecued but is a Cantonese roasted meat. Made with boneless pork covered in a sticky-sweet sauce, this red-tinged meat is a Cantonese takeout favorite and is often used in fried rice, noodle bowls, or in stir-fried noodle dishes like this. But don't fret if you can't find Chinese barbecue pork — just substitute your favorite cooked protein like chicken or shrimp instead.
While this dish is served as a multi-course Chinese New Year dinner, it would also make a great weeknight dinner since you've got veggies, protein, and starch all covered in just one dish!
Time to get your noodle stir-fry on.
Chinese Lucky Noodle Stir-Fry
6 to 7 ounces
dried thin Asian egg noodles
toasted (Asian) sesame oil
vegetable oil, divided
medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
yellow chives, cut into 2-inch strips / pieces
Chinese barbecue pork, cut into matchsticks
medium scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
Cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, place the water, oyster sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved; set aside.
When the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes or according to package directions. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl, add the soy sauce and sesame oil, and toss to combine; set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the noodles and stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a serving platter; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the now-empty pan until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, and bell peppers; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Pour over the noodles in an even layer.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the now-empty pan until shimmering. Add the bean sprouts and yellow chives, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Pour over the onion and bell peppers in an even layer.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the now-empty pan until shimmering. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir the sauce again to make sure the cornstarch is dissolved, and add it and the barbecue pork to the pan. Stir and cook until the sauce is thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour over the bean sprouts and chives in an even layer. Garnish with the scallions and cilantro and serve immediately.
Barbecue pork: Chinese barbecue pork, also known as char siu, can be purchased at Asian grocery stores with deli counters or at Chinese barbecue shops. Any cooked protein, such as tofu or chicken, can be used in place of the barbecue pork.
Yellow chives: Yellow chives are more tender and sweeter than regular or garlic chives and are worth seeking out in Asian grocery stores. However, if you can't locate it, use extra bean sprouts instead.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.