Jan 3, 2018

Stir-Fried Mushi Noodles 木須炒麵 (Large Serving)

No, it's not a typo, it's not mushy, it's "mushi" noodles. It's a type of Chinese stir-fried noodles with some strip-shaped ingredients like carrot and wood ear. But the most important of them all is strips of seared eggs. 

A very simplified Chinese lesson here. Mushi = 木須. And Mu = 木 = literally means wood in English. So you might relate mushi as wood ear since they both have this wood element. However, mushi is actually referring to the egg strips. Why? Well, one saying is that back in the old days where emperor rules and served by eunuchs, they do not want to call it noodles with eggs, hopefully you can feel their pain and reasons why trying to avoid anything related to "eggs." Since the color of this cooked egg is similar to a type of flower named "musi," so over time the pronunciation transformed into "mushi." 

Got it? Mushi means the yellowish seared eggs. Not anything woody, and certainly not wood ear. 

Stir-fried mushi noodles 木須炒麵 -

Ingredients (about 8 portions)?

  • 1350 grams/about 48 oz Chinese yellow noodles
  • 1 lb pork strips
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 heads Chinese cabbage (long and small kind)
  • 8 heads bok choy
  • 3 large pieces wood ear
  • 1 onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 small bundle cilantro
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 2 slices ginger
  • Some olive oil
  • Some sesame oil
  • Some salt
  • Some white pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Remove the stems of Chinese cabbage, bok choy, and scallion. Cut them into shorter strips, about 2 inches in length. 

Peel and slice the ginger. Two thicker slices to flavor the oil, not going to eat the ginger. Peel and slice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem the red chilies and finely chop the remaining section. Finely chop the cilantro. 

Peel and julienne the carrot. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil then quickly cook the wood ear pieces. No more than 3o seconds. Drain and set aside till cool enough to handle by hand. Remove the tougher center knot and slice the remaining section into strips.

I actually use better quality large piece of Matsuzaka pork and slice against the grain into strips myself. Try to source pork with some fats throughout. If the meat itself is tender enough, there is no need to pre-marinate it, and definitely save some workload in the kitchen.

Also bring a big pot of water to a boil and quickly cook the noodles, just a quick dip into the hot water and not overcooking it. Drain well and set aside for later use. These noodles will finish cooking in the sauce later on.

Take a big pan and drizzle some oil to coat the bottom. Turn to medium heat. Beat 3 eggs in a bowl and pour onto the warm pan. Swirl the pan a little bit so the egg can spread out into a large circle. You can see that the thin edges of the egg starts to "peel away" from the pan, that means the egg is about ready. It shouldn't stick to the pan, but rather easily slide down to a plate or cutting board. 

Once the egg cools down, roll it up and slice into strips, like chiffonade basil leaves. Set aside for later use.

Drizzle 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan and turn to medium high heat or just keep it at high heat if you're a quick mover in the kitchen. Add in onion along with ginger slices, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook till the onion turns slightly browned on the edges.

Remove ginger slices but add in garlic, scallion, and chilies. Continue to cook till aromatic but not burning the garlic.

Add in wood ear and carrot strips. Cook for about 1 minute. Then add in pork strips along with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, and 1 tablespoon black vinegar. The vinegar won't make the noodles sourish, but more like a scent to brighten up the flavors.

Some people like to use add some sugar too. But I already add some oyster sauce, which is kind of sweet in a way, so there is no need to add extra sweet element to this dish. 

Once the pork strips cooked-through, add in Chinese cabbage and bok choy. Cook till wilted, it might take a few minutes depend on the heat used. 

Mix in most of the egg strips and all the chopped cilantro.

Pour in chicken stock and bring the whole mixture to a boil. Taste and adjust with salt if needed. Transfer the noodles to the pan and cook till it reaches desired texture. Should be soft but not "mushy." Also most of the juice in the pan should be absorbed by the noodles when they're about ready.

Drizzle some sesame oil, about 1 teaspoon. Sprinkle some white pepper powder throughout. Give it a final mix.

Plate the noodles and garnish with remaining "mushi." You should know by now, add the egg strips saved earlier, nothing woody and definitely not wood ear.

Other Chinese noodles recipes:

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