Yi Mein (Birthday Noodles!

Chinese birthday noodles recipe

Today is my mom's birthday. Misua is a skinny salty Chinese noodle from Fujian province, where my ancestors are from. It's the "longevity noodle" so we always eat it on birthdays and New Years, both American and Chinese. While it can be cooked as noodle soup, I'm sharing the stir fried "tsa" version from my mom.

Although Mom makes excellent food, explaining her recipes is not her strong point.

Chef Uy: *email* Mom, I want the recipe for your misua, can you send it?
Mom: *email* boil noodles, mix pork, veggies. That is basically it. Shrimps optional. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This is home style - no measurement.
Chef Uy: eh...but...I still don't know how to cook it.
Mom never measures anything and substitutes/leaves out ingredients based on whatever's in the kitchen, which is why the family dishes are never exactly the same.

Dad: Although you're making the same dish, it somehow tastes different every time.
Mom: This is why I run a house, not a restaurant.

The whole reason why I started OCD was because I wanted to record the recipes I learned, especially the family recipes by mom. Asian food is all about tradition, so it's kinda nice knowing I can carry these recipes onwards to my future family.

A second boon of writing these recipes down is that we might finally have some consistency in mom's cooking as well, heh.

Without further ado, I present a Fukienese family's tsa misua birthday noodles. I've provided measurements, but in the spirit of mom's cooking style, think of the amounts as just "guidelines."


1 package Chinese misua noodles
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 yellow onion
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water overnight to soften
1/4 lb pork
3-4 carrots
1/4 lb shrimp
1/4 head fresh cabbage
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken broth
Chinese peanuts (roasted peanuts with skin on)
green onions, sliced for garnish

Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until tender (just a few minutes). Drain and set aside.

Chop onions and slice mushrooms, carrots, cabbage into thin diagonal strips.

Heat oil in a wok, stir fry the garlic and onion until fragrant. Stir fry mushrooms, pork, and carrots with soy sauce and sugar. After a few minutes, add cabbage and shrimp and continue to stir fry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken broth. Let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Add noodles and mix. Top with peanuts and green onions.

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