This hakka noodles taste delicious and will have you craving for more. I am sharing a vegan recipe loaded with veggies and button mushrooms.
Fairly easy to make hakka noodles is a popular Indo-Chinese dish of stir fried noodles. You will find it being made and served in many restaurants and street-side Chinese food joints in India.
Hakka noodles is not only popular with kids, but also with grownups.
Table of Contents
Ingredients you need
- Hakka Noodles – Use any Indian brand of Hakka Noodles. I have used Ching’s Hakka Noodles. Note that these noodles is made with all-purpose flour so if you prefer a healthier version, then use whole wheat noodles or soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
- Veggies: You can add veggies of your choice. Mushroom give a meaty texture and umami flavor. If you do not like mushrooms you can skip them. You can choose from the following list of veggies:
- cabbage (green or red)
- french beans (green beans)
- button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms
- capsicum (bell pepper)
- spring onions (scallions) or regular onions
- Soy sauce: Try to use naturally fermented soy sauce as it gives a lovely fermented taste and flavor to the noodles. You can even use bragg liquid aminos or tamari instead.
- Toasted sesame oil – The noodles get a lovely hint of smokiness from toasted sesame oil. But do not worry if you do not have toasted sesame oil. Just use any other neutral tasting oil like sunflower oil or safflower oil.
- Herbs and spices: Garlic, dry red chillies, celery or coriander leaves (cilantro) are the herbs and spices added. Celery is not available everywhere in India. So if you do not have celery, then just skip it. Use green chillies instead of dry red chillies.
- Rice vinegar: Instead of rice vinegar you can add white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. You can even use rice wine or mirin. Both rice vinegar and rice wine give a distinct flavor and aroma to the dish.
Note on celery
Many Indian readers ask me what is celery and where to get it. Celery is a herb that is easily available in most super stores and super markets in the Indian metros.
You can also grow celery in a pot. Either buy the plant from a nursery or plant the seeds. The best way is to chop the celery from its base and plant the base in the soil. Here is a shrub of celery from my balcony herb garden.
How to make Hakka Noodles
Preparation and cooking noodles
1. First finely chop all the veggies and keep aside. You can even shred or grate the veggies using a food processor. I have used carrots, french beans, spring onions, button mushrooms, capsicum and cabbage (in the video).
2. Boil enough water in a pot or pan with some salt and a few drops of oil.
3. Add the hakka noodles (200 grams).
4. Cook the hakka noodles according to the package instructions. The noodles have to be cooked till al dente or just about cooked.
5. Drain cooked noodles in a colander. Then rinse noodles with fresh water very well. This stops the cooking process and removes the starch.
6. Add ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil.
7. Toss noodles well, so that the oil gets coated evenly on them. This gets rid of stickiness from them.
Making hakka noodles
8. Heat 2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or any neutral tasting oil) in a frying pan or wok. On a medium-low to medium heat, first sauté the red chilies and garlic for about a minute.
9. Increase the heat a bit and then add the 3 to 4 small spring onions (finely chopped), 8 to 10 french beans (finely chopped). Stir fry for about 3 minutes.
Pro Tip: For non-stick frying pans, keep the heat to medium and for cast iron or carbon steel pans or wok, use medium-high to high heat.
10. Add the 4 to 5 button mushrooms (finely chopped), 1 small to medium carrot (finely chopped) and 1 teaspoon finely chopped celery and continue stir-frying.
You can also add ½ cup finely chopped cabbage and 1 small to medium capsicum at this step. For the hakka noodles video in the post, cabbage is added.
11. Stir fry for about 5 to 6 minutes till the edges of the veggies start to slightly brown. I like the veggies to be cooked more, than what is the norm usually for this recipe. You can cut down on the stir frying time, if you prefer half cooked or more crunchy veggies.
12. Add ½ tablespoon soy sauce and mix well.
13. Add the cooked noodles. Mix, keep on tossing and stir-fry noodles for 1 to 2 minutes.
14. Season with salt and crushed black pepper as per taste. Add ¼ teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar or rice wine.
15. Toss well again and stir fry for a minute. Switch off the flame and add 1 to 2 tablespoons spring onion greens and mix well. Or you can garnish with spring onions while serving.
16. Serve Hakka Noodles as it is or accompanied with an Indo Chinese dish like gobi manchurian or paneer manchurian or chilly mushroom or mushroom manchurian.
Expert Tips for Perfect Hakka Noodles
- Chopping veggies: The veggies added to noodles have to really chopped fine or cut into julienne or shredded as all the stir frying is done at a medium to high heat and in less time.
- Cooking noodles: Boil noodles till they are al dente – meaning having a slight bite to them. The noodles are again stir-fried on a high heat which makes them cook again. You don’t want to have overcooked or pasty noodles.
- For non-sticky noodles: Rinse the cooked noodles in fresh water very well. This method stops the cooking process and removes the starch. Toss and mix then cooked noodles with some oil. This gets rid of the stickiness from them and they do not become lumpy.
- Frying pan or Wok: Make sure to use a wok or kadai or a frying pan with handles, so that you keep on moving the pan when tossing and stir-frying them. Cast iron or carbon steel pans work great for stir frying on high heat but you can easily make these noodles in a regular Indian kadai or even a frying pan.
- Authentic Chinese flavors: Though they can be skipped, but to get an authentic Chinese style taste and flavor, I recommend adding these three ingredients which make a lot of difference to the final dish. You can add all or either one of them.
- Toasted sesame oil
- Rice vinegar or rice wine.
- Stir-frying: Usually in restaurants and street stalls, the ingredients are stir fried at a very high heat which gives that smoky flavor to the dish. In a regular home kitchen it is difficult to replicate such a high heat. So you can use a medium to medium-high or high heat of your burner stove and make the recipe. For non-stick pans, stir fry on medium heat.
- Gluten-free options: To make gluten-free version use gluten-free noodles and tamari or bragg liquid aminos.
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For cooking hakka noodles
- 200 grams hakka noodles or 1 pack of Ching's hakka noodles
- 4.5 to 5 cups water
- ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil – for coating the noodles
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or any neutral tasting oil – for stir frying
- 2 to 3 dry red chilies – broken and deseeded or fresh green chilies, chopped
- 1.5 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 3 to 4 small to medium spring onions – finely chopped, reserve a few greens for garnish
- 8 to 10 french beans – finely chopped
- 4 to 5 button mushrooms – finely chopped * check notes
- 1 small to medium carrot – finely chopped or shredded
- 1 small to medium bell pepper – red green or yellow, finely chopped or thinly sliced
- ½ cup finely chopped cabbage – optional
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped celery – optional
- ¼ teaspoon rice vinegar or white vinegar or rice wine or mirin
- ½ tablespoon naturally fermented soy sauce or regular soy sauce – add as required
- salt as required
- crushed black pepper as required
- 1 to 2 tablespoons spring onions greens or coriander leaves – for garnish
- Heat enough water in a pan with salt and a few drops of oil, till it comes to a boil.
- Add the hakka noodles and cook according to the package instructions.
- When noodles are cooking, rinse and chop all the veggies or you can chop them before you start cooking noodles.
- Drain and rinse noodles in running water, so that the noodles stop cooking.
- Then add toasted sesame oil and gently mix, so that the oil gets evenly coated on them.
- Set the cooked noodles aside.
- Heat oil in a wok or kadai or a frying pan.
- On medium-low to medium heat, first add the dry red chilies and garlic.
- Saute for a minute, then add the finely chopped spring onions and french beans
- Increase the flame a bit and stir fry for 3 minutes. For non-stick frying pans, keep the heat to medium and for cast iron or carbon steel pans or wok, use medium-high to high heat.
- Add the mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper (capsicum) and celery.
- Stir fry all the veggies on a high flame till they start getting slightly browned from the edges. This will take about 5 to 6 mins after adding the carrots.
- Add soy sauce and mix well.
- Add noodles and toss it well and stir fry for a minute on high heat.
- Season with salt and pepper. Also, add rice vinegar or white vinegar. Continue to toss and cook on a high flame for a minute.
- Toss the whole mixture well and add the chopped spring onion greens or garnish with spring onions while serving.
- Serve hakka noodles plain or accompanied with manchurian curry or gobi manchurian or chilli mushroom.
- * Cooking mushrooms: The mushrooms have to be chopped fine, so that they cook quickly on a high heat while stir frying. Since mushrooms are used in this recipe, there is quite some moisture while stir frying the veggies which won’t be there if mushrooms are not added. You may have to reduce the time of stir frying if not using mushrooms.
- Chopping veggies: The veggies have to really chopped fine or cut into julienne or shredded as all the stir frying is done at a high heat in a less time.
- Cooking noodles: Boil noodles till they are al dente – meaning have a slight bite to them. The noodles are later stir fried on a high heat which cooks them again. You don’t want to have an overcooked or pasty hakka noodles.
- For non-sticky noodles: Rinsing the cooked noodles in fresh water very well stops the cooking process and removes the starch. Tossing the cooked noodles with some oil gets rid of the stickiness from them.
- Frying pan or Wok: Make sure to use a wok or kadai or a frying pan with handles, so that you keep on moving the pan when tossing and stir frying noodles. Cast iron or carbon steel pans work great for stir frying on high heat but you can easily make hakka noodles in a regular Indian kadai or even a frying pan.
- Authentic Chinese flavors: Though these ingredients can be skipped, but to get an authentic Chinese style taste and flavor, I recommend adding toasted sesame oil, celery and rice vinegar or rice wine which make a lot of difference to the final dish. You can add all or either one of them.
- Stir frying: Usually in restaurants and street stalls, the ingredients are stir fried on a very high heat which gives that smoky flavor to the dish. In a regular home kitchen it is difficult to replicate such a high heat. So you can use a medium to medium-high or high heat of your burner stove and make the recipe. For non-stick pans, stir fry on medium heat.
- Gluten-free options: Use gluten-free noodles and tamari or bragg liquid aminos.
Nutrition Info Approximate values
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This recipe is from the archives (Feb 2014) and has been republished and updated with a video and my expert tips & suggestions on September 2020.