Street style Vegetable Hakka Noodles make a great weeknight meal!
These are great on their own or serve along with chili paneer or gobi manchurian for an Indo-Chinese dinner!
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My perception of Chinese food was very different when I was a kid. Almost similar to the perception of Indian food in the western world, quite far from reality. You get the drift, right? Anything with soy sauce and vinegar added to it would be considered Chinese, I guess that’s the long and short of it.
In India, Chinese food meant noodles, paneer manchurian, sweet corn soup, chili potatoes! It also meant this super flavorful street food which was readily available on roadside stalls and vans and was a part of every kid’s birthday menu!
The Indian version of Chinese is so popular back home that it’s now a cuisine on its own. At least I would like to believe that!
From upscale restaurants to food trucks, this cuisine has it all in India. Kids love noodles, isn’t it? [well so do adults, ask me!]
Anyway, so growing up noodles was one of my favorites things to eat and we were allowed to eat it for special occasions only. Yes, eating out and eating junk was so uncommon when I was a kid. How things have changed now!
We would always wait for birthdays or other special occasions to eat “chow mein”. These hakka noodles are popularly known as chow mein in India, the roadside version that is. The chow mein is spicy, full of veggies and very delicious.
Now that I am an adult (and can also cook!), I don’t need to wait for special occasions to eat hakka noodles.
Whenever the cravings strike, I simply make them at home. They are really easy to make with few basic ingredients.
How to Make Restaurant Style Hakka Noodles At Home?
Choose the right noodles
There are a lot of noodles available in the market so choose the right one to make street style hakka noodles at home.
I use Ching Vegetarian Hakka noodles and I think they are just perfect for this recipe. You can find them easily at all Indian grocery stores.
Use a little extra-oil
You know you have made the perfect noodles when each and every strand of noodle is separate from each other, which was not the case when I made noodles for the first time 3 years ago.
It was a mess and all my noodles clumped up together. After few trials and errors, I realized that you do need to use little extra oil.
First the noodles must be coated with little oil after they are boiled and familycuisine.net really helps in preventing the stickiness.
And second you have to use a bit more oil than you would have wanted while cooking the noodles with the veggies.
I used to add 1 teaspoon of oil and it never tasted like the one we get in restaurants. This recipe uses 2 tablespoons of oil and believe me I couldn’t tell the difference if this was homemade or from an Indo Chinese restaurant! Yup that good!
Use the right veggies
Typically, the Indian style vegetable hakka noodles have the following vegetables in it – onion, cabbage, bell pepper and carrots.
For this recipe, I did not use cabbage because first I didn’t have it the day I made these noodles and second, I don’t like cabbage that much in my noodles.
So, stick to the traditional veggies.
All the veggies are cooked on high flame so that they remain crunchy.
Chop all the veggies thin
Use your chopping skills and slice the veggies into thin juliennes. Thick slices of vegetable don’t taste good in these hakka noodles.
Use the right cookware
Cook noodles in a large wok, it makes a difference. Also always remember to cook on high heat.
These hakka noodles are great with fried rice, chili paneer or any Indo-chinese dish like baby corn Manchurian, gobi manchurian.
PS: Do all the prep work before you start cooking. For this hakka noodles recipe everything is cooked on high heat and we want the veggies to remain crunchy. Soggy and over cooked veggies spoil the fun of eating noodles in my opinion. I want to bite into me veggies while eating hakka noodles.
So chop, slice and keep everything ready before you start. You will not get the time to chop in between.
Method – Hakka Noodles Recipe
1- Boil the noodles according to instructions on the package. I was supposed to cook my noodles for 2 minutes only.
2- Drain the noodles and wash under cold running water, this stops the cooking process.
3- Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the noodles and toss so that the noodles get lightly coated with the oil and don’t stick to each other. Set it aside.
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4- In a wok heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the minced garlic and ginger, sliced green chili and chopped celery.
Saute for few seconds until the ginger garlic starts to change color.
5- Add sliced onions and saute for a minute or two until the sides of the onion starts turning light golden brown.
6- Add in the sliced carrots, bell pepper, green onion and cook for 1 minute on high heat. The veggies should remain crunchy.
7- Push veggies to the side, lower the heat and add soy sauce, rice vinegar, hot sauce (like sriracha) and sugar (if using).
8- Toss the veggies to combine well with the sauce. Add in the black pepper, salt and white pepper.
9- Stir in the boiled noodles.
10- Using a pair of tongs, mix it well so that the noodles are well coated with the sauce.
11- As a final touch, stir in a teaspoon of chili oil. This is totally optional.
12- Toss the noodles well and garnish with more spring onion greens.
Serve hakka noodles as such or with your favorite Indo chinese dishes! I love mine with chili paneer.
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This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2014.