Dinner Tonight: Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)

This sounds obvious, but it needs to be said: these really are the kind of noodles I could eat everyday. The recipe, which comes from Saveur's The New Comfort Food, tastes like what every carton of greasy take-out noodles wishes it could be. It's not about just dumping a bunch of ingredients into a wok. Every ingredient is introduced at the right point; the flavors are clean and precise.

In my humble opinion, the trick here is to use a little bit of ground pork, which adds just enough flavor without weighing the dish down. Then it's all about the vegetables. A whole onion and carrot are stir-fried until tender, then the garlic, ginger, and heaps of scallions and bean sprouts are added. They all reduce down and by the time the noodles are added, all the ingredients meld into a cohesive package. Each chopstick pinch picks up strands of noodles, crunchy bean sprouts, bits of pork, colorful carrots, and sweet onions, all coated in the flavorful sauce.

Dinner Tonight: Everyday Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian)

About This Recipe

Yield:3 to 4 people
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes


  • 6 ounces dried flat noodles
  • 1/2 small seedless cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6 scallions, ends trimmed, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil


  1. 1

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to the directions on the packaging. Drain in a colander, and rinse under cold water until cool. Set aside to drain again.

  2. 2

    In a small bowl, toss the cucumber pieces with a pinch of salt. Set aside for at least five minutes.

  3. 3

    Pour one tablespoon of the oil into a large wok set over high heat. When smoking, add the carrots and onions. Stir-fry until both are softened, about one minute. Transfer to a large plate and set aside.

  4. 4

    Pour the remaining two tablespoons of oil into the wok. When oil starts to smoke, add the pork, garlic, ginger, and half of the scallions. Stir-fry, breaking the pork into small pieces, until the pork is browned, three to four minutes.

  5. 5

    Add the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, bean sprouts, and the carrots and onions. Stir well, and cook until ingredients are hot, about 30 seconds.

  6. 6

    Drain the cucumbers, and add them to the wok, along with the remaining scallions, noodles, and sesame oil. Stir-fry until everything is incorporated, about one minute. Season with salt to taste and serve.


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