Why It Works
- Using super-flavorful XO sauce as the base for the sauce guarantees an incredible depth of flavor.
- Using a larger-than-needed mixing bowl allows you to vigorously stir the noodles, which helps the oil and liquid components combine with the starch on the exterior of the cooked noodles to form a creamy sauce.
Mazemen, which translates from Japanese to "mixed noodles," is a soup-less variety of ramen. This version of mazemen relies heavily on the intense flavor of XO sauce, the jam-like savory condiment that originated in Hong Kong and includes powerful ingredients like cured ham, dried scallops, and dried shrimp. Here, ramen noodles are mixed thoroughly with XO, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and fat, which combine with the starch from the noodles to form a creamy, emulsified sauce that coats each and every snappy, slippery strand.
XO mazemen can be eaten at any time of day and can accommodate a large variety of toppings. The best part of all is that the dish comes together in about as much time as it takes to boil the noodles.
- 1 portion ramen noodles, store-bought or homemade (see note)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) XO sauce, store-bought or homemade (see note)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) rendered pork fat or other oil (see note)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
- For Serving:
- Sliced scallions
- 1 onsen egg (optional; see note)
- 5 to 6 blanched sugar snap peas (optional)
- Small bunch of radish sprouts (optional)
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions or recipe directions.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together XO sauce, rendered pork fat, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.
When noodles are cooked, drain briefly, then add to mixing bowl. Using tongs or chopsticks, immediately toss and stir noodles vigorously in the liquid at the bottom of the bowl, until the liquid turns creamy, about 30 seconds.
Transfer noodles to a serving bowl, using a rubber spatula to scrape any remaining sauce over the top. Garnish with sliced scallions and any of the other suggested toppings (onsen egg, snap peas, or radish sprouts) you desire. Serve.
Large mixing bowl, tongs or cooking chopsticks
If you want to make this dish for more than one person, we recommend making each individual portion separately, as it is significantly easier. If you're making this recipe for a crowd, we strongly suggest making only two portions at a time and wiping out the bowl before making each subsequent two-portion batch.
You can use either fresh or dried ramen noodles for this recipe. A single portion of fresh noodles weighs roughly 4 to 5 ounces (110 to 150g).
This recipe was developed using Serious Eats' XO sauce recipe. Store-bought XO sauce may have a higher or lower level of salt; if you use a store-bought XO sauce, we suggest that you add the soy sauce to taste after mixing.
Any kind of oil or rendered fat can be used in this recipe, but a more flavorful fat, like rendered pork fat or chicken fat, will yield a superior result. You can also use a blend of oils, such as a mix of olive oil, sesame oil, and unrefined peanut oil, to alter the flavor profile.
While optional, the onsen egg serves to temper the rather aggressive seasoning in this dish. A poached egg would work just as well, as would a fried egg or even a raw egg yolk set on top of the noodles.