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Birthday Longevity Noodles

   

Birthday Longevity Noodles 长寿面
Birthday Longevity Noodles 长寿面

Asians have the tradition of eating longevity noodles (aka long life noodles, or 长寿面, “Chang Shou Mian”) on their birthdays and special occasions such as Ren Ri 人日 (7th day of the Lunar New Year, commonly known as “everyman’s birthday”). It is believed that eating these noodles is auspicious as the long strands of noodles symbolize a long life. Therefore, when eating the noodles, one tries not to break the noodles using the chopsticks or teeth, but instead chew on the noodles when they are inside the mouth. Quite a challenging task if you’d asked me ;)

There are various versions of these noodles served in different countries and ethnic groups. All kinds of long noodles such as mee suah, udon, soba, yee mien and even spaghetti have been used. There are dry and wet versions as well. One can go really fancy and creative with the type of broth and ingredients used too. Here in Singapore, the version that I see often is the soup version with mee suah and served with a whole hard boiled egg. Those who are really traditional will insist on not one, but two hard boiled eggs which are dyed in red food colouring, and it is the task of the birthday boy or girl to peel the eggs by themselves. Of course, in our modern age, people are now flexible and make their own variations and special touches to this dish. As for the soup broth, anything goes. Some people used leftover steamboat broth, some used chicken stock and some prefer pork ribs soup. The essential ingredients are just long noodles and hard boiled eggs.

This year for B’s birthday, I decided to make him a bowl of longevity noodles to wish him good health because I thought it will be a fun thing to do. I did not follow the tradition of giving him two hard boiled eggs, because I thought the high cholesterol content of two eggs is quite ironic for something termed as longevity noodles ;) So I gave half a hard boiled egg instead just for symbolic purpose. I also added some sliced abalone, Japanese kanimi crab sticks, shredded cucumbers & carrots for added colour, crunch and taste. I used abalone and chicken broth for the soup base. It turns out to be quite nice though I think it’s not something which I will cook normally as a one dish meal.

Birthday Longevity Noodles 长寿面
Recipe for my home-cooked longevity noodles with abalone, crab sticks, cucumbers, carrots and hard boiled egg

Ingredients
(Serves 2-3)

- 1 can abalone, thinly sliced and abalone broth reserved
- 1 can clear chicken broth
- water
- 10 Japanese kanimi crabsticks
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut to thin strips
- 1 Japanese cucumber, cut to thin strips
- 2 hard boiled eggs, halved
- spring onions, finely chopped (for garnishing)
- 2 bundles of mee suah noodles (or any other long noodles)

Directions
1. Rinse mee suah pieces in cold water to remove the starch, then cook them in a wok of boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, separating the strands with chopsticks.
2. Take out the cooked mee suah and set in a serving bowl.
3. To cook perfect hard boiled eggs, place eggs in saucepan of cold water (enough water to cover eggs). Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, off the flame and cover with lid for about 10 minutes. Rinse the eggs with cold water till they are cooled. Crack the eggs gently with a spoon and remove shell. Cut in half.
4. In a wok or saucepan, bring abalone broth, chicken broth and water to a boil.
5. Heat the kanimi crabsticks and abalone slices using a wide slotted ladle.
6. Pour the hot broth over the noodles, then place abalone slices, crabsticks, cucumbers, carrots, eggs on top and garnish with spring onions.

                                           

Leave a Comment





40 Responses to “Birthday Longevity Noodles”

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  1. Cooking Gallery — August 23, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

    My parents used to order me longevity fried noodles everytime I had my birthday and we went to a restaurant together. But since I don’t live with my parents anymore, I don’t have longevity noodles for my birthday any longer. Maybe I should try and continue this tradition by cooking it for myself everytime I turn a year older ?;-)

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 4:47 pm

      No one cook this for me now too. I’m also considering cooking this for myself on my birthday haha :P

      Reply

      • Jun replied: — August 27th, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

        Let me cook for u :D

        • wiffy replied: — August 27th, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

          So sweet bro. I am touched. :halo:

  2. pigpigscorner — August 23, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

    we only have longevity noodles in restaurants too. Normally fried one though.

    Reply

  3. nora@ffr — August 23, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

    vat a super idea to have noodles! i used t cook noodles often for dinner! shud try this way some tome sooner! my first visit here and m loving every bit of it!
    keep it up!
    cheers and have a great day!

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

      Thanks for you kind words and for visiting me :)

      Reply

  4. daphne — August 23, 2009 @ 11:35 pm

    Lucky B who has abalone in his birthday noodles! U r so right though, it is a HUGE challenge not to bite the noodles and have them in the mouth! LOL

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

      almost an impossibly especially with mee suah coz they clamp up together so easily :P

      Reply

  5. Bob — August 24, 2009 @ 1:12 am

    I’ve never had longevity noodles, I don’t think they even have them in restaurants out here. Looks great though. :)

    Reply

  6. Ching — August 24, 2009 @ 2:42 am

    Yum and I like your chicken bowls! :) Our longevity noodle usually is stir-fried too.

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

      Hope to try the dry version one day.

      Reply

  7. B (a.k.a the lucky one) — August 24, 2009 @ 8:40 am

    Nice touch with the abalone, crab sticks, carrots and cucumbers, giving a special twist to an otherwise traditional dish. Yummy, thanks for the thoughtfulness! :D Yeah, pretty challenging slurping the noodles without breaking them!

    Reply

  8. Reeni — August 24, 2009 @ 8:47 am

    I love this tradition! Your noodles look so delicious with all the special touches you added to it!

    Reply

  9. The Little Teochew — August 24, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    Beautifully assembled. I love your clean and simple presentation. Let the dish speak for itself … well done!

    Reply

  10. tigerfish — August 25, 2009 @ 3:49 am

    How nice of you to cook this :)

    My family cooks mee sua with meat balls and of course, an hard-boiled egg :)

    Reply

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