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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”

  1. lisaiscooking — August 25, 2009 @ 4:11 am

    This is such a nice tradition! I’ve never tried abalone, but I’d love to taste it. Your noodles look delicious.

    Reply

  2. Janet@ Gourmet Traveller 88 — August 25, 2009 @ 5:18 am

    Very scrumptious longlife noodle. I have not cooked this before, should try one day. It’s nice and special to make something relatively traditional for birthday.

    Reply

  3. Ellena — August 25, 2009 @ 9:01 am

    Wow…… You still add “Abalone” in your longevity noodles!!!!!! Can I have a bowl as well……. “B” is so lucky to have you preparing this wonderful dish for him……. :lol:

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

      it’s my last can of abalone. Mum nagging me to open it before it expires, haha

      Reply

  4. diva — August 25, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

    wow cool. i’ve never had these noodles before and i really wanna see if i slurp it all up without breaking it :) anyway noobcook, i’ve left you a blog award on mine. do check it out when u can. xx

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

      Thank you for the award diva :)

      Reply

  5. Su-Lin — August 25, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

    Noodles are the one must on my birthday – it’s the only superstition I still adhere to! :D

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — August 26th, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

      really! I think I hadn’t eat that on my birthday for more than a decade :|

      Reply

  6. Little Inbox — August 26, 2009 @ 9:07 am

    I have yet to try cook mee suah in this way. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  7. Marysol — August 27, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

    NC, how long are these noodles? And what happens if the noodle doesn’t make it to one’s mouth in one big slurp?

    Perhaps I’d be better off not knowing the answer to that.
    But, just to be safe, I would demand two of those beautiful bowls up there .
    At least, I’d die happy.

    Reply

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

      Don’t worry, I think that happens quite often ;) haha you’re so funny :D

      Reply

  8. food-4tots — August 27, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

    I love longevity noodles but haven’t had one during my birthday. Maybe I need to learn this and cook some for myself. Your bowl of noodles is topped with so many goodies! Definitely taste super delicious! ;p

    Reply

  9. Juliana — August 28, 2009 @ 4:33 am

    Yummie, have not had those noddles for a while…looks delicious the one that you feature.

    Reply

  10. TasteHongKong — August 28, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

    What a deluxe and thoughtful version of longevity noodles, they are well-presented in the ‘Cock Bowls’ ! I have also got two of them, which is now sitting in my cabinet, and they has become one of my collections.

    Reply