Birthday Mee Sua (Longevity Noodles)
Update (19 Aug 2014): First posted in Aug 2009, now updated with new photos and improved recipe.
It’s the SO birthday tomorrow, and last weekend I cooked him this bowl of birthday longevity noodles (aka long life noodles, or 长寿面, “Chang Shou Mian”) in advance. For the soup base, I used my favourite chicken soup recipe from Teczcape. My family loves the chicken soup as it tastes homely and boosts immunity (with shiitake mushrooms, garlic, onion and ginger).
I served the chicken soup with mee sua, baby abalones (birthday treat) and hard-boiled quail eggs.
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Longevity noodles are eaten by Chinese on birthdays and special occasions such as Ren Ri 人 日 (7th day of the Lunar New Year, commonly known as “everyman’s birthday”). 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 ;) Instead of mee sua, you can use other long noodles such as bee hoon, udon, soba, yee mien and even spaghetti. The noodles can be dry (stir-fried) as well. Sometimes the eggs are dyed in red food colouring as red symbolises auspiciousness. As for the soup broth, anything goes – you can use any type of soup stock, including instant ones.