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Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles

   

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai”
Noodles with Ham 火腿公仔面

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai” Noodles with Luncheon Meat 港式午餐肉公仔面

Because I keep a food blog, I think many may assume that I must eat well at home. The truth is that I don’t cook every day, and I eat my fair share of fast food and instant noodles. And I eat instant noodles not just for the convenience, I love the MSG flavourings and the texture of the noodles =P I am also quite fussy about how my instant noodles are done – they have to be firm and the soup is usually cooked separately because I don’t like the waxy water after cooking the noodles.

One of my fave brands of instant noodles is Nissin‘s chu qian yi ding (出前一丁). The noodles are ‘q’ (Chinese equivalent to al dente?) to the bite and the sesame oil flavouring is so aromatic. It is used by Hong Kong tea cafes (cha can ting 茶餐订) for their “Gong Zai” noodles (公仔面, gong zai mian). When I was in Hong Kong, I looked forward to waking up in the morning to enjoy this simple dish to start my day. Gong zai mian is cooked with chu qian yi ding noodles, and the soup is usually replaced with the cafe’s own soup broth (there are dry versions as well), with a variety of toppings to choose from.

Nissin chu qian yi ding instant noodles 出前一丁
Chu Qian Yi Ding noodles packaging with the cute boy mascot

I asked around and was told that “gong zai” means “doll” or “puppet” in Cantonese. So I guessed the noodles were named this way due to the cute boy mascot on the packaging?

Update from mordaciter from Hong Kong who shared via comment on the origins of the name “gong zai”. Thanks mordaciter :)

“This type of noodle is called “gong zai” noodle not because of the cute character on the bag. In fact, there’s another brand of instant noodles in HK that was more popular before Nissin arrived, and that brand is called Doll Brand (Gong Zai Meen in Canto). So that’s why people still refer to instant ramen as “gong zai” noodles, even though Nissin is much more popular than Doll Brand these days. (I’ve tasted Doll Brand before and it’s not bad as well.)

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai”
Noodles with Ham 火腿公仔面

At home, I whip up my simple version of gong zai mian by adding a sunny side up egg and some veggies, along with some ham or luncheon meat slices. Since I didn’t have the chance to travel to Hong Kong for the past few years despite missing the place so terribly, this will be a cheap way for me to reminisce about Hong Kong until I have a chance to go again, hehe

If you have other toppings ideas for gong zai mian, please share them with me in the comments section :)

Ingredients
(serves 1)

- 1 packet of Nissin chu qian yi ding instant noodles 出前一丁 (I use original flavour)
- your own soup broth (or use the packet seasonings) plus the sesame oil sachet
- 1 to 2 ham slices or 3 slices luncheon meat
- 1 sunny side up egg*
- some oil
- 1 small bunch of baby bok choy 小白菜 (you can substitute with other veggies such as lettuce or peas)
- chopped spring onions (garnishing)

* Directions for making sunny side up egg
Crack the egg without breaking the yolk into a small bowl. Heat up a wok and grease it with oil. To cook perfect sunny side egg, carefully pour the egg into the wok, and try to position the yolk in the middle surrounded by the egg white. After about two minutes, loosen the edges a bit, and let the egg cook for a few more minutes till the yolk is about half cooked. Carefully remove from pan and set aside.

Directions
1. Cook baby bok choy in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
2. Cook the instant noodles in boiling water. Drain and set aside. Discard water.
3. Pan fry the luncheon meat slices for a few minutes each side till crisp. If using ham slices, just heat up both sides for a while. Set aside.
4. To assemble, add your own soup broth plus the sesame oil seasoning. What I did was I added the packet seasonings on top of the noodles, pour boiling water over and stir to mix it in. Then I added the sesame oil, and assembled the meat, veggies and sunny egg on top. Garnish with some spring onions.

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai”
Noodles with Luncheon Meat 午餐肉公仔面

Psst … if you have leftover luncheon meat, try my fried rice with luncheon meat recipe.

                                           

Leave a Comment





53 Responses to “Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles”

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  1. HoppingHammy — October 2, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

    You manage to make every single texture you cook look tantalizing, whether it’s soupy, crispy, noodle-y…..how do you do it? I’m also curious how long an average photoshoot, like this one, takes you to set up/photograph? Your food must get cold I imagine.

    Looks good!:wink:

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — October 2nd, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

      You are making me feel sheepish because I think your photos are way better than mine. I’m really the noob here lol

      Average photoshoot I would say about 10 minutes, more or less depending on how hungry I am, lol. Sometimes when I am too hungry, I didn’t take any photos and have to cook it again :D

      Reply

  2. Su-Lin — October 2, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    Yum yum! I too default to instant noodles when I need a quick dinner!

    Reply

  3. mordaciter — October 2, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

    Your pictures always make me drool on my keyboard. I love Nissan noodles as well, I bought 10 packs from Park N Shop the other day.

    This type of noodle is called “gong zai” noodle not because of the cute character on the bag. In fact, there’s another brand of instant noodle in HK that was more popular before Nissan arrived, and that brand is called Doll Brand (Gong Zai Meen in Canto). So that’s why people still refer to instant ramen as gongzai noodle, even though Nissan is much more popular than Doll Brand these days. (I’ve tasted Doll Brand before and it’s not bad as well.)

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — October 2nd, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

      Hey girl, thanks so much for your clarification! I’ve updated your explanation on my blog post. I’m so grateful. I didn’t know there was a doll brand, I got to find it when I go HK next time, just for comparison ;)

      Reply

  4. Cookinggallery — October 2, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

    I love instant noodles….!! So unhealthy, but I just love them and can’t get enough of them. I try to reduce my intake of instant noodles, but there are times when I just crave for them. My favourite instant noodle is actually an Indonesian brand called ‘Indomie’ – Mie goreng flavour. I also love instant korean noodles and ‘Yum Yum’ – duck flavour – a Thai brand – the noodle texture is not very good but the soup is delicious. It’s funny, because I also wanted to post about instant noodles a few days ago in my blog, but haven’t done so yet, just because I just couldn’t take good shots of the noodles. You’re a pro in photography!

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — October 5th, 2009 @ 10:51 am

      Oh I love the “Indomie Mee Goreng” as well! It was my childhood fave, where I didn’t dare to take much chilli then and I love dry instant noodles. Nowadays I eat the “Myojo char mee” which is also a dry version but with chilli spice :up:

      I’m definitely not a pro in photography. Took several attempts to take the photos as well, and there is much room for improvement in the final result :P Thanks for your kind words! :)

      Reply

  5. food-4tots — October 3, 2009 @ 12:18 am

    I used to eat a lot when I was staying alone. But now, my hubby is an anti-instant noodles person. So I was also influenced by him and stop eating it for a long time. ;)

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — October 5th, 2009 @ 10:56 am

      That’s good news actually, coz it shows you are eating healthy. I’m now living on my own and still eating instant noodles! Noooo …

      Reply

  6. gaga — October 3, 2009 @ 12:53 am

    I’m a closet instant noodle lover too. (I also love luncheon meat). I noticed that the same brand of noodles in Taiwan are thicker and chewier than the ones in the US, which is really too bad. I guess I’ll have to stock up on my next visit!

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — October 5th, 2009 @ 10:52 am

      Maybe they made some adaptations to suit the western palate. Asian noodles tend to have a more springy texture :-)

      Reply

  7. lisaiscooking — October 3, 2009 @ 5:03 am

    A big bowl of noodles with an egg and some veggies sounds fantastic!

    Reply

  8. Gera @ SweetsFoods — October 3, 2009 @ 8:08 am

    Quick dinner with instant noodles, very interesting option when you’re in hectic days.
    With lot of vegs can be a perfect meal also :)

    Cheers!

    Gera

    Reply

  9. peachkins — October 3, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    you make the instant noodles look fabulous!

    Reply

  10. Precious Pea — October 3, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    I like my noodle texture ‘Q Q’ too! It seems like cooking instant noodle also require skill! I like Nissin Tonkatsu flavour..yummy!

    Reply

    • wiffy replied: — October 5th, 2009 @ 10:53 am

      I think I tried the Nissin Tonkatsu in Tokyo before (yes I cooked instant noodles for supper when I’m overseas :P) and it’s good stuff!

      Reply

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