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What are Chinese Egg Noodles?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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Chinese egg noodles are wheat noodles made with eggs, which add a rich flavor, color, and texture. Many Chinese noodle dishes call for egg noodles specifically, as is the case with chow mein. The noodles are available both fresh and dried at Asian markets, usually, and they are often available in dried form elsewhere. They can also be made fresh at home, just like Italian style noodles.

As a general rule, Chinese egg noodles are made with wheat, although technically other grains could be used as well. The wheat is mixed with salt, eggs, cornstarch, and often oil as well so that it forms a stiff dough. The dough is rolled out and cut into strips of varying widths, depending on the type of noodle being made. As a general rule, these noodles are quite long, since length symbolizes longevity and good luck.

Whether fresh or dried, Chinese egg noodles are often coiled to save space. Fresh ones are refrigerated, and they must generally be used within several days, or they will go bad. Dried egg noodles have a long shelf life as long as they are kept in airtight containers in cool dry places. Once opened, they should be used relatively quickly, or resealed in another airtight container.

There are a wide range of shapes for these noodles, including rounded spaghetti-like noodles, squared noodles, and slim flat noodles. As a general rule, all are fast cooking, requiring around three minutes for fresh noodles and up to 10 minutes for dried noodles. The noodles are often cooked until they are still slightly chewy, and then drained and dunked in cold water to arrest the cooking process before being tossed so that they will not stick.

There are a number of uses for Chinese egg noodles. They can be used instead of Western noodles in many dishes, they can be fried in stir fries, and they can be used as a base for stir fried food in sauce, as is often done with lo mein. The noodles are also fried in flat cakes as a base for various foods, or for plain eating. The crispy noodles are very popular in many parts of the world, and they are sometimes used broken into small bits, like a condiment. Some cooks like to chill soft ones and toss them with oil and a savory sauce for a cold noodle salad dish.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon304462 — On Nov 20, 2012

What about the protein in egg noodles? How long can you keep these noodles before the protein starts to deteriorate?

By anon210829 — On Aug 31, 2011

these noodles taste yuck and the article didn't say what they taste like.

By turtlez — On Oct 19, 2010

The article states what the noodles are typically made of, but I would like to add that they are generally healthier than processed white pasta because of that wheat element. I think a lot of people confuse trying to balance the fat and calorie content in noodles or rice with all vegetables and I just wanted to point out that because these are made a little healthier than "regular" noodles (sometimes also with egg whites rather than the whole egg), that there is no real need to try to counterbalance the fat content.

By doppler — On Oct 19, 2010

@bbpuff - They actually work well with Lo Mein as Beluga mentioned in his/her comment. Learning how to cook Chinese egg noodles isn't difficult either - you just cook them like normal pasta because that's what they are. You can also kind of steam them, but I don't recommend that if you are not familiar with that style of cooking.

Normally you wouldn't full cook them, just Al Dente and then stir them in with you sauces and veggies and stuff. Good luck! I hope your first experience with them is a good one!

By bbpuff — On Oct 19, 2010

@doppler - Do these noodles go well with Chicken Lo Mein? I know that there are different types and usually I just find some rice noodles or specific noodles in the Asian market... I have even been known to use Ramen noodles which actually work really well.

By doppler — On Oct 19, 2010

@BelugaWhale - I like to make garlic noodles with the Chinese Egg Noodles mentioned above. It's a recipe that can work really well with basically anything. I really agree with you in your opinion that Chinese Egg Noodles are good for a lot of different dishes. This is just one prime example of that thought.

By BelugaWhale — On Oct 19, 2010

A lot of Asian recipes are flexible enough to interchange Chinese Egg Noodles for whatever noodle it originally calls for. The noodles are actually versatile and useful for any nationality's recipes, which is great. You can use them in everything from Chicken Noodle Soup to Lo Mein.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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