Hakka noodles is a popular Indo-Chinese dish of stir fried noodles, veggies and sauces. It is hugely popular in Indian restaurants and street stalls. It is usually eaten on its own or with a side of Manchurian or chilli dishes like gobi manchurian or chilli paneer. Indo-Chinese hakka noodles originated from the Chinese population living in Kolkata, India.
Over the years it has become a favorite among many Indians. Right from the upscale restaurants to the street carts these are one of the most ordered and enjoyed. Hakka noodles are so flavorsome, delicious and have a great crunch that make you crave for more.
Unfortunately, the noodles served in most of these places are loaded with oil and msg that dehydrates us a lot. So why not make these at home.
What are hakka noodles?
Hakka noodles are Indian-Chinese style noodles made with unleavened refined wheat flour. These are boiled al dente and then stir fried in a Chinese wok with oil, vegetables & soya sauce. Here hakka noodles refers to both the final dish and the type of noodles used.
There are a lot of brands selling hakka noodles. You may buy something from a trusted brand you prefer. I have used Chings vegetarian hakka noodles. Since these are made from refined flour, we try to limit these.
If you are trying to avoid refined foods then you may use any other whole grain noodles like soba noodles, ramen or udon noodles.
Soba noodles are super thin and made with buckwheat. I use them often to make my vegetable noodles. Udon noodles are fat and thick but made with whole wheat. Somen are super thin noodles made with wheat flour. I have used them here chilli garlic noodles.
Though these are not used in the authentic hakka noodles recipe, you can still use them if you want to eat healthy and I always do that.
About this recipe
This simple recipe will help you make perfect Chinese Hakka noodles that are loaded with fresh crunchy vegetables, flavor-packed and is ready under 20 minutes. This homemade version tastes no less than the Hakka noodles from your favorite Indo-Chinese restaurant. Plus these are fresh cooked, no msg and is not loaded with oil.
I have also shared a lot of tips and tricks to make them perfect every time!
Vegetables: Cabbage, french beans, bell peppers, carrots, scallions/ spring onions, regular onions are most commonly used for this recipe. You can use whatever you have. I always feel cabbage adds a great crunch and great aroma to the hakka noodles. However I have not used it this time since I did not have.
Oil: Use oil that has a high smoke point like peanut, safflower or sunflower oil. High-end restaurants add some toasted sesame oil at the end (after stir frying) to enhance the flavors. But avoid toasted sesame oil for stir frying the hakka noodles at it can leave a bitter taste as this kind of oil is for dressing & salads and not for cooking.
Soya sauce: Choose naturally brewed or organic soya sauce. Avoid using other kinds of soya as they lack the depth of flavour since they are made using harsh chemicals. You can use tamari as a substitute to soya sauce.
Vinegar: Rice vinegar or white vinegar is used to make hakka noodles. But you can also use apple cider. Avoid using synthetic vinegar.
Spices: Garlic, ginger and crushed pepper are the 3 spices used. These spices add aroma to the noodles without making them taste spicy. I do not use ginger in my recipe. Usually white crushed pepper is used as it is less hot and pungent. I use the black ground pepper.
Most Indo-Chinese restaurants use only soya sauce & rice vinegar to make hakka noodles. The heat comes from the green chilies or the chili oil. Optionally you can use any hot sauce if you like hot spicy noodles.
Chilli oil is an optional ingredient you can use if you have. Some restaurants use it to enhance the flavors. There are different kinds of chili oil available in the market made with red chilies, Schezwan peppers, garlic etc. You can choose what you like. I have not used any here.
How to make hakka noodles (stepwise photos)
1. Rinse all the veggies well. Slice the onions thin. Chop bell peppers, carrots, french beans and cabbage to thin juliennes. Chop garlic and chilli as well.
2. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Then add noodles and cook them al dente. Please follow the pack for the timings.
3. Drain them to a colander and rinse under running water. This helps to remove excess starch and keeps the noodles less sticky.
4. Drain off completely. Add 1 tsp oil and toss the noodles. This prevents them from turning sticky. Set aside.
5. Pour 2 tbsps oil to the pan and heat it on a high flame. Add chopped garlic and fry for just 30 seconds. Then add in green chilli (optional) and spring onion whites. Saute for 30 seconds more.
6. Add onions and fry for 1 minute.
7. Then add carrots, capsicum, cabbage and beans. I didn’t use cabbage as I didn’t have. But it adds a very good flavor. Fry them for just 2 mins until a nice aroma comes out. The veggies should remain crunchy so do not over cook.
8. Add the noodles, salt, pour the soya sauce, hot sauce(optional) and vinegar.
9. Toss well and fry for another 2 minutes. Add ground pepper and spring onion greens. Taste and adjust the sauces and salt at this stage.
Prepare veggies: Chop the veggies really thin. If you are a beginner then you may not get it at the first try. But having those thin slices of veggies really makes a lot of difference as they blend will with the noodles after stir frying. Avoid using too cold veggies as sometimes they let out moisture.
Cook noodles: Avoid over cooking them by all means. For the right texture cook them in plenty of hot boiling water, drain them when they are al dente meaning they are just cooked and are firm but not too soft. Quickly rinse them under cold running water. This helps in 2 ways – 1. Stops them from cooking further 2. Gets rid of the excess starch.
Prepare noodles: Smear some oil all over the cooked noodles to prevent them from clumping up. This is very important.
Use a wok or a cast iron pan: A large wok is best for making hakka noodles. If you have a cast iron or a carbon steel wok, do make use of it. These cookware impart that smoky aroma to your hakka noodles.
Oil: The quantity of oil makes a huge difference here. My recipe does not require lots of oil like the restaurant version so please do not skimp on the quantity of oil. If you are on a low oil diet, cut down your serving size but do not reduce the oil.
I also noticed the carbon steel and the cast iron woks absorb so much of the oil making the noodles dry. So adjust the oil as per your need.
Stir fry on a high flame
Keep the heat/flame high from the start to the end while you stir fry. This imparts a unique smoky flavor to the dish and prevents the veggies from turning mushy.
Stir frying the veggies & hakka noodles will all take less than 4 to 5 mins since it is done on a high flame. So do attend the pan all the time and keep tossing or mixing with a spatula to prevent overcooking & burning.
You can easily tweak this recipe to make egg hakka noodles or chicken hakka noodles. To make the egg version, stir in the beaten egg first to the hot oil & scramble it. Cook until the eggs are soft cooked, remove them to a bowl. Proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Add back the egg along with the noodles. You can also check these Egg noodles for step by step photos.
To make the chicken hakka noodles, add chicken strips of 3/4 inch size to beaten egg. Coat the chicken with the egg and slide in the chicken to the hot oil. Stir fry on a high flame until fully cooked.
Add the remaining egg and cook until done. Remove this to a plate and proceed with the recipe. Add back the chicken along with the noodles. For step by step photos you can also check this chicken noodles.
With these variations you will need to add more sauce and salt.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 pack hakka noodles (150 grams)
- 2 tablespoons oil (preferably sesame oil)
- 1 tablespoon garlic chopped finely
- 2 to 3 spring onion stalks (greens & whites separated)
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 green chilli chopped (optional)
- 1 small carrot thin juliennes
- ½ to ¾ cup capsicum (bell pepper) julienne
- 6 french beans chopped finely
- ½ cup cabbage finely shredded (optional)
- 1¼ tablespoon soya sauce organic
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (substitute with apple cider)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Use your favorite sauce) (optional)
- ½ to 1 tablespoon chilli oil (optional)
- Rinse the veggies and slice the onions. Chop chilli and garlic. Chop carrots, cabbage, french beans and bell peppers to thin juliennes. Keep this aside.
- Bring 6 to 8 cups of water to a rapid boil. Add noodles and cook till al dente. Follow the instructions on the pack for cook time.
- Drain them to a colander and rinse under running water to remove excess starch.
- Add 1 tsp oil to the noodles and smear it well to prevent them from turning sticky.
How to make hakka noodles
- Heat oil in a large wok or pan on a high flame.
- Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Then add spring onion whites, onions and chilli. Fry until the onions turn transparent for a minute.
- Next add in carrots, capsicum and cabbage. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes until the veggies are partially cooked yet remain crunchy.
- Add noodles & sprinkle salt. Then pour soya sauce, hot sauce, chili oil and vinegar.
- Toss everything well and fry for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add black pepper and spring onion greens. Taste test and add more salt or sauces if needed
- Serve hakka noodles hot with gobi manchurian or chilli paneer.
- Vegetables: Chop veggies really thin & uniform. So they fry faster and blend well with the noodles after stir frying. Avoid using very cold vegetables as sometimes they let out moisture in the pan while frying. Avoid over cooking them in the pan. We want them crunchy.
- Noodles: Avoid over cooking noodles, drain them immediately after they are cooked al dente, meaning just cooked yet firm and not too soft. Rinse them well with cold water and drizzle little oil & spread it all over so they don’t clump up.
- Use a wok or a cast iron pan: The key to making good hakka noodles is a Chinese wok and high flame. If possible use a carbon steel or cast iron wok for the smoky flavors. Stir fry on the highest flame.
- Oil: Do not use too less oil. You won’t get the real restaurant taste without having enough of it. Your cast iron or carbon steel wok takes up some oil so feel free to add a bit more.
- Soya sauce can be substituted with tamari. Use naturally brewed or organic soy sauce.
- For heat you may use chilli oil or green chilli.
- Stir fry on a High flame: Keep the flame high from the start to finish while you stir fry. This imparts a unique smoky flavor to the dish and prevents the veggies from turning too soft.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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