Indo-Chinese is one of my favorite cuisines, yes believe it or not the Indian version of Chinese has become so popular and has also been modified so much that it’s now a cuisine on it’s own. At least I would like to believe that! From upscale restaurants to food trucks, this cuisine has it all in India. Kids love noodles, isn’t it? [well so do adults, ask me!] Anyway so growing up noodles was one of my favorites too and we were allowed to eat it for special occasions only. Yes eating out and eating junk was so uncommon when I was a kid. How things have changed now!
We would always wait for birthdays or other special occasions to eat “chow mein”. These hakka noodles are popularly known as chow mein in India, the roadside version that is. The chow mein is spicy, full of veggies and very delicious.
Typically Indian style vegetable hakka noodles have the following vegetables in it – onion, cabbage, bell pepper and carrots. I did not use cabbage in this recipe because first I didn’t have it the day I made these noodles and second I don’t like cabbage that much in my noodles. All the veggies are cooked on high flame so that they remain crunchy. These noodles are great with fried rice, vegetable manchurian or any Indo-chinese dish like this baby corn manchurian.
There are a lot of noodles available in the market, I used Ching Vegetarian Hakka noodles for this recipe and I think they are awesome! You know you have made the perfect noodles when each and every strand of noodle is separate from each other, which was not the case when I made noodles for the first time 3 years ago. It was a mess and all my noodles clumped up together. After few trials and errors I realized that you do need to use little extra oil. First the noodles must be coated with little oil after they are boiled and drained. This really helps in preventing the stickiness and second you have to use a bit more oil than you would have wanted when you cook the noodles with the veggies. I used to add 1 teaspoon of oil and it never tasted like the one we get in restaurants. This recipe uses 3 tablespoons of oil and believe me I couldn’t tell the difference if this was was homemade or from a Indo Chinese restaurant.
First do all the prep wok. In this recipe everything is cooked on high heat. Why you may ask? Because we want all veggies to cook slightly but still remain crunchy. Soggy and over cooked veggies spoil the fun of eating noodles in my opinion. I want to bite into me veggies while eating hakka noodles. So chop, slice and keep everything ready before you start. You will not get the time to chop in between.
In a pan put water to boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the noodles and cook according to instructions on the package. I was supposed to cook my noodles for 2 minutes only.
Drain the noodles and wash under cold running water, this stops the cooking process. Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and mix thoroughly so that the noodles don’t stick to each other. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, tomato ketchup, red chili flakes, salt, white pepper powder, black pepper powder, white vinegar and sugar. Set aside.
In a wok heat 3 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add the minced garlic and sliced green chili. Saute for 30 seconds till garlic starts turning light golden brown.
Add sliced onions and green onion whites. Saute for 2 minutes or till the sides of the onion starts turning light golden brown.
Add sliced carrots, green & red bell pepper and cook for 1 minute on high heat. The veggies should remain crunchy.
Add the prepared sauce and mix with the veggies. Cook for 10-20 seconds.
Add the boiled noodles.
Using 2 spatula mix the noodles thoroughly till all of it is coated with the sauce. Cook for 2 minutes, check salt and seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot. These vegetable hakka noodles are vegan!
* Do not add noodles to water until and unless it comes to a boil. Add noodles only when the water is boiling and then undercook them. The package will have instructions on how to cook them and you must follow accordingly.
* You can add any additional veggie of your choice like cabbage, broccoli, tofu etc. though Indian chow mein has the veggies listed in this recipe.
* Some soy sauce are stronger than others (depending on the brand) so add accordingly. Add 1.5 tablespoons first and then taste the noodles. If you feel more soy sauce is required, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon. I added 2 tablespoons.
Vegetable Hakka Noodles
- 300 grams noodles
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 3 scallions, spring onion, finely chopped
- ½ green bell pepper
- ½ red bell pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 green chili, slit
- 3 tablespoons + ½ tablespoon oil, ½ tablespoon to coat the noodles after boiling
- water, to boil the noodles
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper powder
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- salt, to taste
- Chop and slice all the veggies before you start working on the recipe.
- In a pan put water to boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the noodles and cook according to instructions on the package.
- Drain the noodles and wash under cold running water, this stops the cooking process.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and mix thoroughly so that the noodles don't stick to each other. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients listed under "sauce" - soy sauce, tomato ketchup, red chili flakes, white pepper powder, black pepper powder, white vinegar and sugar. Set aside.
- In a wok heat 3 tablespoons of oil on medium-high heat.
- Once oil is hot add the minced garlic and sliced green chili. Saute for 30 seconds till garlic starts turning light golden brown.
- Add sliced onions and white part of the green onion. Saute for 2 minutes or till the sides of the onion starts turning light golden brown.
- Add sliced carrots, green & red bell pepper and cook for 1 minute on high heat. The veggies should remain crunchy.
- Add the prepared sauce and mix with the veggies. Cook for 10-20 seconds.
- Add the boiled noodles.
- Using 2 spatula mix the noodles thoroughly till all of it is coated with the sauce.
- Cook for 2 minutes, check salt and seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot.
Vegetable Hakka Noodles