Chongqing Xiaomian Noodle (重庆小面)

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Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

重庆小面 (Chongqing xiaomian) is a common street dish known simply as “Chongqing noodle”. There are a variety of different topping combinations under this generic name, this is the standard version. Being a city built on chilli, this spicy noodle is a popular breakfast dish too! I love to have this Chongqing Xiaomian for a light lunch.

The most traditional noodle to use in this dish is an alkaline wheat noodle or 堿面 (jian main). Alkaline noodles are wheat noodles made with alkaline salts such as lye or baking soda. This creates a very smooth texture and a springy bite to the noodle. Since I couldn’t be bothered making my own noodles, I used capellini instead and you can too 😀

The most important part of this Chongqing noodle dish is the Fragrant Sichuan Red Chilli Oil (红油辣子). Check out my recipe and take the time to make your own red chilli oil, it’s totally worth it! You could use Lao Gan Mao or Lee Kum Kee Chiu Chow Style Chilli Oil but the taste will be a pale comparison.

Since this is a snack noodle, there is not a lot of toppings. The usual vegetable to use is kangkong, known in Chinese as 空心菜 (kong xin cai) and in English as water spinach, water morning glory, water convolvulus, and all manner of weird names. I like to just use the Malay name kangkong which is fun and easy to remember. If you can’t get kangkong, any leafy vegetable will do, just without the stems.

Traditional preserved vegetable topping used in Sichuan is 芽菜 (ya cai), but you can also use 榨菜 (zha cai) instead.

As this is an on-the-spot assembly dish, the ingredients listed below are per bowl.

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Ingredients

0/12 Ingredients
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  • Toppings
  • Flavouring

Instructions

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  • Put the minced ginger and garlic in a bowl and top it with boiling water. Leave to steep. Finely dice the preserved vegetables and roast the peanuts if required.
  • Cook the kangkong in boiling water for about a minute until it wilts. Then cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Prepare to lay out your meal!
  • Start by putting all the flavourings into the bowl. Mix well, then add the soup (I usually just use the noodle cooking water).
  • Then put the noodles in and mix it a bit. The soup should just cover the noodles. Then add the kangkong, peanuts, preserved vegetables, and spring onions. Enjoy!

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