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June 24, 2008

Vegetable Hakka Noodles




I love noodles. I prefer it to rice any day. I have no idea why. It is not as though I grew up eating noodles all the time, but I’d prefer it any day. And I love noodles in any form. As sevai, as spaghetti, as the instant Maggi variety, bean noodles, glass noodles, rice noodles, whole wheat noodles… the list is really endless. Hakka noodles would rank as no.2 in my all time noodle rankings. No prizes for guessing the no.1.


Hakka noodles, when made well, can take you to heaven. But this is one dish that can also be spoilt very easily. Our University cafeteria served noodles and fried rice. Our staples when we didn’t have time enough to get to the hostel for lunch. But if I were to go back today, I doubt I’d be able to eat as much of it. It used to be extremely oily, has more cabbage than I could handle and could only be eaten with oodles of tomato ketchup. From the beautiful beaches of Pondicherry, I moved bag and baggage to Bangalore. I was a trainee with one if India’s homegrown majors, TTK, and had to get by on my really small stipend. I stayed with my uncle and aunt who left me in charge of their house for aout a month when they went to Bombay for Janmashtami and Ganpati. During that time, if I didn’t feel like cooking, I couldn’t really afford to eat “out” and that’s when this place seemed like a Godsend. The Chinees gaadi near the Malleswaram market. Everything on his menu was priced at Rs. 15. And I get by with very little food. A plate of hakka noodles would last me two meals. So, it didn’t get better than that. I’d also get a plate of vegetable/cauliflower/mushroom Manchurian to go with my noodles. I didn’t have to spend more than Rs. 15 on a meal.


I’ve tried to recreate the magic at home, but I’ve almost never succeeded entirely. Recently when S and I were waiting for a plate of noodles at Vyapar Kendra in Gurgaon, I noticed the amount of oil the guy used per plate. I figured it made sense to make a healthier version at home, even if meant compromising on the taste. I found this recipe on Swapna’s blog and found it similar to the way I make it. I suddenly realized that I’d not made Hakka noodles at home since I started this blog. It used to feature very regularly on our weekly lunch menu and for some reason, I’d not made it in a long time. So after reading her post and me-me, I decided it was time to treat S and I to a trip down my memory lane. I modified the recipe a bit.


1 packet Ching’s Secret Veg. Noodles
½ cup Cabbage, shredded
½ cup Capsicum, sliced thinly
½ cup Carrot, julienned
½ cup Onions, sliced
1 tbsp Oil + 1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp Chilli Sauce
1 tsp Soya Sauce
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
Salt and Pepper to taste


Bring about 3-4 litres of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain the noodles, wash in cold water and pour the teaspoon of oil over it.


In a large wok, heat the tablespoon of oil. Add the chilli flakes and onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the capsicum, cabbage and carrot and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the soya sauce, chilli sauce and tomato ketchup. Add the cooked noodles and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. This recipe serves two.

I wanted to make some chilli tofu to go with this, but it tasted perfect without any accompaniment. Thanks Swapna, your recipe is a keeper. I’m quite thrilled to send one of my favourite street foods to Sia of Monsoon Spice for this month’s MBP: Street Foods. If you haven’t already done so, do send in your entries before the 30th. Since the AWED event celebrates Chinese cuisine this month, I am also sending this to DK at Culinary Bazaar.

33 comments:

Asha said...

We love Noodles too, lot of Carb just like rice but looks better on the plate than the mound of rice!:D

Never tried Hakka Noodles, got to get some next time. Looks great, They use loads of butter here in Pasta in the Italian restaurants. Scary to see if you bring it home and MW it. Pasta swims in the melted butter! Homemade is lot better!:))

Happy cook said...

Oh yes here we all love noodles. I too prefer noodels to rice.
This is one of the first noodle dish i ate when i was younger.

Deepa said...

I didn't know you loved in Pondicherry. Sounds wonderful!! It's interesting to read about your journey...And thanks for this recipe. I am going to make this SUnday. --Deepa

Madhavi said...

Hummm delicious entry, love noodles and dis one looks awesome!!!

arundati said...

samepinch namesake...i can live on noodles too....good, bad and downright terrible too!! btw the link to swapnas isnt working...it takes us back to sia's site...check it out....

Ranjani said...

This looks fabulous!!

Kalai said...

Looks wonderful! I love hakka noodles, too! :)

Tee said...

yum...love hakka noodles...i make them almost exactly the same way. Its a good option for the lunch box as well.

Rajitha said...

i love noodles..but my first love is rice and always will be :D..but i hear u on making these at home..i never watch how they cook food in thelas and restaurants..the amount of oil they use per meal is something we will use in 3 days!!

Divya Vikram said...

I can have noodles anytime of the day..love ur recipe..Should try this Raaga

Raaga said...

@Ashakka: I love noodles this way... we get whole wheat too and so I convince myself it is healthier :-)

@Happy: Memories memories :-)

@Deepa: I have lived pretty much all over the country except the east :-)

Raaga said...

@Madhavi: Thanks :-)

@Arundati: Yup!! I lived on those bad noodles for 2 years... that says a lot I think :-)

Raaga said...

@Kalai & Ranjani: Thanks :-)

@Tee: It used to be in our lunchbox so often at one time that I'm surprised we didn't eat it for a year!!!

Raaga said...

@Rajitha: Hmmm... one thing in common... we both love food :-) hai na?

@Divya: Let me know how it turns out :-)

Sig said...

I love hakka noodles, if just for the nostalgia associated with it... Looks great! BTW, how many posts are you auto publishing? :) Want to write some drafts for me too????? :)

SMN said...

hey i too love noodles ... this luks yum..

Jayashree said...

I know what you mean when u say you probably couldn't eat the stuff you once used to love....I went back to my hostel recently and ate the veg puffs that often was my lunch at one of the cafes...couldn't stand more than a few bites of it.
The noodles sounds delish...

Sia said...

raaga, i am just drooling girl... i love hakka noodles with veg or gobi manchurian...perfect! thanks for this awesome entry.

skribles said...

nice recipe .. I love hakka noodles too!

Laavanya said...

I love these.. so yummy and so does my daughter! :) Looks great Raaga.

Hima said...

Love noodles raaga. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

masalamagic said...

Wonderful entry Raaga! Love hakka noodles/noodles any day! I am from Malleswaram and u're post made me so nostalgic! Pic looks delish!

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

Chinese gaadi near malleshwaram market?!!?!?? where exactly was it?? been in malleshwaram for a long time, but didn't know of this place!!! how I wish I could go there right now and have some of it :((
thanx so much for the recipe.. I have been lookking for one since a long time. its raining noodles in blogosphere right now, i guess... just coming from shilpa's place.. n she had one too!! :)

D said...

I dint know if Hakka Noodles were available here until I happened to see them in the local indian market! bought one pronto. planning to make it soon :) Ur love for noodles is evident girl from the recipe. Thanks for this delicious entry :)

DK
(http://culinarybazaar.blogspot.com)

Raaga said...

@Sig: I usually charge for content... unakkaga free.
I've got posts running to mid July right now


@Skribles: me too :-)

@Laavanya: Thanks :-)
Shall I send some over?

Raaga said...

@SMN: Thanks :-)

@Jayashree: I hear you! :-)

@Sia: With manchurian, I'll be over the moon :-)

Raaga said...

@Hima: Thanks

@Lata & Ramya: This guy used to be on 9th main road, between 4th main and Margosa road. :-) If he's there, whenever you go, do check him out... and have a plate for me!

Swapna said...

Hey dear,
Thanks for using this recipe. Lovely post!

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Sorry for offtopic

Raaga said...

Thank you so much Anon!

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Indian Cuisine Blogroll said...

Hi Raaga,
tried this vegetable hakka noodles..it came out really good..loved it..i've put a picture in my blog..
Deepa