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Mar 22, 2007 01:06 AM

North America Chinese Style Fresh Egg Noodles

The price of fresh, Chinese-style noodles has been creeping up. Some are as much as $1.80 per pound, others are in 14 oz. rather than 16 oz. packs. So, when I saw some fresh egg noodles for 59ยข per pound at 23rd Irving Supermarket this week, I thought I'd give them a try.

These are the ropey, medium cut. The ingredient list reads "Enriched (niacin, iron, thiamine, mononitrate riboflavin) malted barley flour, fresh whole eggs, water, FDC yellow 5, salt, potassium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, benzoate of soda as a preservative, dusted with corn starch".

While I didn't like how they performed plain boiled for use in soup but they were fine when blanched and pan-fried for chow mein. They're a bit heavy on the corn starch and needed a larger than usual quantity of water for boiling to avoid a gummy coating. I might use them again if I were making chow mein for a crowd and needed to save a little money.

Image of noodle pack -

North America Food Manufacturing Inc.
1175 Quesada Ave.

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  1. do you have any other go-to local standards you would recommend, despite price? my experiences cooking with fresh chinese-style egg noodles are very limited, but i've had some that worked great (in soups, usually), and others that tasted...chemical. i've never really made note of specific local sources and brands before.

    12 Replies
    1. re: augustiner

      The local brand that you'll see almost everywhere is New hong kong noodle. It's good, but the package size is shrinking. Also one has to be careful to find freshly delivered packs that aren't wet with condensation making the noodle dough soggy and useless.

      When I shop at Marina in San Mateo, I've been buying PF Select Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle. This is a wide cut. Ingredients are: wheat flour, water, egg whites, vital wheat gluten, salt, potassium carbonate, sodium carbonate, corn starch. It's in a clear plastic tub with about 5 skeins per pound, made by Prime Food Process in Brooklyn, NY. We've been using them for soup noodles or gon lo mein. They have a lovely silken texture and stay firm (due to the egg whites and alkali). Quite forgiving in fact, as sometimes a couple stray noodles get left behind in the boiling water to be retrieved with the second batch, and they stay surprisingly un-mushy. What I don't like are that this isn't a local brand and the price, around $1.70/lb. I have tried a couple other brands of the same style noodle made in San Jose or LA area that I've purchased at Ranch 99, but didn't like them as much as these. I should keep track.

      Another local brand is Hon's, same folks as the Wun tun house on Kearny. The thin soup noodles are very good.

      In Oakland Chinatown, i think it's still possible to buy directly from the noodle factory, Yuen Hop.
      That's your best bet for getting very fresh and not too expensive egg noodles.

      When you buy the alkali-treated noodles, you need to use a larger quantity of water to boil them and change it frequently if you're making multiple batches. The firmness and toothsome texture of this type of noodle is prized by the Cantonese, but I often hear complaints from others who want something softer.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        You can definitely still buy great, cheap egg noodles at Yuen Hop (everything's good except for the spinach noodles, which are green with no discernible spinach flavor). They also have excellent fresh dumpling wrappers that make really good ravioli - prepackaged wonton wrappers never taste right in Western-style ravioli, but these actually taste like pasta. I bought a package of thick wrappers that worked incredibly well for beef cheek ravioli. They hold up really well to pan-frying too... I was thinking they would work well for pierogi. I've been meaning to buy one of each kind of dumpling wrapper to test them with different ravioli fillings, but haven't gotten around to it.

        1. re: daveena

          Go for it! You're the one for the job.

          Also, I've been wondering if pot sticker wrappers might stand in for making cannoli. (g)

        2. re: Melanie Wong

          thanks for the recs. and the tip about boiling in large amounts of water makes sense. i like the toothy, elastic texture of alkali noodles, but that flavor can be off-putting.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            slightly off topic, in the back freezer of yuen hop, bottom shelf (left side of store), there are house-made potstickers made with their house-made wrappers. they are beyond awesome. the unmarked clear bag is pork, and the clear bag with a character on it (that i cannot read) is chicken. giant bag was around $7. definetely pick up a bag next time you are there! note that the dough around the potstickers are pretty thick (but in a delicious way), so they take a *lot* longer to steam than regular potstickers.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Prime Foods in Brooklyn seems to know what they are doing. They made the best supermarket frozen XLB I'd had until Wei-Chuan's label started appearing, and they also produce pretty good (northern style) shui jiao by mass market standards.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Wow! I had arrived at an independent, very similar conclusion after trying all the different packaged fresh thin-style hong kong noodle brands in the refrigerator case!

                My favorite brand of thin style hong kong wonton noodle is:

                Prime Foods PF select Wonton Noodle. On the package it is printed that it is Hong Kong Style, and in Chinese it says that it is "authentic Hong Kong Style". You have to be careful because Prime Foods ALSO makes fresh wonton noodle but it does NOT say "authentic HK style" and the texture is slightly different, even though it looks the same. The correct packaging is a clear plastic tray.

                I have tried many brands, including Hon's, Fung's Village (from the San Gabriel Valley and imported up here in NorCal) and many others. This is my favorite noodle for Wonton Noodle Soup. My technique was copied from all my times watching the kitchen cook this at Porridge King in Daly City while patiently waiting for the butcher to chop up my take-out order of Salt-Water-Chicken, and it goes like this:

                1) Huge pot of boiling water.
                2) Loosen up ball of noodle and place in this noodle ladle/strainer contraption I bought at Kamei on Clement in SF.
                3) Put ladle/strainer in boiling water for 20 seconds
                4) Take ladle/strainer out of water and run under cold water "pass through the cold river [in Chinese]" ... agitate with chopsticks to make sure all the strands cool down
                5) Turn off the water, and shake vigorously to get out all the moisture.
                6) Put noodles back into an already boiling bowl of chicken soup with jor-hau dried fish (as a flavoring base)


                1. re: jhleung

                  Hey there, and where have you been buying yours?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong


                    Unfortunately, I but the Prime Food PF Select Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle at Ranch 99 in Daly City, at around $1.79 a package. Yes, its not cheap. Oh well.

                    I would much prefer that New May Wah on Clement and 8th stock this (as they are closer to me), but I don't remember seeing it in stock.

                  2. re: jhleung

                    we use that same technique... we bought some fresh noodles near Kamei on Clement.. they were quit good.. although not quit the same as the ones I use to get in LA.. we made more of a vietnamese style dish with them.. I will ask the bf if he remembers where.. I was in the book store the time.

                    1. re: Lori SF


                      I think if you use the Prime Foods PF Select Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle with that same technique of yours, that you will find the noodle to be exactly the same as that you remember in LA / San Gabriel Valley. The only restaurant around here that has the same thinness of noodle and bouncy texture I find is Joy Luck Place in Cupertino. That's too far for me (since I live in SF) so I just make it myself these days.

                      I wish Ming Tai on Noreiga and 30th avenue (?) did a really good job on the noodle as their wontons are spectacular (albeit a little too big) but everytime I eat noodles there I am disappointed with the limp texture.

                      1. re: jhleung

                        Soggy noodles is my complaint about Ming Tai too!

              2. I prefer the North American's Wun Tun Noodle although a bit pricier at $1.29/bag at Ranch 99 but IMHO can be used either as a stir fry mixed with meat and vegetables or in a simple chicken broth and assorted condiments. It's the only noodle brand I buy now however like you said, a bit heavy on the flour. A 10 second blanch in boiling water is all it takes to maintain that al dente texture.

                1. A bit off topic but at Marina you can also buy a Taiwanese style noodle, in Chinese called Yeung Chun Meen (like sun spring noodle). They offer it thin or wide. The thin is great with soup (especially Taiwanese style beef noodle soup), and also quite excellent stir fried. The company that makes them is somewhere in Southern Cal/'Monterey Park area (heavy Taiwanese expat population to boot). Apparently Yeung Chun Meen is also available dried. The fresher kind is in the same section where the egg noodles are.

                  I've always been disappointed with Cantonese egg noodles from the local supermarkets and practically gave up at least in the Peninsula area, too costly to experiment. While YCM is different altogether, it is one of the better noodles I've discovered.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: K K

                    Here's an old rec from our pal, tanspace, for the kind of noodles to use for dan dan mian.

                  2. What do you think of the noodles at places like New May Wah that are just in plastic bags with no label? I have purchased them quite a few times in the past and have been really happy with the texture and flavor. Lately, though, I haven't been able to find them. Any advice or ideas where to find them. They are what I think is called won-ton noodles. Very toothsome and slightly yellow.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: srr

                      You can find bulk noodles at the two grocery/produce stores on Noriega and around 31st? Near the ABC Cafe and the MongKok dim sum place. Be sure to look for ones which are loose in the bag and not gummed together by condensation. I like the medium noodles for my version of garlic noodles and the flat wonton noodles are great for stirfry and in soup. The prices are good (I'm not sure, I think they might be around 79cents a pound) As mentioned by other posters, be sure to use LOTS and LOTS of water and rinse well after boiling before you use them. The wonton noodles should be cooked no more than a minute or two.

                      Off topic, that store next to the dim sum place has fresh butchered pork for sale and they are so much better than the meat processing house packaged ones that are sold in many stores. The meat is much more flavorful and has a longer shelf life in the fridge.


                      1. re: margret

                        Yes, I too buy our noodles at this vegetable store. Never remember the name of the store or the company that makes these noodles. In the past there were at least three types of noodles, the thicker "shanghai", steamed thin wonton noodles and uncooked noodles.

                        I was going up to the city next week and was planning to get the name of the shop, it is the corner store one the north east corner.

                        I think this one of the only places that sells this brand of noodles. Next time I will have to ask one of the clerk the name of the company that makes this noodles. The wonton noodles makes a great "two faces yellow" chow mein. I am think of that now.

                        1. re: yimster

                          Thanks, that would be a help, yimster.

                          I'm amazed at the response and interest in noodles as an ingredient. The photo I took of the plain package is one of the most popular ones by number of hits.

                    2. Thought of something else, the online menu doesn't mention it, but if you download the .pdf file of the dinner menu for Everyday Beijing in San Mateo, handmade noodles are offered at $1.50/lb.