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Your favorite pan-fried Asian noodle dish?

Ok, I know that I'm craving noodles but can't pinpoint exactly what it is that I want. Pad Thai, Pancit, Chop Chae, Pad See Ew, Sing Jau Chow Mai, Chow Mein, Mee Goreng, yadayadayada... What's your favorite?

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  1. I love chap jae, pad thai, char kway teow, chow fun, pan fried seafood noodle, and mi xao don, but my fave is pho ap chao which is similar to chow fun but the noodles are pressed to the bottom of the wok to make them char and stick together. The result is that some of the giant flat rice noodles are crisped and slightly smokey from wok-hei and charring, and some are soft and mushed together. It is topped with a stir fry similar to mi xao don.

    2 Replies
    1. re: luckyfatima

      Oh my goodness, that sounds wonderfully delicious!

      1. re: luckyfatima

        Sounds like an old favorite dish from our former vietnamese restaurant... oh, I would kill for that right now. We called it spicy lemongrass... charred flat noodles with lemongrass, green onion, onion, and other stuff.... of course, we also piled tons of chili garlic paste on it... heaven!

      2. Ending up making the Sing Jau Chow Mai (Singapore Curry Noodles), pumped up with extra veggies. My Madras curry powder was SPICY!

        11 Replies
          1. re: letsindulge

            I had my first Singaporean fried noodles in Washington DC's Chinatown, back in 1992. I'm Singaporean and was actually visiting the Singapore Airlines office in DC at the time when I came across this item listed on the menu of a Chinese restaurant.

            No such dish actually exists in Singapore - in fact, no noodle dish in Singapore even closely resembled it! :-)

            1. re: klyeoh

              So I've heard. It is a delicious dish nonetheless.

            2. re: letsindulge

              My old favorite noodles were pancit palabok: thick rice noodles dressed with a creamy prawn sauce, ground pork, chicharron, eggs, garlic chips and scallions. They are over the top with lots of flavors and textures to make things interesting. More recently, however, I've really been craving the easier-to-put-together flavors of curry noodles. I only recently started liking them, but they might be quickly becoming a new favorite.

              1. re: JungMann

                That sounds absolutely incredible! I am SO having noodles tonight (albeit non-Asian).

                1. re: JungMann

                  Oh yea, palabok is my favorite pancit too. Must try to make from scratch one of these days.

                  1. re: letsindulge

                    It's actually not very hard to make from scratch. The secret to the sauce is to make the shrimp stock with heads. The shrimp fat from the heads gives the sauce a very pleasing richness. Thicken with cornstarch and annatto water and you're set. Everything else is a matter of garnishing (which is the meaning of the word "palabok").

                  2. re: JungMann

                    Do you have a recipe for the curry noodles? My so would love that.

                    1. re: IndyGirl

                      This is the recipe I've been working with, substituting dark soy for half the light soy and adjusting the sugar accordingly. I also add a splash of rice wine to the sauce. For the proteins, I just use shredded chicken and shrimp.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        thank you!! I'll use tofu instead of chicken and shrimp--will try soon and use your advice!

                2. Pad kee Mao is the name I think. Pad woon sen is another favorite.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Lin's Garden in Chinatown (long gone) made a dish called Lin's Garden Chow Fon. It was bascially what everyone else calls "House special" chow fun except they added black bean paste. It was excellent. Phoenix Garden makes a similar dish.
                    If I can communicate what I want most Chinese restaurants will give it a shot. Many of them don't use black bean paste so I ask for extra black beans.

                    1. Wat Tan Ngou Yook Cheen Heong Mai.

                      3 Replies
                        1. re: Motosport

                          No idea. I've never eaten at "Lin's garden" (where is this "Lin's Garden", anyway?); besides, "chow fun" implies fat sheets of rice preparation cut into narrower strips.

                          No, the one I hanker for is a dish with mei fun (skinny rice noodles) pan-fried, broken up/loosened up a bit, covered with a brownish-whitish sauce/preparation of pieces of softened beef cooked with lots of scallions and sliced ginger, into which a raw egg has been broken just before plating (or immediately after plating), with lots of "wok hei". (Hor fun can be used as an alternative) The definitive version was one I used to get at a restaurant called Yook Woo Hin in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, back when the "old chefs" still held sway. Alas, they have been supplanted by young whippersnappers to whom the "old dishes" apparently had not been passed down to.

                          1. re: huiray

                            Lin's Garden wa on Bayard St in Chinatown NYC, long gone but remembered in the Simon and Garfunkel song "Went down to Chinatown, ordered some Lin's Chow Fon, happened to turn around, whn I loook back my Chow Fon's gone!"
                            Paranoia Blues

                      1. I adore most...the other day though I had Ants on a Tree and it was so bland. Is it always?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: tatamagouche

                          Not at all. One is supposed to be able to savor the bean thread noodles as well as the sauce.

                          Unless you got a really tamed-down and adulterated version. Or a non-Szechuanese non-spicy version where the tastes might be more delicate? OTOH, aren't you a chilihead, or have I got you confused with someone else? If so, maybe it wasn't searingly hot enough for you?

                          1. re: huiray

                            Since moving to Denver my tolerance has shot up much higher (I can eat phall now, for instance), though I don't consider myself a hot head per se; having never had ants on a tree before, I wasn't sure whether it was supposed to be spicy or gravied/savory or what...

                            The restaurant that I got it from (delivery) specializes in Dongbei but does do some Sichuan. I like this place a lot generally but this didn't taste like anything, just pan-fried noodles and ground pork, I think (but supposed to be beef?)—no sauce, no onions, no nothing else. I ended up mixing it with guacamole and that was good. Gross, but good.

                            So what's the ideal version like?

                            1. re: tatamagouche

                              For this one I don't think there is any one ideal dish, for me anyway. It just needs sufficient seasoning and taste in the sauce that accompanies the cellophane noodles. If you google it you can see a wealth of slightly different versions and images of the dish. Try it someplace else other than where you've been getting it, or make your own. :-)

                              p.s. "pan-fried noodles"? Were they crispy flour/egg noodles? Or cellophane/mung bean/glass noodles - puffed up in oil (they won't just "pan-fry"); or pliable/softened/sauce-swollen? The dish is traditionally made with cellophane noodles, usually softened/sauce-swollen rather than puffed.

                              Here's a link to images of the dish:

                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                  Sounds like you got an inferior and lackadaisical version. (Also from your earlier description) Try it someplace else, or make it yourself. Recipes are easily found and easy to execute. In fact, bestirred by this subthread, I whipped up a batch myself last night - using Guilin Chili Sauce as the base for the sauce. Yum. :-)

                                  1. re: huiray


                                    They do some things really well, and others...not.

                        2. Instant ramen smashed in its own bag, and eaten like a bag of potato chips.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Or if your local Asian supermarket carries it, Prince brand of instant noodle mini bag snacks, imported from Taiwan, designed to be eaten the way you described it.

                          2. 肉絲炒麵 (juilenne pork, cornstarch, mushroom slivers, scallions, bean sprouts, on top of crispy egg noodles)


                            1. I love me some yakisoba.