Longevity noodle w/ black sesame and crispy shallots

Longevity noodle w/ black sesame and crispy shallots

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It is the first day of the Chinese New Year holiday, and I’m quickly leaving you with my version of a festive and symbolic dish that are served in many Chinese holidays or events.   Taiwanese call it “noodle threads (面线)”, or as it is called “wire noodles (索面)” in southern China.  It’s extremely long and elastic which makes them resistant to breaking and thus symbolizes longevity and eternity.  And in a deeply superstitious Taiwanese culture, this purpose alone is sufficient to get it invited to every events where they’d like to see good omen literally printed on the menus.

But I don’t eat it like any of that non-sense.  I love this noodle simply because it’s freaking good.

It has a super fine, silky and soft but slightly chewy texture with a subtle saltiness.  And it is just the ultimate February-comfort food, especially soaked in dense chicken stock infused with a deeply nutty, gingery and garlicky black sesame paste, and the pungent aroma from crispy fried shallots.  Its smooth and yarn-like body slides effortlessly into the tummy, with a sip of darkened and aromatic broth that lingers in the mouth.  Every time I make this, I wonder why I don’t make it more often.

So friends, Happy CNY.  Live long and prosper.

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Servings: 4

You should be able to find this type of noodles in most Asian supermarkets, or such as this one from online sources.  Or you can substitute with the shorter, Japanese version called somen (hair noodle).


Evenly mix toasted sesame oil, black sesame paste, grated ginger, grated garlic and salt together, then set aside.  If you’re frying your own shallots, drain them well after frying and season with a good pinch of salt.  If you are using store-bought, sautée it slightly over medium low heat to bring it back to life, and season with a bit of salt.  Crush the crispy shallots until resembling coarse breadcrumbs.

Bring your chicken broth to a boil, then season well with salt.  Ladle the broth into serving bowls then add a dash of sake, and swirl in 1 scant tbsp of the black sesame-mixture for each bowl.  Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook the noodles just until done (it should only take a couple min).  Drain well, then transfer into the soup.  Top generously with crispy fried shallots and dust with white pepper.  Serve immediately.


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  • Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous)

    February 5, 2016 at 4:19 PM Reply

    i love how easy this sounds, but also how special this feels (i don’t always have black sesame paste or crispy shallots around, so when i have them it’s awesome!).

  • Aimee @ twiggstudios

    February 5, 2016 at 5:45 PM Reply

    This looks amazing happy CNY xxx

  • Jessica

    February 5, 2016 at 8:38 PM Reply

    happy new year!!! :)

  • Ursula @ LilVienna.com

    February 6, 2016 at 1:38 AM Reply

    Mhhhh. Everything topped with crispy shallots makes my day!

  • Katalin

    February 6, 2016 at 2:15 AM Reply

    Seriously, your blog is magic! The photos, the creative recipes, literally everything! You are such a gastronomy-inspiration for me :) -a fan from Hungary/Germany

  • Kara | Sorghum and Starch

    February 6, 2016 at 2:26 AM Reply

    This looks so delicious, Mandy! Crispy shallots are a new obsession, so I think I need to try this out ASAP.

  • Kari

    February 6, 2016 at 7:36 AM Reply

    I could definitely dig into this bowl!

  • Gwen

    February 6, 2016 at 3:24 PM Reply

    That looks like “sotanghon noodles” a food I tried in a Chinese restaurant, only without a black sesame paste. This looks mouthwatering and perfect for rainy days.

  • Ruth

    February 8, 2016 at 11:40 AM Reply

    Xin nian kuai le!

  • Dawid

    February 8, 2016 at 4:41 PM Reply

    LOOKS AMAZING) I will cook it

  • Sabrina

    February 9, 2016 at 4:19 AM Reply

    I was interested in learning how to make this Chinese New Year dish. Looks great! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Rosanne

    February 10, 2016 at 7:19 AM Reply

    Would love to try this! Looks beautiful as always. How much chicken broth did you use? Thanks

  • Olaiya

    February 13, 2016 at 4:14 PM Reply

    Gorgeous! And this looks delicious. Just the thing for winter suppers. ?

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  • Sarah and Laura @ Wandercooks

    February 15, 2016 at 2:32 PM Reply

    Yuussss. Those noodles look bloody delicious. We’re actually in Taipei atm for CNY, and it has been THE TOPS. Just found your blog trying to work out how to recreate the all amazing Taiwanese Breakfast Burgers (totally giving your recipe a go in about 2.5 weeks once we’re back home :D) because far out if that is not the most amazing burgers we’ve had in a long time. Those flavours. Then I find THIS. I’m still addicted to goma sauce in Japan, but never tried black sesame paste before. Going on the list to add to our pantry. Keep up your amazing work. Ciao!

  • Kate

    February 16, 2016 at 1:25 AM Reply

    This sounds absolutely incredible. I’m going to have to hunt down the ingredients on my next run to the Asian market. Happy New Year!!

  • Wayne

    February 16, 2016 at 7:49 AM Reply

    I’m a big food blog follower. I love yours and Cooking With Mr. C. Thanks for all you do.

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  • Charm

    September 28, 2016 at 9:38 PM Reply

    Just hopping on this black sesame train; I went to a cafe and ordered this ‘Sesame Chocolate’ drink. It turned out to be hot chocolate blended with black sesame butter and IT. WAS. SO. DELICIOUS. I could taste velvety chocolate coated with the earthy tones of the black sesame butter, and it kinda tasted like mochi. Hope this is a recipe idea? Would love to know your twist on it Mandy. Cheers!

  • kfz versicherung anhänger mitversichert

    October 12, 2016 at 11:31 PM Reply

    wat een mooi warm kleedje heb jij op de tafel liggen.Hey en als je wat gaat bakken of iets dergelijks zet je dat dan op je blog, vindt het leuk om iets uit te proberen.Fijne dagen o ja heb je mijn mail gehad!!!Gr Stina

  • Zara

    July 3, 2020 at 8:17 AM Reply

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  • Eva Wells

    December 31, 2020 at 6:11 PM Reply

    Is this pasta? It looks strange. Thus, maybe I forgot how normal substancial food looks like. It’s been too much of study lately. Thanks to https://specialessays.com/buy-a-response-reaction-paper/ I was able to submit all the papers on time.

  • Shannon

    February 16, 2021 at 2:56 AM Reply

    Made these last night. Amazing. The black sesame, ginger & garlic combo was delicious.

  • Mark Lensef

    April 13, 2021 at 6:27 PM Reply

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