Longevity Noodles

The perfect dish to begin our blog: Longevity Noodles.

I’m addicted – both to them and to the idea of longevity – within reason, of course. We’ve adapted this recipe from Grace Young, the food writer whose cookbooks adorn our shelves. Our daughter, Sara, introduced us to Grace in New York City 12 years ago, so I was delighted when I found this recipe in the New York Times and saw that it came from Grace’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. And I was even more delighted to find that Longevity Noodles are both simple to prepare and delicious to eat. And they warm up beautifully on that day you don’t want to cook.  Just pop them in the microwave.

And, just so you know: these noodles are typically served during the Chinese New Year and represent longevity, intelligence, and prosperity. What more could we wish for you, our new and not-yet-devoted readers!  Plus, you’re packing big hopes into this little dish.  Now, according to the Chinese, just don’t break the noodles up – or all longevity goes by the wayside.

FYI: this recipe may be more labor-intensive than most of our other recipes, but it is so delicious – and starting out with longevity noodles is so perfect – that we couldn’t resist.  

Longevity Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Adapted from Grace Young


  • 12 oz thin fresh egg noodles
  • 1 T sesame oil

Chicken and marinade

  • 1# boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into very small pieces (about 1/2″)
  • 2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry (optional)  I have read that gin makes a fine replacement for rice wine.  Go for it!
  • 1T very finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (preferably white pepper, but I used black)

Ingredients for the stir-fry

  • 2 T peanut or vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  •  about 4 c thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 1/2 of a large head)
  • 3 c sliced shiitake mushrooms with the stems removed.  I haven’t tried the ordinary already-sliced readily-available mushrooms.  It would save time – but might not be as good.  Report back if you try them.

To add at the very end

  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 T rice wine or dry sherry (optional) – or more gin
  • 2/3 c thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 tsp salt – depending upon your salt love


  1. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil.  Cook the noodles just until done (3-5 minutes is what Grace recommends).  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Return noodles to the pot and toss with the sesame oil.
  2. Put the diced chicken in a bowl and add the rice wine, ginger, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix gently.  This marinated chicken can sit for a bit – even enhancing the flavor.  I’d use it within an hour, though.
  3. Heat a wok (preferably) or large frying pan until very hot.  Add 1 T of the peanut oil and swirl, then add the marinated chicken and the pepper flakes.  Let the chicken sear for one minute and then stir-fry until the chicken is just done – less than 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and put in a good-sized bowl.  Add the cabbage and mushrooms to the pan (once it’s hot again) and stir-fry until the cabbage is wilted but not completely cooked and the mushrooms are soft.  Add the cabbage and mushrooms to the chicken.
  4. Heat up the wok again to very hot, add the last 1 T of peanut oil and add the cooked noodles.  Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then add the “add at the very end” ingredients – the soy sauce, rice wine, and green onions.  Add the chicken and vegetable mixture and the final 3/4 tsp of salt.  Stir-fry it all until everything is heated through.

And I swear it’s better warmed up the next day.  And it will freeze.


  1. Grace says:

    Ann, I cannot believe it’s been 12 years since we met! I’m so flattered my recipe is a favorite of yours and Forrest. Congrats on your blog. I’m looking forward to following it.


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