Category: mushrooms

Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

A big bowl of noodles is always a welcome sight. And Singapore Noodles are loaded with protein and veggies, plus it’s on the table fast. This next level stir fry dish hails from Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong, so no one is exactly sure why read more

Shanghai Bok Choy

Shanghai Bok Choy

As Lunar New Year continues, we are celebrating with a new spin on a classic dish. This Shanghai Bok Choy dish is an oldie but a goodie. Tender baby bok choy is cooked with earthy shiitake mushrooms in an umami packed sauce. The final dish is read more

Longevity Noodles

Longevity Noodles

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Lunar New Year, one of the most important holidays in China, starts today. But don’t worry, celebrations typically last for weeks. So you have plenty of time to throw your own Lunar New Year dinner party. And no such menu would be complete without Longevity Noodles. Long strands of noodles symbolize a long life, and are served at birthday celebrations as well. There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but this is a special occasion dish. What’s a few extra steps in the pursuit of a long, healthy life? And once you dig into these Longevity Noodles, with their tangy sauce and plump shrimp, savory pork, meaty mushrooms, and crunchy toppings, you’ll know it was worth it.

Longevity Noodles Sauce

I start this recipe by whipping up a very quick, but deeply flavorful sauce. Pantry staples like oyster sauce, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine gets stirred together with some chicken stock and set aside.

Then I move on to prepping the vegetables. Get everything ready so you can move to the stove and set up an assembly line of cooking.

onions longevity noodles

Longevity Noodles Toppings

The toppings are what really set this noodle dish apart. Fried shallots and peanuts and ribbons of egg crepe add tons of flavor and texture. Because this dish has a lot of moving parts, there are some shortcuts I can recommend if you just don’t have the time or energy to go full out.

1. The egg crepe can be substituted with simple boiled eggs. I think soft fried eggs might be nice too, although casual and a little messy.

2. You can buy fried shallots in the Asian market. They come in a tub and you’ll get way more than you need so use the rest to top fried rice, noodles soups, or salads.

3. You can buy roasted peanuts instead of frying your own.

That said, I think you’ll be surprised by how much more flavorful homemade toppings can be. I don’t even really like peanuts, but straight from frying them in the pan, they were pretty great. If you find it’s too much prep work for one day, you can do things in stages. Cut up all of the veggies and start prepping some of the toppings the day before so you can focus on finishing the dish on the second day.


swirl longevity noodles

Once cool enough to handle, I cut the stack in half and slice them into ribbons.

It’s important to keep an eye on the shallots. Start them on higher heat and then when they start to get a light golden brown, you can turn the heat down and continue frying until they are evenly fried and a nice bronze color.

Likewise, you want to watch the peanuts carefully. When they have a hint of color and you think you want to leave them for a couple more minutes-Don’t! Take them out. The peanuts are so hot they will count to brown off heat so don’t leave them in the oil too long.

The Pork

Now that the toppings are done it’s time to make the pork sauce. First I put on a big pot of water because by the time it’s boiling, the pork will be done and it will be time to cook the noodles and shrimp and assemble our Longevity Noodles.

The Shrimp and Noodles

Now we are in the home stretch. At this point your water should be boiling, and we’ll turn off the heat and quickly cook the shrimp in it. This is the perfect way to cook plump and juicy shrimp-indirect heat. Shrimp is so delicate and cooks so quickly, it’s not necessary to hit it with a ton of heat. Gentle cooking is the best way.

Then scoop them out and set aside, and bring the water back to a boil. I know there are an endless variety of noodles in an Asian market. We want long, thin wheat ones for Longevity Noodles. Often you’ll find them just for the occasion, in lucky red boxes. However, I included somen as an option, which is a thin Japanese noodle. It’s similar to the long life noodles and will work if you cannot find the other ones.

Because they are so thin, they cook in under a minute! As soon as the noodles float to the surface, they are ready. After draining them, I give them a quick rinse to remove excess starch. Then I add the toasted sesame oil, coating each strand. This gives extra flavor but also keeps the strands from clumping up.

Now it’s time to assemble! Pour the pork sauce over the noodles, and garnish with all the delicious toppings!

Longevity Noodles are so special and festive, try them for your next celebration! Long life is as good a reason as any to indulge in a big platter of noodles, right? Let me know what you think of them by rating and commenting on the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!



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recipe card longevity noodles

Longevity Noodles

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese




  • 4 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons shaoxing wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock


  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 3 large shallots
  • 5 Tablespoons raw peanuts (with the skins)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 scallions, minced

Noodle Dish:

  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ large yellow onion
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
  • 8 pieces of large shrimp (I used 21/25 size)
  • 300 grams ultra thin wheat noodles (about 10 ounces)
  • ½ Tablespoon sesame oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste



Make the sauce:

  1. Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and chicken stock in a small bowl.
  2. Stir to combine and set aside.

Prep the vegetables:

  1. Cut the stems off of the shiitakes and discard. Slice the mushrooms and set aside.
  2. Slice the onions thin and set aside.
  3. Trim, peel, and slice the shallots paper thin. 

Prep the Toppings:



  1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk to scramble them. Set aside.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat for a couple minutes. Take a paper towel and crumple it. Dip it into the neutral oil and wipe the inside of the pan with the oil.
  3. Add 2 Tablespoons of the egg to the pan and swirl it to cover the bottom of the pan. Keep swirling until you don’t have any more liquid egg to swirl. 
  4. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the egg for 20 seconds and then take the lid off.
  5. Blow onto the egg. (The edge will lift up). Flip the egg with chopsticks or a spatula and cook the other side for another couple of seconds. 
  6. Transfer the egg crepe to a plate.
  7. Continue cooking in the same way until all of the egg is used up and you have a pile of egg crepes. Set the plate aside to cool.


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat for several minutes with the oil in the pan. 
  2. Test the oil with a piece of shallot. If it sizzles, add the rest of the shallots. If not, heat the oil for another minute or two before adding the shallots.
  3. Use a pair of tongs or chopsticks to separate the shallots into individual rings. Cook the shallots for 3-4 minutes until starting to get golden. Then, turn the heat to medium and continue cooking until a deep golden brown, another minute or two. 
  4. (If the shallots start to turn dark too soon, turn the heat down or take the pan off of the heat for the rest of the cooking time).
  5. Transfer the shallots onto some paper towels with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil in the pan.


  1. Add the peanuts to the shallot oil and heat the pan over medium low heat for about 5 minutes until the nuts are golden in color.
  2. Transfer the peanuts with a slotted spoon onto some paper towels and set aside.
  3. Reserve the oil.


  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a pot over high heat. Then put a lid on the pot and lower the heat to medium.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for several minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of the reserved peanut oil and add the ground pork. Let the pork cook for 2 minutes untouched before using a spatula to break up the meat. Continue cooking for a minute.
  3. Add the shiitake mushrooms and stir to combine. 
  4. Next, add the onions and the garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the pork is fully cooked.
  5. Add the sauce and cook for another 3-4 mins. until the sauce has reduced a little and the onions are tender.
  6. Add the cornstarch and stir quickly to incorporate.
  7. Cook the sauce for another minute to thicken.
  8. Set aside the pan while you boil the noodles.


Shrimp and Noodles:

  1. Take the lid off of your pot and make sure that your pot of water is boiling. Add the shrimp, turn off the heat, and let the shrimp sit in the water for 2 minutes to cook. Scoop the shrimp out and set aside.
  2. Return the water to a boil and add the noodles and cook them for approximately 40 seconds to 1 minute. As soon as the noodles float to the surface, they are cooked. If you’re not sure, take a quick taste.
  3. Drain the noodles in a colander in the sink, rinse with running water to remove excess noodle starch, and then shake the colander to make sure you have eliminated as much water as possible. 
  4. Add the sesame oil to the noodles and mix well to coat the strands. Transfer the noodles to a large serving platter and spread them out a little.
  5. Pour the meat sauce over the noodles. Garnish the noodles with the egg crepe, peanuts, fried shallots and scallions. Put the shrimp around the noodles or group them on one area of the dish.
  6. Serve Longevity Noodles immediately.


*This dish has many steps but it’s a celebration dish which requires a little more time and care. If you would like to cut down on some of the steps, here are some suggestions:

  1. You can substitute the egg crepe with simple soft boiled eggs. Simmer the eggs on medium heat for 8 minutes. Cool under running water and then peel and cut the eggs in half.
  2. Buy toasted peanuts and skip cooking them yourself. 
  3. You can also buy ready to use fried shallots at an asian market. They come in a container and can be used as a topping for other noodle dishes, fried rices, etc.

*The remaining oil can be used for any of your cooking needs.

Keywords: lunar new year, good luck, long life, noodles,

Shabu Shabu

Shabu Shabu

Shabu Shabu, one of Japan’s many takes on the hotpot, is a super fun and interactive meal to enjoy with family and friends. A glorious array of meats and veggies are beautifully arranged on platters, with some speedy sauces, while a simple broth simmers at read more

Black Bean Tofu

Black Bean Tofu

Tofu may be one of the most unfairly maligned foods in the world. But it’s such an economical and nutritional powerhouse! It’s packed with protein and calcium, it’s low carb (if that’s your thing), and it just needs a little love to really make it read more



Chikuzen is Japanese comfort food: a warming braised chicken, loaded with veggies, that tastes like it simmered all day. It has a wintery feel thanks to the root vegetables and is traditionally served on New Year’s Day. But Chikuzen is equally good all year round. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day and it tastes better the longer it sits. This is such a hearty and healthy meal, I think you’re going to love it as much as my family does.

I need to confess. I never order the chikuzen we have at our Japanese gastropub. Like all Japanese food, its stylized beauty is eye catching: the lotus root shaped like chrysanthemum flowers, the konnyaku ribbons, the carved carrots, etc. But my mom and I agree that restaurant Chikuzen is more about symbolism and tradition than about taste. It tastes fine, but it’s not something you crave. This Chikuzen is the one we always had at home. It’s savory and delicious…something you want to eat again and again. Granted, it’s not the prettiest looking Chikuzen, but don’t let its humble looks fool you. This dish packs a ton of deliciousness and home cooked flavor. What are you waiting for? Let’s get to it.

chikuzen ingredients

Let’s Get Started

Chikuzen is famed for its deeply flavorful braising liquid. But instead of using a stock from bones that simmers for hours, we achieve that all day flavor much faster by using some Japanese staple ingredients. Dried shiitake mushrooms, kombu, dashi powder, mirin, and soy sauce combine to create an umami rich braising liquid without spending hours at the stove. I start by reconstituting the shiitakes and kombu in a bowl of warm water.

mushrooms kombu chikuzen

I let this sit for 20-30 minutes with a small bowl or plate to keep the items submerged. Meanwhile, I use that time to prep the rest of the Chikuzen ingredients.

Prepping the Ingredients

You could always fry your own tofu for this dish, which would earn you brownie points from me and your family. If you have some time, that would be my preference. But sometimes, you just want to get a move on in the kitchen and these packaged fried tofu outlets let you do that. You really can’t beat the convenience and time savings.

cutlet chikuzen

lotus chikuzen

burdock chikuzen

Renkon and Gobo

Lotus (renkon) and burdock root (gobo) may be unfamiliar to you, but they are both commonly used vegetables in Japanese cooking. Lotus root tastes a little like a crunchy potato, mild with a slight sweet taste. It’s actually the stem part of the plant and is an easy vegetable to use because of its versatility. You can blanch it and serve it cold in salads, toss it in with other stir fried veggies, sandwich a filling and fry it, or use it in stews. Lotus root is an excellent source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

Burdock root is well known for its cleansing properties and has long been used in holistic medicine. A nutritional powerhouse, burdock root is packed with antioxidants, removes toxins from blood, has been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne, and has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. Burdock root has a sweet and almost smoky, earthy flavor.

Both lotus and burdock roots have a tendency to brown, so I cover them with cold water and a little vinegar to prevent oxidization. Have the bowl of water ready before you start cutting because you will be shocked at how fast these veggies oxidize.

water chikuzen

carrot chikuzen

snow peas chikuzen

Now that all of the veggie prep is done, it’s time to move on to the chicken. I use thighs here. Their higher fat content adds a richer flavor, and they stay wonderfully moist in the braise. I cut them into rather large chunks because they fall apart a little as they cook down.

trin thighs chikuzen


Konnyaku is a jellied yam cake. It’s a traditional Japanese ingredient that’s used in many stews, soups, and hot pots. Made from powdered konjac root (also called Devil’s Tongue Yam), konnyaku has a firm, chewy, gelatin like texture. Additionally, it’s a no calorie food that’s high in a fiber called glucomannan, which helps with weight loss. Like tofu, it doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, but soaks up the flavors it is cooked in. Konnyaku has frequently been used as a meat alternative in traditional vegetarian cooking, or to add another interesting texture and flavor to a dish with meat like I do here.

Konnyaku needs some help absorbing flavor, which is why it’s often scored, cut, or in this case hand torn, to help the flavors penetrate. I like to get a head start on cramming in some flavor by cooking it in the sauce before adding it to the chikuzen braise.

sauce chikuzen

stir fry chikuzen

veggies chikuzen

simmer chikuzen

Cook Off Any Excess Liquid

At this point, I take the lid off and let the Chikuzen cook for another 10-15 minutes. There should only be a couple tablespoons of liquid left when you’re done cooking. Most of the flavorful liquid will have been absorbed into the other ingredients, so each bite is a flavor bomb. Stir in the snow peas and then this rustic beauty is ready to serve!

final chikuzen

Chikuzen is a beloved traditional recipe in Japan, and I think your family will love this version. Please take a moment to rate the recipe below, and leave a comment. We love hearing from you! And remember to tag us in your pics @funkasiankitchen.

chikuzen beauty

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chikuzen recipe card


  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 8 small dried shiitake mushrooms (about 1 oz)
  • 1 cup warm water (for rehydrating dried shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1 ½ lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 lotus root (renkon) (about 6 oz)
  • 1 burdock root (gobo) (about 8 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (for soaking veggies to prevent oxidation)
  • 1 block fried tofu cutlet (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 piece of kombu (dried kelp) about the size of your hand cut into 68 one inch square pieces
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 block konnyaku (also called konjac) (4.5 oz)
  • 12 snap peas (a handful about 1 ¼  oz )
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 


  • 1 ½ teaspoons dashi powder 
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Place the dried shiitake mushrooms and kombu pieces in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup warm water. Put a small plate over the veggies to keep them submerged. Soak for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. 
  2. Take the kombu and the mushrooms out of the soaking water. Reserve the soaking liquid and pour it through a fine mesh to remove any solid particles. Set aside.
  3. Cut the hard stems off of the inside of the mushrooms and then put it into a large bowl with the kombu.
  4. Cut the tofu into thirds lengthwise and then into 6 slices crosswise to yield 18 small pieces. Add it to the bowl with the mushrooms and kombu.
  5. Pour 2 cups of water into a separate bowl and add the teaspoon of rice vinegar. Stir to combine.
  6. Peel the outside of the lotus root and then cut in half lengthwise. Cut the lotus into ½” thick semi circle pieces. Place the lotus into the bowl of vinegar water to keep it from oxidizing.
  7. Using the back of a knife, scrape along the outside of the burdock root. Cut the burdock root on an angle in ½ inch pieces. Add it to the bowl of lotus root. (Drain the vegetables later when you are ready to add it to the cooking pot.)
  8. Peel the carrot and cut a ½ inch piece on the diagonal. Roll it ¼ of the way and cut it on an angle again. Keep rolling and cutting to yield small multi-faceted pieces. Add it to the tofu/veggie bowl.
  9. Trim the excess fat off of the chicken and then cut the chicken into thick slices and then across the chicken to yield large 1 ½ inch pieces. Set aside.
  10. Pull the string off along the edge of the snow pea pods. Discard the tough strings and set the snow peas aside.
  11.  Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add the snow peas and cook for 1 minute. Drain the peas in a colander and cool under running water. Cut the snow peas in half on the diagonal and set aside.
  12. Rinse the konnyaku under running water and then use your fingers to pinch the konnyaku into small ½ inch chunks. Place the konnyaku into the same pot that you used to boil the snow peas (no need to wash/rinse the pot).
  13. Add the mirin, soy sauce, dashi powder, and salt to the konnyaku and stir to combine. Bring the pot of konnyaku to a simmer over high heat. Lower the heat to medium, cover with a lid, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  14. While the konnyaku is simmering you can start cooking the Chikuzen. If your konnayku is done before you’re ready to add it to the Chikuzen, turn the heat off and set the pot aside. 
  15. Heat a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the neutral oil and swirl the pot to spread the oil. Add the chicken to the pan in one layer.
  16. Leave the chicken untouched for 1-2 minutes and then stir fry it, moving the chicken around, for another minute. Add the mushrooms, kombu, tofu, carrots, and the drained burdock and lotus root. Stir to combine and continue stir-frying for another 1-2 minutes, moving the ingredients around constantly. 
  17. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and the konnyaku with the sauce. Stir to combine. 
  18. Let the mixture come up to a simmer, stir again, lower the heat to medium, and cover with a lid.
  19. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the lid off. 
  20. Continue cooking without the lid, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Taste and adjust seasoning with a little salt if needed.
  21. Add the toasted sesame oil and the snow peas and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Keywords: dashi, chicken, stew, japanese food, lotus root, burdock, healthy asian food