Category: Noodles

Beef Japchae

Beef Japchae

I don’t like to abuse the phrase “game changer”, but sometimes its use is warranted. And this Beef Japchae recipe is one of those times. Japchae is as ubiquitous in Korea as mac and cheese is in the states but it’s more versatile. Although it’s read more

Vegetarian Flat Noodles

Vegetarian Flat Noodles

I can’t believe we’ve gotten through almost the entire first month of the year and I haven’t posted a noodle recipe yet. Well that travesty ends today! These Vegetarian Flat Noodles are an absolute winner of a dish. They are on the table so fast- read more

Makanai Noodles

Makanai Noodles

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant before you may be familiar with family meal. In our restaurants, family meal is always served between lunch and dinner shifts so the whole staff can eat together. Ideally family meals are filling, quick to make so they can still crank out food for diners, and makes use of things we already have on hand (or maybe need to use up soon). Additionally, since we are a melting pot of people, it’s important to me that everyone enjoys the hot meals that we provide. We always try to impress the trifecta of a successful employee meal onto our cooks: cheap, fast, and tasty.

Enter Makanai Noodles. Makanai means in-home in Japanese and some form of these noodles or other appear weekly and are always greeted enthusiastically. (Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t LOVE noodles?) This dish is packed with protein from eggs and beef which helps fuel everyone through a busy shift. Makanai Noodles are also super versatile. Want a vegetarian version? No problem, just substitute the beef for tofu or other vegetables and use vegetable stock in place of chicken. Have some ground turkey or leftover roast chicken that needs to be used up? Awesome, that will be a delicious variation. As much as our staff loves them, these noodles are a favorite for the cook too; easy and fast to prepare so let’s get into it!

ingredients make noodles

I start making Makanai Noodles by soaking the noodles. They need to soak in cool water until they are pliable, which takes about 20 minutes. Today, I’m using a type of Japanese noodle called Malony. They are made from potato starch, which means they are gluten free. Sometimes, they are marketed as glass noodles and they have a delightful chewy, bouncy texture. You can substitute rice noodles, sweet potato noodles (like for japchae), or bean thread noodles as well.

I like to put dry noodles in zip top bags for soaking. I can never find a bowl that can fit long strands so this trick allows for even soaking without having to fuss with positioning your dry noodles.

drain noodles

While the noodles are soaking, I prep everything else, starting with whipping up a very fast and deeply flavorful sauce. It may seem like it makes a lot, but the noodles really soak it up.

soy sauce

sugar makanai noodles

Once the sauce is done, I prep the veggies. Makanai Noodles is a stir fry dish which comes together very quickly when I start to cook, so I get every thing ready and within reach.

green onions

I wipe and slice the shiitake mushrooms, mince the garlic and ginger, and whisk the eggs.

shiitake mushrooms

Then I gather everything together by the stove so that once that cooking starts, it’s super fast and seamless.

ingredients makanai noodles

Start by heating a pan until it’s good and hot and then adding the oil. Swirl the oil and pour the egg in. The egg should be cooked for only a minute because it will finish cooking with the noodles. You want soft, pillowy eggs that are not tough or rubbery because they are overcooked.


This dish yields a dry noodle so you should not have much liquid in the pan once the noodles are cooked. If you are using a different noodle than I am, you may need to cook them longer or you may find that there is still some liquid in the pan once the noodles are fully cooked. Tasting the noodle is the best way to know if it is cooked through. Taste a strand after the stated cooking time and if it has a core or tastes too firm, cook the noodles for several more minutes, adding a little extra water to the pan if needed. On the other hand, if you’re using very thin noodles, your pan may still have a good amount of liquid in the pan. Turn up the heat and stir regularly until the sauce has cooked down.

Now these delectable Makanai Noodles are ready to be served family style! Dig in and hope there’s enough for seconds.

I hope our restaurant’s family’s favorite noodles become a favorite in your house too. Let me know what you think, leave a comment on the recipe and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

And if you’re a noodle-holic like me, check out some of our other popular noodle recipes. Like Longevity Noodles (perfect for New Year’s!), Pancit, or these addictive Coconut Curry Noodles.


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recipe card makanai noodles

Makanai Noodles

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: entrees
  • Cuisine: japanese


  • 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 7 ounces dried malony noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 5 stems scallions, trimmed and cut into 1 ½ inch segments
  • ½ large onion thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 eggs 


  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Soak the noodles in a bowl of cool water for 20 minutes or until the noodles are pliant. 

Make the sauce:

  • Combine all sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Make the noodles:

  1. Drain the noodles and set aside. 
  2. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Scramble the eggs with a fork or whisk.
  3. Heat a large skillet or wok pan over medium high heat for several minutes until the pan is hot and you see some wisps of smoke. Add 2 Tablespoons of oil and add the egg, gently scrambling for a minute until the egg is half cooked. Transfer the egg to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining oil and swirl to coat the pan. Next add the ground beef and onions and let it sit untouched for a minute and then break it up with a spoon or chopsticks continuing to stir fry for another minute.
  5. Then add the minced ginger, and garlic and stir for a couple seconds.
  6. Add the shiitake mushrooms, the drained noodles, and the sauce.
  7. Stir fry for 5-7 minutes until the noodles have soaked up most of the sauce and are cooked through, but are still chewy and bouncy.
  8. Add the scallions and egg back into the noodles and cook for another minute until the scallions are wilted and the egg cooked. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer the noodles to a platter and serve immediately.


*To make this gluten free, look for gluten free versions of soy, oyster, and hoisin sauces.

*You can substitute any protein for the ground beef and any leftover meat like roast chicken is fine too.

*You can use different noodles like rice, bean thread, or sweet potato as well, adjusting the cooking time depending on the thickness of the noodle. Increase the cooking time and add a little more water if you find the pan too dry and your noodles still firm. If you use very thin noodles and have too much liquid once the noodles are cooked, raise the heat and cook off some of the residual sauce.

*If you don’t have all three sauces (hoisin, oyster, and soy), you can use just 2 but one should be soy sauce. Double up on the other sauce.

*Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the microwave or on the stove top for a several minutes on moderate heat until the noodles are hot and regain the original chewy texture.

Keywords: noodles, makanai, gluten free, eggs, beef, veggies

Chicken Pho

Chicken Pho

Pho is a labor of love. It can take hours, sometimes even a couple of days to create the famously flavorful broth. But this Chicken Pho can be on the table in under 2 hours! I have a couple tricks to coax maximum flavor with read more

Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. read more

Cold Ramen

Cold Ramen

July and August in Japan (and really almost everywhere) can be incredibly hot and humid. So instead of steaming hot bowls of noodle soups, they turn to cold noodles, including this hiyashi chuka, a vibrantly colorful cold ramen noodle bowl.

Hiyashi Chuka translates to “chilled Chinese”, probably a nod to the ramen noodles, which originated in China. But as far as I know, that’s really all that is Chinese about this dish. It’s one of those dishes that doesn’t really have a set recipe because it is endlessly customizable. And each home makes it a little differently based on taste and what is in the fridge. Eating less meat? Leave out the ham. Don’t love bean sprouts? No problem, throw in your favorite veggie. These bowls can be assembled ahead of time and kept chilled, making Cold Ramen an ideal ending to a long, hot, summer day. Don’t be put off by the lengthy list of steps; this is very simple and straight forward to prepare.

cold ramen ingredients

Cold Ramen Sauce

While there may not be hot broth for this summer noodle dish, there is a tangy and umami rich sauce. This is a highly seasoned sauce, which is important because you are topping it on unseasoned noodles and juicy veggies, which tend to leach a lot of water into the dish. You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It’s good for about a week.



Cold Ramen Toppings

The first topping I make is the egg crepes. Start by whisking the eggs. Then prepare a nonstick skillet by pouring in a little oil and then wiping it out with a paper towel. Use this oil soaked paper to season the pan each time before you pour in more egg.

cold ramen swirl


cold ramen plate

ribbon cold ramen

Once the egg crepes are done, the rest of the toppings are very quick to prepare. I blanche the bean sprouts in boiling water for 20 seconds, and then drain them.

Then I cut all the rest of the toppings into long strips. Not only does it look nice, but when you scoop the ramen noodles, all the yummy toppings will be scooped with them too.

Assemble Cold Ramen Noodle Bowls

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Usually they just need 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of the noodle. It’s important that you loosen and untangle the noodles with your hands before dropping them in the boiling water. Also, make sure you use chopsticks or tongs to continue untangling the noodles so they cook evenly as individual strands.

Once the noodles are cooked, rinse them under cold water to remove excess starch, drain them well, and divide into serving bowls. For whatever reason, ramen noodles are packaged 3 per pack which is why this recipe yields three servings. If you need another serving, buy two packages and freeze any extra noodles. You can defrost the noodles overnight in the fridge when you need them. Do not cook the noodles straight from the freezer as the noodle ball will cook as a lump and you will not be able to get the noodles to untangle.

I like to add fun garnishes like toasted sesame seeds, pickled ginger, Japanese hot mustard, and some sliced scallions.

And I serve it with sauce on the side so that everyone can decide how much they like. Plus, the dark sauce tends to dye everything once it’s poured so the dish has much better wow factor if you serve it un-sauced.

Chill out this weekend and enjoy these Cold Ramen noodles. Then take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe, and show off your bowls by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!



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recipe card

Cold Ramen

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese




  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon dashi powder (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp grated or minced ginger 
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper


  • 9 large shrimp (I used 21/25 size)
  • 2 Persian cucumbers (or English cucumber, julienned)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 8 ounce ham steak or 4 slices ham 
  • 6 pieces crabstick (½ cup real crab meat)
  • 3 eggs
  • Oil for making egg crepe
  • Salt 

Noodles and Garnish:

  • 3 servings fresh ramen noodles (6 oz or 170 g fresh noodles per person)
  • 2 scallions sliced thin
  • 1 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds 
  • 3 Tablespoons pickled red ginger (beni shoga or kizami beni shoga)
  • 3 teaspoons Japanese karashi hot mustard


Make the sauce:

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients.
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce stays fresh for a week in the fridge.

Make the egg crepe:

  1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl with a couple dashes of salt and whisk to scramble them. Set aside.
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat for several minutes. Pour a tablespoon of oil into the pan. Take a paper towel, crumple it, and then wipe the inside of the pan with the paper. (Leave the oil-soaked paper aside to wipe the pan between each batch).
  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. Wipe the pan with the oil-soaked paper and 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 until the egg is cool enough to handle. Then cut the egg crepe in half, stack the egg halves, and then slice into very thin strips.

Prepare the remaining toppings:

  1. Bring 2 ½ cups of water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the shrimp and stir to combine.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the shrimp sit in the hot water for 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and let it cool.
  5. Rinse the pot and again fill with water.
  6. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and add the beansprouts.
  7. Stir the bean sprouts and let them cook for 10-20 seconds.
  8. Drain the sprouts into a colander and cool under running water. Drain and set aside.
  9. Next we will be cutting all of the toppings into long thin strips which will mimic the shape of the noodles.
  10. Slice the cucumber into thin planks and then stack the slices and cut across lengthwise to yield long thin strips. Set aside.
  11. Next cut the ham into thin strips. Set aside.
  12. Unwrap the crab sticks and then use your hands to gently separate the strands. Set aside.

Prepare the noodles:

  1. Open the packages and use your hands to untangle and separate the noodles. Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Stir with chopsticks or a pair of tongs to separate the individual strands and to keep them from sticking together. Cook according to package directions (should be about 1-2 minutes).
  2. Drain the noodles in a strainer/colander and rinse the noodles under running water to remove excess starch and cool the noodles. Drain the noodles completely and divide the noodles into individual plates/bowls.
  3. Place all the toppings attractively on top of the noodles. Use whichever garnishes you like and top your noodles. Serve cold ramen with sauce on the side.


*you can make these cold ramen noodle bowls ahead of time. Keep the bowls covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.

Keywords: cold noodles, noodles, summer, japanese, shrimp, cucumbers, ramen