Mushroom longevity noodles, also known as braised efu noodles or yi mein (伊面), are a common dish eaten during Chinese holidays or special occasions to symbolize longevity. I grew up eating these as one of the last items served at Chinese banquet dinners. Even though I was usually full by the time it came out, I always made sure to have at least two bowls because they were my absolute favorite!
Efu noodles, or yi mein, are made from wheat flour and egg and have a specific spongey, chewy texture that comes from using sodium bicarbonate. They're sometimes packaged as "flour stick" noodles. They can be found in the section of the grocery store that sells dried packaged noodles, and look something like this:
I recommend trying to find it at your local Asian grocery store, but if that's not easily accessible, here's a link on Amazon to purchase these noodles. Note that they're much pricier online!
Check out these other noodle dishes:
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Mushroom Longevity Noodles (Yi Mein)
- 8 oz efu noodles (aka yi mein, sometimes labeled as "flour stick noodles")
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms or your choice of mushrooms
- 2-3 stalks scallions
- 1.5 oz yellow chives or sub garlic chives or more scallions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Prepare the ingredients
- Give the dried shiitake mushrooms a quick rinse. In a bowl, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in at least 1 cup of hot water. Cover to let rehydrate.8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- In a large heatproof bowl, add the efu noodles. Pour boiling water over the noodles and let soak for 45-60 seconds, or until slightly softened. Alternatively, you can do this over the stove in a pot. Drain, then rinse in cold water to prevent it from becoming too soft. Drain again, then set aside.8 oz efu noodles
- Slice the scallions into 3 inch batons, separating the green and white parts. For the thicker white parts, slice in half vertically.2-3 stalks scallions
- Slice the yellow chives into 3 inch lengths. Mince the garlic.1.5 oz yellow chives, 3 cloves garlic
- Once the mushrooms have rehydrated, squeeze out all the water from them into the bowl. Remove the tough stems, then slice the mushrooms. Save the mushroom water for the sauce in the next step.
Prepare the sauce
- Pour the mushroom water into a liquid measuring cup, and add more water if needed to reach 1 cup. Prepare the sauce by mixing together all the sauce ingredients. Mix well, then set aside.1 cup reserved mushroom water, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
Make the noodles
- Heat up a pan on medium-high heat, then add the neutral oil.1 tablespoon neutral oil
- Add the white parts of the scallions and minced garlic. Stir fry for 1-2 mins or until fragrant.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, and stir fry for another minute.
- Add the prepared sauce into the pan. Bring it up to a boil.
- Add the noodles into the pan. Using tongs is easiest here — give the noodles a “shimmy” in the sauce, and mix them well to incorporate the sauce evenly. Gradually, the noodles will soak up the sauce.
- Once all the sauce has been soaked up, add the yellow chives, scallion (greens), and sesame oil. Give it one last good mix and toss, then it’s ready! It's best enjoyed immediately.1 teaspoon sesame oil