15 Long Noodles for a Long Life

January  6, 2016

In order to make sure 2016 is your best year yet, some will tell you to eat black-eyed peas or cornbread—but in China and Japan, the answer is long noodles.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Long noodles signify long life, as Naoko Moore, author of Donabe, explained:

On New Year's Eve, people eat soba noodles throughout the country of Japan. It's called Toshikoshi Soba (year-crossing soba). Thin, long-stretched soba symbolizes longevity, so we eat soba to pray for our healthy, long lives in the next year. Typically, toshikoshi soba is a simple bowl of noodles in a dashi broth, but in my home, we like to do Kamo Nabe (duck hot pot—the recipe is in Donabe). You cook duck and tofu in a broth in a donabe (a Japanese clay pot) to share at the table.

So bring good luck to this year with a healthy heap of noodles (as if that wouldn't be the plan anyways):

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Longevity, in stir fry form:

Smoked Tea Duck Noodles by aargersi

Photo by James Ransom

Vegan Pad Thai by Gena Hamshaw

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Jaengban Guksu (Korean-Style Soba Noodles with Spicy Dressing) by Rach Kim

Photo by James Ransom

Spicy Thai Basil Noodle Cake by Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)

Photo by James Ransom

Patricia Yeo's Sesame Noodles by Genius Recipes

Photo by James Ransom

Zhajiang Noodles with Eggplant by Madame Huang

Photo by James Ransom

Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale by Laura

Photo by James Ransom

And in soup form:

Chicken Tofu Laksa by Snafu06

Photo by James Ransom

Persian New Year's Noodle Soup by Gena Hamshaw

Photo by Mark Weinberg

Spicy Sesame Pork Soup with Noodles by gingerroot

Photo by James Ransom

Khao Suey (Burmese Style Curried Noodle Soup) by Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles

Photo by Alpha Smoot

Massaman-Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup by hardlikearmour

Photo by James Ransom

Sichuan Dan-Dan Noodles by Mandy @ Lady and pups

Photo by James Ransom

Bacon & Egg Ramen by Aliwaks

Photo by James Ransom

Burmese Noodle Bowl by nykavi

Photo by James Ransom

What do you eat for luck in the new year? Tell us in the comments.

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Samantha W. January 6, 2016
so many noodles, so little time.
Caroline L. January 6, 2016
truer words
HalfPint January 7, 2016
Amen Sister!
AntoniaJames January 7, 2016
I second that, HalfPint, especially since discovering the XO Sauce recipe you so generously shared a few months ago!

I'm a bit baffled why Food52 has never featured XO sauce. That + noodles = lick smacking, loudly slurping lusciousness in a bowl. ;o)
Ali S. January 7, 2016
Once we realized we hadn't, we couldn't believe it either! Look out for a feature in the near future...