Long Life Noodle Soup

February  5, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4 or more
Author Notes

The story goes, if you eat really long noodles, you'll live a really long time. Great Grandma Tsao must've eaten a ton of these. She passed away recently, at 103 years old. Her birthday always fell around Chinese New Year, and every year, we'd gather together for an elaborate banquet in Flushing, Queens, and it would always include a noodle dish.

Noodle soup is perfect comfort food. Also, it's just plain fun to slurp away at a big bowl of long noodles. I've been making this broth, adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home, for several years. Noodles adapted from Spicy Cumin Lamb Noodles from Biang! Restaurant, found here:

And here is the accompanying video, which I highly recommend you watch to see how the noodles are made.

Have a go! They are really fun to make. —mrslarkin

What You'll Need
  • for the chicken broth
  • 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in half
  • 1 large celery rib, with leaves, cut in half
  • 2 parsnips, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2" knob of fresh ginger, sliced into 3 coins
  • 12 cups water
  • scallion, cut into strips, for garnish
  • cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Rooster chili garlic sauce, if desired
  • soy sauce, if desired
  • For the Long Life Noodles (or substitute any store-bought long noodle of your choice, e.g. ramen, cellophane, egg)
  • 400 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 215 grams cold water (just under a cupful)
  • vegetable oil, for brushing on dough
  1. for the chicken broth
  2. Place all ingredients, except garnishes, chili sauce and soy sauce, in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 2 to 3 hours with the lid askew.
  3. Let cool slightly. Remove large pieces of chicken, carrot and celery, and reserve for the noodle soup. Shred chicken, and cut veggies into small pieces.
  4. Strain broth through a colander or fine-mesh strainer. Repeat two, or more, times, if you want very clear broth. I use the gold cone Krups coffee filter, which I never use for coffee. It works great as a strainer.
  5. Pour strained broth into a clean pot. Keep hot over low heat.
  1. For the Long Life Noodles (or substitute any store-bought long noodle of your choice, e.g. ramen, cellophane, egg)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the water. With a fork, gently stir in the flour until a dough forms. You may need a smidge more water. Knead until smooth.
  3. Cover dough and let rest for about 10 minutes or so.
  4. Shape dough into a long rectangular strip 24" x 4" x 3/8". Cut into 2" x 4" rectangular pieces. Brush pieces lightly with vegetable oil. Using a pastry scraper or bench knife or spatula, transfer the pieces to a tray, flipped over so you can brush the other sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to cook the noodles.
  5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  6. Place one piece of dough in front of you, ideally on a stainless steel counter, and press it out a bit. Pick it up and slightly stretch it -- grab the left side with your left hand and right side with your right hand, and start slapping it up and down onto your counter. It will lengthen and get really long. Once it's super long, like arms length long, find the middle and rip the noodle in half right down the middle to make a really REALLY long noodle. View the video I mention in the headnote for better understanding - i realize it sounds complicated, but once you see it, you'll be like "oh, that's easy." Set noodle aside on a very lightly floured cookie sheet. Cover noodles loosely with a kitchen towel. Try not to bunch them up. Continue with the rest of the dough.
  7. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Get your bowls ready. It's best to prepare one bowl at a time so that each person gets a piping-hot bowl of soup. Ladle some hot broth into the bowl. Using a strainer and/or long tongs, scoop up some noodles and place in soup bowl. Add chicken, veggies, a dollop of chili sauce, and garnishes.
  9. Happy New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cái!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Horto
  • Windischgirl
  • lapadia
  • boulangere
  • mrslarkin

6 Reviews

Horto January 28, 2014
do you really want to eat chicken/veggies that have been cooking for 3 hours?????
mrslarkin January 28, 2014
yes, I really do.
Windischgirl October 6, 2013
Thanks for posting the noodle ingredients in weight measure. Much more precise and guarantees a consistent result! Plus it gives me the opportunity to play with my kitchen's one of my favorite toys.
lapadia September 21, 2013
Hi mrslarkin! This is a beautiful looking soup, and I am sure tasty much fun with the long noodle:)
boulangere February 5, 2013
There is nothing like making fresh noodles, especially these which aren't overly fussy. Cheers to a long life!
mrslarkin February 5, 2013
Agreed. Cheers, b!