Cast Iron

Spicy Thai Basil Noodle Cake

February 16, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 6 to 8 slices
Author Notes

This noodle cake is a great way to use up leftover noodles, and you can make it as spicy as you want. Adapted from Jean-Georges Vongrichten's Pan-Fried Noodle Cake. —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Sippity Sup (Greg Henry) is a world traveler who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.
WHAT: A crispy way to enjoy noodles—as finger food.
HOW: Pan-fry noodles flavored with Thai basil, chives, chili paste, and ginger to form a cake. Cut it into slices as you would scallion pancakes, then dip each one into a spiced sauce of rice vinegar, soy sauce, granulated sugar, and ginger.
WHY WE LOVE IT: "This cake takes your everyday standard noodles to a whole new level and adds a slight crunch to your munch. Although this recipe has Asian influence, it can also be paired with other ethnic cuisines such as Italian and Greek." — Chef Helen Roberts —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the dipping sauce:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • For the noodle cake:
  • 3 tablespoons loosely packed, minced fresh Thai basil (or other type of basil)
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed, minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek, or to taste
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch each kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 9 ounces fresh or dried, uncooked lo mein or ramen noodles or leftover noodles (or other egg noodle such as Buitoni angel hair)
  1. For the dipping sauce:
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Set aside.
  1. For the noodle cake:
  2. Whisk the basil, chives, sambal oelek, egg, 1 tablespoon canola oil, ginger, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in the noodles and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes for fresh noodles or 6 to 8 for dried. Be careful not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer to the bowl with the basil mixture and toss until well combined.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in a 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron, slope-sided skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, spread the noodle mixture along with any of the liquid in the bowl evenly across the skillet, pressing it down with the back of a spatula until flat and compact. Cook about 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook until the cake holds together and is well browned on the bottom, at least 3 more minutes (it’s ok to use a wide, flat spatula to peek).
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat. Center an 11-inch or large plate upside down on top of the skillet. Using oven mitts or thick kitchen towels in both hands, quickly invert both the plate and the skillet, letting the noodle cake fall onto the plate. Return the skillet to the heat, add a little more oil if needed, then slide the noodle cake back into the skillet, browned side up. Cook until nicely browned on the bottom (again, it’s ok to use a wide, flat spatula to peek). Once browned on both sides, carefully slide the noodle cake onto a cutting board, let rest at least 3 to 4 minutes, then cut into 6 or 8 wedges.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature with dipping sauce on the side.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lucy Price-Murofushi
    Lucy Price-Murofushi
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
    Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
  • NXL

5 Reviews

NXL December 23, 2021
This is so delicious and fun! I was worried the cake wouldn't keep its shape, so used iron skillet on top to really press it down. Chilled it overnight and then sliced it while cold. Served it at room temperature. A big hit on our holiday table!
Lucy P. May 12, 2015
Serendipity is alive and well! I literally just bought a Thai Basil for my abundant garden. I am going to try subbing in rice for the noodles or will use GF noodles. Thank you for creating and sharing. So glad you won the contest.
kaleandsalt May 23, 2015
Try upping the eggs with rice since there's more potential for it to fall apart - I do a panfried rice + greens pie and use 3 eggs in order to get a sliceable "cake."
LeBec F. March 7, 2015
This is terrific; great job! A technique that i have used:
once the noodles are flattened in the pan, set on top of them a heavy skillet that just fits inside the frying skillet. (If your skillet is not heavy, put some food cans or bags of flour on it to weigh it down.)When noodles are ready to flip, flip onto the bottom of the skillet that has been compacting them and then back into the frying pan!
Sippity S. March 7, 2015
Sounds like a sensible method. Thanks GREG