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Spicy and Fragrant Xiaomin Noodles Recipe

If you’re a fan of noodle soup, then you’re in for a treat with the Xiaomin noodles recipe. This style of noodle comes from the Chongqing Province in China and is known for its spiciness and fragrance. It’s easy to make, and the result is incredibly delicious.


How To Make Chongqing noodles

Stewed Beef

The key to Xiaomin noodles is the chewy wheat noodle being seasoned with a whole bunch of aromatics and chili oil, plus a little bit of soupy goodness. In this recipe, we will also add some stewed beef for an extra flavor boost.

To make the stewed beef, you’ll need some chuck steak. It’s best to use Chuck because you get lovely fat marbling and a little bit of connective tissue, which adds to the flavor. Cut the chuck steak into small pieces, add some salt, and then heat up some oil in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add the beef and start browning it. The idea is to get a Maillard reaction, which is the Browning and caramelization that will serve as the flavor base for our stew. Once the beef is browned, add Chinese shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan. Next, add the aromatics, including spring onion, ginger, star anise, Chinese five-spice, dobenjang (a fermented chili and bean paste from Sichuan in China), soy sauce, and a dash of sugar. Mix all the ingredients together and then add water. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 90 minutes or until the beef is soft and tender.

Chili Oil

To make the chili oil, you’ll need some small Chinese dried red chilies. To use them for chili oil, you need to take out as many of the seeds as possible. Once you’ve done that, toast the chilies in a dry wok or pan until they become nice and toasty. Add Szechuan peppercorns and toss them around for another 20 seconds. Transfer the chilies and peppercorns into a spice grinder or blender and blend until you have a coarse powder.

Then, heat up some vegetable oil until it just starts to sizzle, and then pour it over the chilies. This chili oil will add a spicy kick to your noodles.

Preparing the Bowl

Once you’ve prepared the beef and chili oil, it’s time to prepare the bowl. First, dry roast some peanuts until they have a deep caramel color. Pound and grind the peanuts coarsely and set them aside.

For the pickled mustard greens, use Szechuan preserved vegetable if you can find them. Otherwise, you can use Thai pickled mustard green, which will give you a similar tangy and pickled tart flavor. Finely chop the pickled mustard greens and set them aside.

Now it’s time to build your noodle bowl. Add garlic, ginger, spring onion, Chinese black vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, and hot chicken stock to a bowl. Mix everything together and then add the Thin wheat noodles. Once the noodles are cooked, add the stewed beef, pickled mustard greens, peanuts, and coriander.


List of required kitchen tools or equipment:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Large pot for stewing beef
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spice grinder or small blender
  • Wok or pan for toasting chilies
  • Strainer or sieve for removing chili seeds
  • Heatproof jar for chili oil
  • Small pan for heating vegetable oil for chili oil
  • Bowls for serving

Tips or variations:

  • Instead of beef, you can use chicken, pork, or tofu as a protein source for the dish.
  • If you can’t find Szechuan preserved vegetables, you can use other types of pickled or fermented vegetables such as kimchi or sauerkraut.
  • To make the dish less spicy, reduce the amount of chili oil used or omit the Szechuan peppercorns.
  • For a vegetarian or vegan version of the dish, omit the meat and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Frequently asked questions:

Can I make the stewed beef ahead of time and store it in the fridge?

Yes, you can make the stewed beef ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat the beef in a pot over medium heat until it’s heated through before adding it to the noodle bowl.

Can I use store-bought chili oil instead of making my own?

Yes, you can use store-bought chili oil if you prefer. However, making your own chili oil allows you to adjust the heat level and flavor to your liking.

Can I use a different type of noodle?

Yes, you can use different types of noodles such as udon, soba, or rice noodles. Adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions for the specific type of noodle you’re using.

Can I freeze the leftover chili oil?

Yes, you can freeze the leftover chili oil in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw the chili oil in the fridge overnight before using it.

Final result

The Xiaomin noodles recipe is a perfect combination of spiciness and fragrance. It’s easy to make, and the stewed beef and chili oil add extra flavor to the dish. To make this recipe, you’ll need a few key ingredients, including chuck steak, Chinese dried red chilies, Szechuan peppercorns, and pickled mustard greens. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy this delicious Chinese noodle dish in the comfort of your own home.

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Xiaomin Noodles Recipe

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  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


Xiaomin Noodles is a type of noodle dish originating from Chongqing Province in China. It is made with chewy wheat noodles seasoned with chili oil, aromatics, and a little soup. The dish is also traditionally served with stewed beef, pickled mustard greens, and peanuts.



Braised beef:

700g (1 lb 8 oz) beef chuck steak, cut into roughly 4cm (1.5”) cubes

sea salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil

½ cup Chinese Shaoxing wine

4 spring onions (scallions), cut into batons

4cm (1.5”) piece ginger, julienned

2 whole star anise

½ tsp Chinese five spice

2 tbsp doubanjiang*

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

Chilli oil:

100g (3.5 oz) small dried red chillies

2 tbsp green Sichuan peppercorns

2 cups vegetable oil, plus 1 tsp extra

Bowl bases:

4cm (1.5”) piece ginger, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped spring onion (scallions)

4 tsp Chinese black vinegar*

4 tsp sesame oil

6 cups chicken stock

400g (14 oz) dried thin wheat noodles

¼ cup roasted peanuts, crushed

4 tbsp finely chopped pickled mustard greens*

finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve


  1. Cut the chuck steak into small pieces and season with salt. Heat a pan with oil and brown the beef. Deglaze the pan with Chinese shaoxing wine.
  2. Add sliced spring onions, sliced ginger, star anise, Chinese five spice, dobenjang, soy sauce, sugar, and a little water. Mix well and simmer for 90 minutes or until the beef is tender.
  3. To make the chili oil, remove as many seeds as possible from small Chinese dried red chilies. Toast the chilies in a dry wok or pan, then add Szechuan peppercorns and toss for another 20 seconds. Grind the chilies and peppercorns until coarsely powdered. Heat vegetable oil until sizzling and pour over the chilies.
  4. Dry roast the peanuts until caramelized, then coarsely grind them. Finely chop the pickled mustard greens and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix chopped garlic, julienned ginger, Chinese black vinegar, sesame oil, and chili oil. Add hot chicken stock.
  6. Cook the wheat noodles according to package instructions, then add to the bowl with the garlic and ginger mixture.
  7. Top with the stewed beef, pickled mustard greens, peanuts, and coriander.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stew, Boil, Mix
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Serving Size: 4 servings
  • Calories: 620
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 1215mg
  • Fat: 34g
  • Carbohydrates: 48g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg

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