Birthday Noodles

Birthday Noodles

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 pounds meat (ground – turkey, chicken, or pork)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons oil
  • 4 Tablespoons sherry
  • ½ cup brown bean sauce
  • 4 scallion (chopped and more for serving)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup veggie stock
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic (and more for serving)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • noodles
  • cucumber


  • Heat oil, brown meat gently, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add wine, bean sauce, scallions, sugar, garlic, ginger. Stir together, add broth.
  • Pour some over hot noodles. Serve with shredded scallions, chopped garlic, and chopped, seeded, and cored cukes.

8 thoughts on “Birthday Noodles

  1. We are making our way through the five spice recipes. This one was tricky as there is nothing I could find in Asian markets called brown bean sauce. Found a ground bean sauce (brown in color) made from fermented soybeans with sugar and used that. It may not be the original recipe but it was delish. If anyone can confirm or refute that ground bean sauce is brown bean sauce I would be grateful. There are other recipes that call for this sauce that I would also like to try. Thanks!

  2. My daughter-in-law was born in Taiwan and this year her birthday is on Thanksgiving. I’d like to make this as a surprise for her, but I don’t want it to be too surprising for the rest of us. Our family has enjoyed dishes using oyster sauce – any thoughts on how this would work with turkey meat and oyster sauce instead of bean sauce? Any suggestions welcome.

    1. First, I would encourage you to use the bean sauce instead of using the oyster sauce. Why? Because the bean sauce won’t be surprising to you at all, I bet. Take a chance! The bean sauce will add some important salty/umame depth to the dish.

      That said, substituting oyster sauce will still make for a delicious dish. It will just be more sweet than savory.

      Let us know what you did!

      1. I’ve done a lot of research on this and ended up, unexpectedly, here: why do we put sweet things on bread (eg, jelly), but there are no equivalently sweet noodle dishes?

        Other Birthday Noodle web pages show store packages of noodles that are called called birthday noodles, longevity noodles, long-life noodles, or yi mein noodles and that are extraordinarily long. However, having searched my local H-Mart’s extensive noodle shelving and finding nothing at all like this, I started wondering whether Birthday Noodles are more of an internet thing than a real-life thing. On the other hand, the recipe here doesn’t specify any particular kind of noodles, which may mean that the kind of noodle isn’t really that important.

        My granddaughter had a fever on Thanksgiving, so the entire event has been postponed. But had the event happened my plan was to be creative and invent “American fusion” Birthday Noodles using linguine noodles with warm maple syrup and a butter-toasted panko topping. Having done some taste tests, this is really good! Pasta recipes this sweet rare to non-existent and then there’s French Toast.

        The H-Mart did have bean sauce!

  3. I’m thinking for the postponed birthday party I’ll make the Five Spice Birthday Noodles for the entre and have the maple syrup over buttered noodles as the dessert. Now I just have to figure out how to stick birthday candles in noodles.

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