Desi Chinese

Lunar or Chinese New Year is the perfect excuse for us to indulge in our beloved Desi Chinese cuisine, also known as Chindian or Hakka cuisine, which combines Chinese dishes with Indian flavors! It never fails to excite my family on a weeknight. Whether it’s Chicken Manchurian, Chili Paneer, Fried Rice or these oodles of Indian Chinese Hakka Noodles with Shrimp & Veggies – whatever Indo-Chinese dish I put in front of them on the dinner table, my family devours it all. Now, that’s something, right?!

Indian Chinese Hakka Noodles with Shrimp & Veggies

Noodles, a Pantry Staple 

My go-to side dish to prepare alongside the chicken or paneer main dishes is Schezwan Fried Rice. However, every once in a while, especially when I’m short on time for getting dinner on the table, I like to switch it up with noodles. I usually keep a packet of noodles in my pantry, as they make weeknight cooking a breeze. These dry, thin, vegetarian or egg noodles cook in no time (just need 5 minutes of soaking in boiling water!) and are ready to go. You can find various options such as veg or egg hakka noodles and many other Indian-branded Desi Chinese food products in Indian grocery stores or online on Amazon. They are the perfect base for one of my favorite Indian Chinese dishes, the Hakka Noodles! 

Indian Chinese Hakka Noodles with Shrimp & Veggies

Spiced Up Chow Mein

Hakka Noodles is a humble stir-fry of noodles with vegetables in a spicy sauce that originated in the streets of Kolkata. They are very popular on the menus of Indian-Chinese street-side joints and restaurants worldwide. Think of it as the Desi (Indian) spiced-up version of Chinese Chow Mein. The term ‘Hakka’ is used to refer to Indian Chinese, hence the name ‘Hakka Noodles’ literally means Indian-flavored Chinese noodles. Hakka noodles are mildly spicy, not as spicy as Schezwan Noodles, which are made with the fiery red chili-garlic Schezwan Chutney as the key ingredient.

Indian Chinese Hakka Noodles with Shrimp & Veggies

Indian Chinese Hakka Noodles with Shrimp & Veggies

My recipe for this lip-smackingly delicious noodle stir-fry is super easy and comes together in less than 30 minutes! I love to add a variety of veggies into the mix, simply using whatever I have in the refrigerator such as haricot verts, mini colorful peppers, baby corn, broccoli, carrots, and more. If I have mushrooms and cabbage, they go in as well. For protein, I use chicken if it’s on hand, or I can always pull out the bag of frozen shrimp I keep in my freezer for weeknight cooking. The sauce requires basic ingredients like soy sauce and a mild chili paste for a hint of spiciness. All in all, these noodles make for a hearty and wholesome meal that comes together quickly with basic pantry and refrigerator ingredients, making it a huge weeknight win for everyone! I have outlined step-by-step details below that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

Indian Chinese Hakka Noodles with Shrimp & Veggies
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Indian Chinese Hakka Noodles with Shrimp & Veggies


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: Serves 2-3 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Noodles

  • 7 oz (200 g) thin noodles (flour or egg) (see Notes and Variations)
  • 4 cups (960 ml) boiling hot water
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • For the Shrimp
  • 20 to 25 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails kept or removed as desired (skip for vegetarian option or substitute shrimp with equal amounts of your choice of meat, like thinly sliced strips of chicken, pork or beef)
  • salt, to taste
  • fine ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce or chili paste
  • For the Stir Fry
  • 4 tbsp neutral cooking oil, divided
  • 23 large garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • Vegetables of choice like:
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced or cut into 2x0.25-inch strips
  • 34 mini peppers, cut into 2-inch thin strips
  • 1012 haricot verts or green beans, cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 810 baby corn, fresh or canned, cut into 2-inch long pieces
  • 810 broccoli florets
  • salt, to taste
  • fine ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 56 sprigs of cilantro, chopped, for garnishing
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnishing

Instructions

  • Marinate the shrimp (or any other protein that you are using like chicken strips) by tossing in the chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek along with salt and pepper. Make sure all pieces are evenly coated with the sambal paste and let them sit on the counter until ready to use.
  • Soak the noodles in boiling hot water for 5 minutes. Transfer to a strainer and drain off the excess water. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil and toss with the help of tongs so that the noodles separate and don’t stick to each other.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok or a deep sauté pan over medium high heat. Stir fry the marinated shrimp in the oil. Be careful and step away as the moisture in the paste and from the shrimp will splatter as soon as you transfer in the hot oil.
  • Cook the shrimp for 1 minute on each side and transfer to a platter. If using chicken or other meat, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until it turns opaque.
  • Add the remaining oil to the wok or pan and stir in the minced garlic and ginger. Sauté for a minute and then add in the vegetables. Season with salt, fine ground black pepper and soy sauce. Remember, the soy sauce is salty, so add the amount of salt accordingly.  
  • Sauté the vegetables for 4-5 minutes till they are soft but still have a slight crunch to them.
  • Toss in the prepared noodles and the cooked shrimp.
  • Toss to combine everything well and garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced green onions.
  • Serve hot.

Keywords: Weeknight Cooking, Quick & Easy, Indian Chinese, Healthy Recipes

Step-by-Step Details

Step: 1

Soak the noodles in boiling hot water for 5 minutes. Transfer to a strainer and drain off the excess water. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil and toss with the help of tongs so that the noodles separate and don't stick to each other. Marinate the shrimp (or any other protein that you are using like chicken strips) by tossing in the chili garlic sauce or chili paste along with salt and pepper. Make sure all pieces are evenly coated with the sambal paste and let them sit on the counter until ready to use.

Step: 2

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok or a deep sauté pan over medium high heat. Stir fry the marinated shrimp in the oil. Be careful and step away as the moisture in the paste and from the shrimp will splatter as soon as you transfer in the hot oil.

Step: 3

Cook the shrimp for 1 minute on each side and transfer to a platter. If using chicken or other meat, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until it turns opaque. Add the remaining oil to the wok or pan and stir in the minced garlic and ginger. Sauté for a minute and then add in the vegetables. Season with salt, fine ground black pepper and soy sauce. Remember, the soy sauce is salty, so add the amount of salt accordingly.

Step: 4

Sauté the vegetables for 4-5 minutes till they are soft but still have a slight crunch to them. Toss in the prepared noodles and the cooked shrimp.

Step: 5

Toss to combine everything well and garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced green onions. Serve hot.

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Where to find Hakka Noodles?

You can find flour veg or egg hakka noodles in Indian grocery stores or online on Amazon. You can also use chow mein noodles that you can find in the Asian grocery stores.

Recipe Variations

Use buckwheat soba noodles to make this recipe gluten free.

You can skip the shrimp or substitute it with your choice of protein, such as cubed tofu (vegan) or paneer (vegetarian), thinly sliced chicken, lamb, pork, or beef.

Try using spaghetti in place of the thin noodles and put an Indian-Chinese twist on Italian pasta.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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