Easy Tomato Egg Noodles ft. Dried Knife-Cut Noodles
Published May 30, 2023, Updated Feb 10, 2024
Pan-China Comfort Food
You may be familiar with the classic Chinese tomato egg stir-fry, but have you ever tried it with noodles? This kid-friendly dish uses just a handful of fresh ingredients, making it perfect for last-minute meals.
In the olden days (that is, pre-pandemic price inflation), one could look to the fridge and invariably find at least one egg and a tomato ripe for sacrifice. With egg markups so high now, I’m far more selective about what I’ll crack an egg over. Bored quarantine baking = out. Quick, easy ways to stretch a meal = in. These tomato egg noodles have no trouble making the cut.
Besides nostalgia, one of my favorite qualities about this dish is that pretty much every Chinese person will recognize it. Mainland, immigrant, diasporic second and third generation, non-Chinese-speaking but Chinese-by-blood, under tomatoes and eggs we stand, united all.
Noodle Talk With Sun-Dried Knife-Cut Noodles
The best part about these naturally sun-dried noodles is their thick, chewy texture resembling fresh hand-pulled noodles. They come in two widths, the narrow kind featured here, and a wider one suitable for your sauciest, oiliest stir-fries. The ruffled edges are so fun to eat, and make for a great presentation as well.
Knife-cut noodles are a traditional specialty of Shanxi Province, but they’re popular throughout China, especially the Northwest. You can find them in spicy cumin beef noodles, beef noodle soups and spicy cumin lamb noodles à la Xi’an Famous Foods, for instance. However, they’re also served with no end of homestyle toppings in fast-casual fly restaurants. Reach for them whenever you have something particularly saucy and yummy to slurp!
The Mala Market sources them from a specialty noodle company in Chengdu, where “the dough undergoes a six-step process that simulates manual kneading and is naturally proofed three times to ensure a fine gluten structure.” This is not your typical supermarket dry noodle.
Each portion of noodles in these packages averages about 75 grams. This deceptively light bundle actually expands at least 3-4 times in size once cooked! See the photos below for evidence. When you add the tomato egg base, the noodle bowl becomes quite a lot of food. The perfect dry noodle portion for me, a smaller human, is closer to 50 grams for a dish like this. Then again, I’m known for preferring my rice/noodles in a 75:15:10 ratio of veggies:meat:starch. So I tend toward fewer noodles, and more of the good stuff.
Tips on Cooking the Tomato Egg Base
- Choose plum tomatoes if you can, which keep their shape better when cooking. But honestly, in season, anything freshly harvested will do. Nothing beats a perfectly ripe heirloom just waiting to explode with its sweet, sumptuous juice. When we have an abundance of cherry and grape tomatoes in the summer, we even use those. Err on the side of more tomatoes in case it cooks down too much—you can never have enough in this dish.
- When chopping tomatoes, slice them just off-center—not perfectly along the core! This prevents the jammy interior from leaking out so much while cooking. Similarly, I prefer to keep the peels on the tomatoes while cooking. It prevents the slices from deteriorating into puree quite so quickly. If the texture bothers you, you can still peel it first.
- A little cooking wine while whisking your eggs helps dispel odor. The goal is light and fluffy scrambled eggs, so if you have a tried and true technique, you can go by that. I like to push the curds away just after they set, allowing the raw egg on top to form new curds below.
If your noodle game is especially strong, try boiling the noodles just short of al dente (about a minute less than package instructions). Add them to the tomato egg mix with a splash of noodle-cooking water and let the extra starches help bind the sauce to the noodles. Just like with pasta. I find this helps the flavor soak in even better. It’s also easier to season to taste in the pan. The sauce can be as thick or soupy as you like, it’s really up to you.
For more knife-cut noodle recipes, try Taylor’s cumin beef noodles!
Easy Tomato Egg Noodles ft. Dried Knife-Cut Noodles
- 2 whole eggs
- splash Shaoxing cooking wine or any liaojiu
- ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 2 portions dried knife-cut noodles approx. 60-75g per person—these expand greatly when cooked, I take the lower end
- drizzle neutral oil, enough to coat pan
- 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, unpeeled, thickly sliced (off-center)
- dash sugar
- dash MSG
- 1 scallion green, finely sliced for garnish
- toasted sesame oil (Cuizi preferred) for garnish
- ground white pepper for garnish, optional
- chili oil for garnish, optional
- In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, splash of liaojiu and ⅛ teaspoon of the salt.In another small bowl, whisk together the ½ tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water.
- Boil a pot of water for the noodles. Let them cook according to package instructions while you make the tomato egg topping.
- Heat a nonstick pan or wok over high heat. Add a generous drizzle of neutral oil. When the oil shimmers and runs like water when tilted, pour in the egg mixture (if the oil/heat is enough, it may even puff up—this is good!) and immediately turn the heat low. Continually lift/push the sides of the egg with a nonstick spatula while tilting the pan, allowing the runny portion on top to slide onto the exposed pan and create a new layer of egg. Repeat all around, pushing the curds aside and cooking gently until the egg is 90% cooked. Turn off the heat. Use the spatula to chop it into bite-size pieces and depan into the serving bowl. The egg will finish cooking from residual heat and the final stir-fry.
- Heat a drizzle of oil. Once shimmering, add the minced garlic and bloom briefly until fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes. Let the tomatoes get hot and start simmering, then add a splash of water (approx. 1 tablespoon). Simmer for 1 minute or until soft. Add the remaining ⅛ teaspoon of salt and a generous dash of sugar and MSG. Adjust seasoning to taste and stir-fry briefly to combine.Give the cornstarch slurry a fresh mix, then add it to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute or until thickened to your liking, pushing to stir. At the last moment, add the eggs back, coating with the tomato mixture. Garnish with sliced green onion and toasted sesame oil and depan on to two bowls of portioned noodles. (You can also add the noodles directly from the pot into the pan, so the starchy noodle water helps bind the sauce.) Serve with additional ground white pepper and traditional Sichuan chili oil, as desired.
Tried this recipe?