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Sour and Spicy Sweet-Potato Noodles (Suan La Fen)

The Mala Market
Author: Taylor Holliday | The Mala Market | Inspiration & Ingredients for Sichuan Cooking


For 2 servings:

  • 200 to 225 grams (about 8 ounces) medium-weight sweet potato noodles
  • 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth (or 2 quarts water mixed with 1/4 cup Totole chicken powder)
  • Chinese greens (vertically halved baby bok choy, or a few stalks young yu choy or gai lan, etc.)
  • 2 eggs

Sauce for each individual serving bowl:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons moderately hot chili oil, about half flakes (use less if your chili oil is super hot)
  • 2 tablespoons Zhenjiang or Baoning black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese light soy sauce (preferably Sichuan-made Zhongba)
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon lard (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground green Sichuan pepper
  • garnishes of choice: fried peanuts, soy nuts, cilantro, chopped zhacai pickle, chopped homemade pao cai, etc


  • Put dried sweet potato noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 15 minutes or until plump and pliable. This speeds the cooking process considerably.
  • Add sauce ingredients to each soup bowl: chili oil with flakes, vinegar, soy sauce, green Sichuan pepper oil, sesame oil, lard, sugar, salt, ground green Sichuan pepper.
  • Add broth to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add greens and boil a minute or so, until mostly done. Remove greens and hold.
  • Add noodles to the broth and boil until soft, approximately 7-10 minutes.
  • While noodles are cooking, fry eggs in a small bit of oil, breaking yolk and cooking completely.
  • When noodles are done, remove them from pot with tongs and add directly to soup bowls on top of the sauce. Remove all noodles from the broth, including any left over.
  • Arrange some of the cooked greens in the soup bowls, then add 2 ladles of the cooking broth into each bowl. Top the noodles with a fried egg and garnish with soy nuts, cilantro and Chinese pickles. Serve hot.