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5 from 12 votes

Chongqing Noodles (Xiao Mian, 重庆小面)

Fiercely spicy, mouth-numbing and super aromatic, Chongqing noodles are one of the most popular street foods of China.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Noodles
Servings: 2 bowls
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Wei Guo


For the meat topping

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 100 g minced pork/beef 3.5oz
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced Ya Cai or Zha Cai (see note 1)
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 teaspoon sweet bean sauce aka Tian Mian Jiang (see note 2)

Noodles & vegetable

  • 200 g dried wheat-flour noodles 7oz (see note 3)
  • 1 handful leafy green eg. bok choy, water spinach, choy sum, etc.

For the broth

For the garnish

  • 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts/cashews crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion


Cook the meat topping

  • Heat up oil in the wok over high heat. Stir in minced meat and ginger.
  • Loosen the meat with a spatula. When it turns pale, add Ya Cai/Zha Cai (see note 1), dried chilli flakes & Shaoxing rice wine.
  • Add sweet bean sauce once the meat becomes dry. Fry for 30 seconds or so to evenly coat the meat. Dish out and leave aside for later use.

Boil the noodles & vegetable

  • Bring a pot of water to a full boil. Cook the noodles following the instructions on the package.
  • Add the vegetable for a quick blanch then drain everything.

Prepare the broth

  • While waiting for the noodles, heat up the chicken stock with chickpeas.
  • Mix all the other ingredients for the soup then pour an equal portion into the serving bowls.

Assemble the dish

  • Place the noodles and the vegetable in each bowl.
  • Add the stock. Top with chickpeas and the cooked minced meat.
  • Sprinkle roasted peanuts & scallion.


1. Ya Cai (芽菜, preserved mustard greens) and Zhai Cai (榨菜, preserved mustard stem) are interchangeable for this recipe. They usually come in small-sized plastic package and are available in Chinese/Asian shops.
2. Sweet bean sauce can be replaced by soybean paste (Huáng Dòu jiàng, 黄豆酱) or Pixian spicy bean paste (Pí Xiàn Dòu Bàn, 郫县豆瓣).
3. If available, use fresh noodles (300g/10.5oz for 2 bowls) for an even better taste. Gluten-free rice noodles work fine too.
4. Depending on the saltiness of your stock, you may add a little salt to taste.
5. Chongqing locals use yellow peas instead of chickpeas. The latter is more easily available outside China and provides a very similar effect. If you do have dried yellow peas, soak them overnight then cook in stock until mushy on the surface.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 490kcal