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Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai”
Noodles with Ham 火腿公仔面

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai” Noodles with Luncheon Meat 港式午餐肉公仔面

Because I keep a food blog, I think many may assume that I must eat well at home. The truth is that I don’t cook every day, and I eat my fair share of fast food and instant noodles. And I eat instant noodles not just for the convenience, I love the MSG flavourings and the texture of the noodles =P I am also quite fussy about how my instant noodles are done – they have to be firm and the soup is usually cooked separately because I don’t like the waxy water after cooking the noodles.

One of my fave brands of instant noodles is Nissin‘s chu qian yi ding (出前一丁). The noodles are ‘q’ (Chinese equivalent to al dente?) to the bite and the sesame oil flavouring is so aromatic. It is used by Hong Kong tea cafes (cha can ting 茶餐订) for their “Gong Zai” noodles (公仔面, gong zai mian). When I was in Hong Kong, I looked forward to waking up in the morning to enjoy this simple dish to start my day. Gong zai mian is cooked with chu qian yi ding noodles, and the soup is usually replaced with the cafe’s own soup broth (there are dry versions as well), with a variety of toppings to choose from.

Nissin chu qian yi ding instant noodles 出前一丁
Chu Qian Yi Ding noodles packaging with the cute boy mascot

I asked around and was told that “gong zai” means “doll” or “puppet” in Cantonese. So I guessed the noodles were named this way due to the cute boy mascot on the packaging?

Update from mordaciter from Hong Kong who shared via comment on the origins of the name “gong zai”. Thanks mordaciter :)

“This type of noodle is called “gong zai” noodle not because of the cute character on the bag. In fact, there’s another brand of instant noodles in HK that was more popular before Nissin arrived, and that brand is called Doll Brand (Gong Zai Meen in Canto). So that’s why people still refer to instant ramen as “gong zai” noodles, even though Nissin is much more popular than Doll Brand these days. (I’ve tasted Doll Brand before and it’s not bad as well.)

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai”
Noodles with Ham 火腿公仔面

At home, I whip up my simple version of gong zai mian by adding a sunny side up egg and some veggies, along with some ham or luncheon meat slices. Since I didn’t have the chance to travel to Hong Kong for the past few years despite missing the place so terribly, this will be a cheap way for me to reminisce about Hong Kong until I have a chance to go again, hehe

If you have other toppings ideas for gong zai mian, please share them with me in the comments section :)

(serves 1)

– 1 packet of Nissin chu qian yi ding instant noodles 出前一丁 (I use original flavour)
– your own soup broth (or use the packet seasonings) plus the sesame oil sachet
– 1 to 2 ham slices or 3 slices luncheon meat
– 1 sunny side up egg*
– some oil
– 1 small bunch of baby bok choy 小白菜 (you can substitute with other veggies such as lettuce or peas)
– chopped spring onions (garnishing)

* Directions for making sunny side up egg
Crack the egg without breaking the yolk into a small bowl. Heat up a wok and grease it with oil. To cook perfect sunny side egg, carefully pour the egg into the wok, and try to position the yolk in the middle surrounded by the egg white. After about two minutes, loosen the edges a bit, and let the egg cook for a few more minutes till the yolk is about half cooked. Carefully remove from pan and set aside.

1. Cook baby bok choy in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
2. Cook the instant noodles in boiling water. Drain and set aside. Discard water.
3. Pan fry the luncheon meat slices for a few minutes each side till crisp. If using ham slices, just heat up both sides for a while. Set aside.
4. To assemble, add your own soup broth plus the sesame oil seasoning. What I did was I added the packet seasonings on top of the noodles, pour boiling water over and stir to mix it in. Then I added the sesame oil, and assembled the meat, veggies and sunny egg on top. Garnish with some spring onions.

Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles 港式公仔面
“Gong Zai”
Noodles with Luncheon Meat 午餐肉公仔面

Psst … if you have leftover luncheon meat, try my fried rice with luncheon meat recipe.

54 comments on “Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles”

  1. oh! oh! you instant noodle lovers have to try the korean seaweed noodles (four seas seaweed instant noodles) and from hong kong, we love noodle king’s many different flavours.

    whenever we travel we always check out the local supermarket pr 7-11 equivalent for instant noodles to try. having a midnight noodle snack is the kid’s fav part of the trip. crazy huh

  2. wow such gd noodles. anyway i tried this recipe with the eggs poached in the soup w/out the noodles yet and it tasted so good cause of the eggs taking in the flavour of the soup. got this idea in hong kong when i ate the instant noodles with wonton, poached eggs and chilli added to the soupy meal. wah believe me it tasted so gd. think u should try this alternative ;)

  3. Hi Wiffy. Love your blog, your recipes, etc. I discovered you when I was looking for aglio olio recipe online and made mine with just mushrooms and it was great! Thank you. Just want to share my humble opinion on instant noodles. Samyang brand of Korean inst noodles is good, esp hot mushroom and kimchi flavours. I like this brand cos they don’t have msg, but still taste great. The noodle texture is different from Japanese ones, it’s less smooth. But the Q factor is there. Plus it’s made in Korea, not China.
    Sauteed mushrooms, any kind, is great on instant noodles.

  4. Pingback: Hong Kong Style Instant Noodles « Food Rations

  5. Hello,
    I ve a request. I am from India and a fren of mine is visiting HongKong so I request him to buy some packet noodles from there. please suggest some good brand and flavors. I usually dont like the watery broth one. Looking for more like instant fried/ non fried kind of noodles ( like Koka or Indomie Mi goreng which we get here in India but very expensice…). Any good Hongkong brand will also be helpful

  6. One of my favourite things ever, just when we thought we couldn’t get much unhealthier than instant noodles, is this dish that I had at a mom-and-pop cha chaan teng in a public housing complex in Kowloon City…

    五香肉丁炒公仔面 (Five-spice pork cubes stir-fried with instant noodles). Take a couple 出前一丁 noodles, boil them as usual, then start stir frying them, adding a can of 五香肉丁 and letting all the aromatic five-spice infused grease mix with the drying noodles. Garnish with some chopped green onions. Serve with a tall glass of ice-cold lemon Coke.

    A meal fit for a king of peasants.

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