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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. Man that looks good… My personal favorite is Sapporo Ichiban and like you, I have to have it almost firm. I can tell by the look of the noodle when it’s still thin, but just about see-through. If it’s overcooked I can’t STAND it.

    • Hi, I have not tried Sapporo Ichiban before but it sounds delish and I hope to try it soon. You have a really nice blog, thanks for visiting me and I’m glad to discover your site :)

  2. Once in a while I like instant noodles…my favorite one is the one that has soy bean paste, I cannot remember the name, but sure can identify it at the store. Like you I al ways add veggies and egg :-) Yours look very inviting…

  3. hehehe wah! chut chin yat ding! it’s super popular in hk, you normally have to add HK$2 to get this (or they use”fook” noodles).

    I like fook noodles more as the texture is more forgiving when overcooked.

    I like my chut chin yat ding almost raw, simply dipped into hot water for a super short period of time, and i have to pretty much inhale it. cos it gets soggy so freaking rapidly…the local hongkongers love love LOVE this noodle so so SO much…

    well done for doing yours almost exactly like the char chan teng version, only healthier (with veggie hehe), most popular toppings are: ng heung yuk ding (spiced pork cubes), satay beef, or suet choi yuk si (preserved veggie with meat pieces)

    • I’m adding “fook” noodles to the list of foods to try if I go HK :-)

      It’s nothing like having someone living in HK to tell me about HK food.

      I think I’ve tried the spiced pork version before but I almost forgot the taste because it’s been so long! I think it’s some brand of canned pork cubes? Hope you feature it on your site one day ;)

  4. We love this at home too!! My husband calls it 安然消魂面 after that Stephen Chow’s show. LOL This is his comfort food. ;) But we prefer Tung-1 instant noodles. Sometimes, I used it to make 炸酱面 too.

    • oh my family is a huge fan of 周星驰 as well. Just hearing his name alone made me wanna lol :D

      I really need to try this Tung-1 instant noodles (tigerfish commented about them too). It sounds like a great idea to use it for 炸酱面. Thanks for the tips :)

  5. Glad to hear you like Hong Kong food : )

  6. Nothing beats the original 出前一丁 with sesame oil…brings back childhood memories in HK when I’d have it for breakfast (or dinner if my mum’s too lazy to cook!) Having said that Indomie or Nissan cup noodle (spicy seafood or chilli crab) are great for a late night snack! :D

    btw I love your little emoticons – how does it work?

    • Hi there! At first I confused you with the commenter above you, coz her blog name is gourmet traveller too, but with an 88, hee

      I think we share similar tastes in instant noodles :-)

      You see those smilies below the type box? Just click once and the code for the smiley will appear in the type box, and the smiley will appear in your comment when it’s published. You don’t have to copy and paste the path. Is that what you’re asking?

      Thanks for visiting me :-)

  7. Pingback: Fried Rice with Luncheon Meat | NoobCook.com

  8. yum~! you make even the simplest dishes look good!

  9. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and enjoying your wealth of good recipes. When Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing Fall 2010, I naturally thought of you. This recipe would be a good submission! You can enter here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook/submit


    Editor and Community Developer
    Foodista.com — The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit

  10. Pingback: Today’s Simple Dinner – Instant Noodle | My Hobbies & Passion

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