Suan La Fen 酸辣粉 (Hot + Sour Noodles)

This is my take on suan la fen, or sour and hot noodles. The dish is from Sichuan and typically made with sweet potato starch noodles, what you my recognize from other dishes like japchae. The spiciness of the dish can be adjusted based on the amount of chilis you top it off with. You can herbs of your choice but please please do not skimp or leave them out — they round of the flavor profile and add a refreshing bite to the noodles. To me this isn’t really a noodle soup as I don’t really drink the broth, it’s more so there to give the starch noodles something to soak into (but let me know if your experience with the dish is different).

Note: I think more traditional versions of this dish don’t use fresh chilis but I like the heat they bring. I also cut down the chili oil slightly as I don’t like the oily mouthfeel that using more brings.

For 1 bowl:

  • 1 serving of sweet potato starch noodles
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/4 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
  • 1/4 tsp five spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp chili oil 
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp black vinegar
  • roasted peanuts
  • fresh chilis (I use birds eye chili and adjust quantity based on who I’m serving)
  • herbs: cilantro, peanuts, scallions, garlic chives
  • Hot water or stock – if you’re using hot water, I’d suggest using some shiitake powder or chicken bouillon. If you’re using some kind of stock/broth, then you can forego it
  • optional: 1/2 tsp shiitake powder or chicken bouillon
  • additional veggies: you can also top it with additional veggies — lettuce is popular and some blanched bok choy would also be good

To make:

  • Cook sweet potato noodles per package instructions, rinse and drain
  • Mix the grated garlic, sauces, and shiitake powder/chicken bouillon (if using) together in a bowl. Add in the hot water or stock
  • Add in a serving of noodles and top with roasted peanuts, sliced fresh chilis, and herbs


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