Yi mein

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Yi mein
Lobster with e-fu noodles in Hong Kong
Alternative namese-fu noodles, yee-fu noodles, yi noodles, yifu noodles
TypeChinese noodles
Place of originChina
Main ingredientsWheat flour, eggs
yi mein
Traditional Chinese伊麵
Simplified Chinese伊面
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese伊府麵
Simplified Chinese伊府面

Yi mein or yimian is a variety of flat Cantonese egg noodles made from wheat flour. They are known for their golden brown color and chewy characteristics. The slightly chewy and slightly spongy texture of the noodles is due to the soda water used in making the dough, which is then fried and dried into flat patty-like dried bricks.


The yi mein noodles available at grocery stores were pre-cooked by machines the same way as the modern instant noodles are made.[1]

The noodles may be cooked a number of ways. They are boiled first, then can be stir fried, or used in soups or salads. Good noodles maintain their elasticity, allowing the noodles to stretch and remain chewy.


Yi mein noodles can be consumed directly or used in various dishes:

  • Plain yi mein
  • Plain yi mein with Chinese chives (韮黃)
  • Dried fried yi mein (乾燒伊麵), often comes with Chinese chives and shiitake mushroom
  • Crab meat yi mein (蟹肉伊麵)
  • Lobster yi mein (龍蝦伊麵), it is sometimes served with cheese in Hong Kong.[2][3]
  • Yi mein with black mushrooms and eggplant
  • Yi mein in soup
  • I fu mie, fried yi mein noodles served in sauce with vegetables, chicken or prawn.


Yi mein is traditionally credited to the Qing official Yi Bingshou (t , s , Yī Bǐngshòu; 1754–1815), who is taken to be their namesake ("Yi-style noodles") and who is also credited with popularizing Yangzhou fried rice.


When yi mein is consumed on birthdays, it is generally referred to as long life or longevity noodles or sau mein (壽麵/寿面). The Chinese character for "long" (長壽麵/长寿面) is also added as a prefix to represent "long life". Usually it is consumed with longevity buns on such occasions.[citation needed]

Yi mein is also a popular Lunar New Year dish. Tradition holds that the chef cannot cut the noodles, and each strand should be eaten whole.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Modern Machine Makes Traditional Yi Mein Noodles". Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  2. ^ "Lobster Yee Mein". pigpigscorner.com. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Lobster Yee Mien". www.scmp.com. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  4. ^ Maggie Hiufu Wong (19 Jan 2023). "The complicated story behind longevity noodles, a popular Lunar New Year dish". CNN.

External links[edit]