Hey everyone, it’s Kevin here! Today I’m bringing you a famous recipe from the Chinese drama, Meteor Garden. In the show, the main character makes these 8 treasure spicy noodles (八宝辣酱面) as part of a cooking competition and almost wins.
Ever since I watched Meteor Garden, I wanted to try recreating this show-defining dish. In the show, the main character is inspired to make this dish by her “boyfriend” (just a love interest at the time of the competition) nicknamed “pineapple-head” (his hair looks like a pineapple). As such, her dish deviates from the traditional 8 treasure spicy noodles by including pineapple as one of the “treasures”.
I was worried that adding pineapples would make the dish taste a little weird, since it isn’t a very common ingredient in savory dishes, but I was glad to be proven wrong! The pineapple adds a bit of welcome sweetness and freshness to the sauce that helps lighten up the dish. In general, I’m not a huge fan of noodle soups, but this 8 treasure spicy noodle (八宝辣酱面) is definitely the exception!
What is “8 Treasures”?
In China, 8 (pronounced “ba”) is considered one of the luckiest numbers, stemming from the fact that it sounds similar to the word for “wealth” (pronounced “fa”) in Chinese. The name “8 Treasures” means that there are 8 main ingredients in this dish, making this a lucky dish! In fact, the name 8 Treasures isn’t unique to this dish, as there are also “8 Treasures Rice Pudding” and “8 Treasures Porridge” dishes in China.
For 8 treasure spicy noodles, the ingredients used are not set in stone. Typically, you would use whatever ingredients are convenient for you to get, and as long as you have 8 of them, you’re set! As such, feel free to play around with the ingredients to suit what is convenient for you to buy. Some other popular Chinese ingredients that you can use are lotus root, dried shrimp, garlic, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms.
Since this recipe is inspired by the show Meteor Garden, I wanted to adhere as closely as possible to the ingredients used in the show, especially the pineapple.
Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list! This 8 treasure spicy noodles recipe is actually really easy, and can be made in just a little over 30 minutes! Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Make a trip to a Chinese grocery store. You’ll be able to find all of the ingredients at any Chinese grocery store, such as 99 Ranch, or even at a general Asian supermarket.
- Double check that you bought raw, not roasted peanuts. Raw peanuts have quite a different taste and will release more oil than peanuts when stir-fried than peanuts that have already been cooked. If you have extra peanuts, wok-fried peanuts taste amazing and are a great snack. Just stir-fry the peanuts in oil until the peanut skins turn dark brown and season with salt.
- Pour the water over the noodles right before you’re ready to eat. If you add the water too early, then the noodles will soak up all of the soup and become soggy and limp.
Let’s get started!
Looking for more authentic Chinese dishes?
- Chinese Braised Pork Belly (Hong Shao Rou)
- Yangzhou Fried Rice
- Chinese Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)
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