Fire up your wok for this dynamite Dragon Noodles recipe. Soft lo mein tossed with tender chicken and crisp veggies served up in a scorching sauce is just what you need to spice up your dinner table!
Italy has its pasta, in every tasty shape and size imaginable, but the Chinese, who actually gifted spaghetti to the Italians, have them beat in the noodle department. Thanks to our Eastern neighbors, we get to enjoy crispy chow mein, soft bean thread and rice stick noodles, and thick, chewy udon.
Whether they’re floating in rich, complex broths or nestled under tasty stir-frys, noodles add a wonderful textural component to lots of dishes, and my Dragon Noodles are a wonderful way to showcase them.
Dragon or Dragon’s Beard noodles (long so mien) sometimes refers to a specific type of noodle – ones that are stretched (even by hand) into long, thin shreds that resemble the beard of a dragon. However, most recipes for dragon noodles are alluding to what comes out of the dragon’s mouth, not what’s growing on its face.
While my Dragon Noodles aren’t so spicy you’ll actually breath fire, they do have a noticeable heat that can be ratcheted up (or down, if you must) based on your tolerance level. The heat adds depth and a wonderful kick to this amazing dish – perfectly tender lo mein, tossed with colorful, crisp vegetables and tender chunks of chicken in a savory-sweet sauce loaded with garlic and smoky sesame oil. Regardless of the heat level you choose, this classic Chinese-inspired meal is full of flavor and so quick to put together it makes a viable alternative to takeout!
You may have seen a dragon noodles menu item at your favorite Asian dinner spot, and there are certainly several namesake restaurants across the country: Dragon Noodles North Brunswick (in New Jersey), Dragon Noodles NYC, and Dragon Noodles Las Vegas. You don’t have to travel to any of those cities to enjoy this dish, though. I’ll teach you how to make Dragon Noodles so you can enjoy it right in your own kitchen – no plane ticket (or shoes) required.
Let’s start with the noodles. I like to use lo mein in this dish, the thickest of the egg-based, wheat noodles, with a nice, dense texture substantial enough to hold their own in a chunky stir-fry. They’re also a heartier alternative to rice or other types of noodles. Just pay attention to the cooking instructions so you don’t overcook them.
The stir-fry ingredients are simple. Boneless chicken breast chunks, seasoned before crisping in a little oil, create some of those coveted brown bits in the bottom of the pan that are picked up by the veggies during their quick saute. I like to cut the veggies – carrots, peppers, and onions, into thin pieces that mimic the long noodles so they easily load onto the fork. These three ingredients add bright spots of color to the dish and a complementary crunch. These are the only veggies I like to use though (unlike the recipe for dragon noodles delish.com publishes with zucchini, for example) since this recipe is all about the noodles. Well, and the sauce.
The sauce is what earns this dish the fiery part of its name and adds layers and layers of flavor to create a perfectly balanced dish. It has soy sauce, which adds salt and the classic umami quality; rice wine for a mild but welcomed touch of acidity; sesame oil, which imparts a rich, toasted seed flavor; a little brown sugar to offset the heat; and the recipe game changers: chili oil and Sriracha.
Chili oil is just what it sounds like: vegetable or some other mild oil infused with chilies (like Sichuan chili flakes). Some brands may have other seasonings like garlic, but this is a potent and reliable way to add heat without adding a ton of flavor. Flavor’s good, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to turn up the dial on the heat without messing with the other flavors you’ve worked carefully to craft.
Then there’s Sriracha, arguably the world’s favorite condiment that’s good on just about anything. That bottle with the classic rooster on the front (the Chinese zodiac sign of the company’s founder) is a combination of red jalapenos, sugar, salt, garlic, and vinegar, all of which work together to make this sauce so addictive. Grocery store shelves are full of Sriracha products like potato chips and popcorn, jerky, and even lollipops which is a testament to just how popular this ravishing red beauty is, especially since Sriracha doesn’t even have a marketing department!
The heat it lends is initially subtle, but it builds like all good hot sauces do and works with the chili oil to provide a really complex heat component that hits all your taste buds at once.
Once everything gets tossed together, you’ll garnish wish some toasted sesame seeds, which really brings out the flavors of the sesame oil, and some chopped cilantro. Cilantro is typically used in a Thai spicy noodles recipe, since it’s a common ingredient in Thai cuisine, but the slightly citrusy aroma of this herb plays well with the flavors of my stir-fry, and the fresh herb quality is even slightly cooling (which you’ll be grateful for after a few bites of this spicy masterpiece).
Dragon Noodles can be on your table in less than 30 minutes which means it’s a perfect weeknight option. The lo mein is pretty resilient too, so leftovers reheat just fine. Just make sure you have a tall glass of water, icy cold beer, or fire extinguisher standing by once the flames start flying.
Noodles – If you can find fresh lo mein noodles, definitely give them a try in this recipe, although the dry version works just fine. Ramen noodles are a good substitute too, although they’re not quite as thick. If you’re watching your carbs or just want to increase the veggie factor in this recipe, try replacing some of the noodles or just adding in some of those nifty spiralized veggies. Zucchini or yellow squash, broccoli stalks, cabbage, even the carrots in this dish, will all work well after a trip through your spiralizer and will mix in with the noodles perfectly.
Protein – I love to make a Dragon Noodles shrimp version since the flavor profile of this dish really works with any protein. You’ll need about 1 lb. of peeled and deveined shrimp to substitute for the chicken. You can even use ½ lb. of shrimp and one chicken breast for a nice meaty combo. If you want to make this Dragon Noodles vegan, just skip the chicken and use tofu or some other meat substitute. The toasted sesame seeds are great, but you can also add some toasted cashews for a little extra protein kick.
Want more Noodle Recipes?
Shrimp Lo Mein- Quick and easy to make at home and it is so much better than any take-out!
Grandma’s Chicken and Noodle Casserole- It is a super creamy, cheesy pan of deliciousness that is quick and easy to put together!
Beef and Noodles – Classic comfort food, warm, hearty, beefy, and absolutely scrumptious beef and noodles.
Dragon Noodles Recipe
- Lo Mein Noodles - 12 Ounces
- Canola Oil-Divided - 3 Tablespoons
- Soy Sauce - 1/4 Cup
- Rice Wine or Dry Sherry - 2 Tablespoon
- Chili Oil (More According to Your Heat Tolerance) - 1 Tablespoon
- Sriracha Sauce - 2 Tablespoon
- Asian Sesame Oil - 2 Teaspoons
- Brown Sugar Packed - 1/4 Cup
- Water - 1/4 Cup
- Boneless Chicken Breast Halves, Cubed into 1/2 inch pieces - 2
- Salt - 1/2 Teaspoon
- Black Pepper - 1/2 Teaspoon
- Green Onions, Sliced on the Diagonal into 1/2 Inch Pieces - 1/2 Cup
- Carrots, Cut Into Matchsticks - 1 Cup
- Red Bell Pepper, Seeds Removed, Cut Into Matchsticks - 1
- Cloves Garlic, Minced - 4
- Fresh Cilantro, Chopped - 1/4 Cup
- Toasted Sesame Seeds - 2 Tablespoon
- Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain well.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, rice wine, chili oil, Sriracha sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and water. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil until shimmering. Season chicken with teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the chicken to skillet and cook, over medium-high heat, until chicken is cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add 1 Tablespoon oil and stir fry the green onions, carrots and red bell pepper, over high heat, just until tender-crisp. Add the garlic to veggies and cook until fragrant.
- Add the noodles, sauce, and chicken back to skillet, turning heat down to low, and heat through. Adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with Cilantro and sesame seeds and serve.