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Mi Fen (Taiwanese Rice Vermicelli Stir fry, 炒米粉)

These springy and chewy rice vermicelli noodles are packed with flavor! It includes a generous amount of meat and vegetables for a light yet filling meal.

Mi Fen, Taiwanese Rice Vermicelli Stir fry

Chao mi fen/mee fun (炒米粉) is a classic home-style Taiwanese main dish. It features rice vermicelli noodles, which are great at absorbing flavor and strong enough to handle stir-frying without breaking. Mixed into this rice vermicelli stir fry is a wide variety of vegetables, protein, and flavorings to create a delicious and complete meal! 

Aside from the ingredients in my recipe, these ones are also often found in mi fen. Feel free to experiment with adding or substituting any of them in!

  • Fried shallots
  • Egg
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Black Vinegar
  • Dried Squid

These pan-fried rice noodles do turn out drier and less oily compared to other noodle stir-fries because the noodles are great at absorbing liquid. However, they still have a lot of flavor! (and this may be a bit healthier too!)

Vermicelli Noodles

Make sure to get rice vermicelli noodles! Asian stores also sell vermicelli noodles made of mung bean starch. Mung bean vermicelli won’t work here because they are too fragile to handle the heavy stir-frying. (They have a jelly-like texture once cooked.) Taiwan’s northwest region of Hsinchu is dry and windy, which is an optimal climate for drying rice noodles quickly. So, the packages of rice noodles that say “Hsinchu Rice Noodles” are often used in recipes like this. 

Recipe Notes

  1. Shiitake mushroom soaking water: Make sure to reserve the water used to rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms because it has a lot of flavor. You will add the reserved water to the noodles at the end of the stir fry.
  2. Taiwanese cabbage: The type of cabbage typically used is Taiwanese cabbage, which is flatter than the ones found in western markets. The leaves are also thinner and crisper. However, if you cannot find Taiwanese cabbage, a regular cage will work just as well.
  3. Cooking the vermicelli noodles: The vermicelli noodles are blanched in boiling water for a minute before steaming in a closed container to finish cooking. This method helps make the noodles ‘qq’ (Taiwanese word for chewy/springy). 
  4. Cutting the vermicelli noodles: Depending on the brand of your vermicelli noodles, they can be very long. Feel free to cut the noodles into shorter pieces with kitchen shears after blanching them. 
  5. Tossing the noodles: This recipe makes a large batch of noodles, which can be difficult to toss/mix at the end. I highly recommend using two pairs of chopsticks, tongs, or spatulas to make the job easier!

Mi Fen (Taiwanese Rice Vermicelli Stir fry, 炒米粉)

These springy and chewy rice vermicelli noodles are packed with flavor! It includes a generous amount of meat and vegetables for a light yet filling meal.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Taiwanese
Keyword: mee fun, mi fen, pan-fried rice noodles, rice vermicelli stir fry, vermicelli noodle stir fry
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Pork

  • 1/2 lb pork ~225 grams, thinly sliced (or beef/chicken)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine optional
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Noodles

  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 shallots or 1/2 an onion thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots julienned
  • 1/2 lb cabbage thinly sliced (**Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp white pepper adjust to taste
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • cilantro optional

Instructions

Prep the ingredients

  • Pork: Add the soy sauce, wine, oil, and cornstarch to the sliced pork. Mix everything together thoroughly to combine and set aside.
  • Mushroom: Reconstitute the dried shiitake mushroom in hot water until fully hydrated (~10 min). Drain and squeeze out the extra water, making sure to reserve the soaking water. Slice the mushroom into thin strips.
  • Noodles: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the rice noodles. Let them boil for about a minute. Then, drain the noodles, place them in a bowl, and cover to let the residual heat cook the noodles through. **Note 2 & 3

Cook

  • In a large pan or wok, heat up some oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushroom and dried shrimp. Stir fry until fragrant and lightly browned.
  • Add the shallot/onion and cook until translucent and wilted.
  • Add the marinated pork and stir-fry until it is completely cooked through.
  • Add the cabbage, carrot, soy sauce, and white pepper. Stir fry until wilted and tender.
  • Add soaked vermicelli noodles and 1 cup of the reserved shiitake mushroom soaking water. (If you don’t have enough water, you can also add vegetable/chicken/pork stock).
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Use tongs or 2 pairs of chopsticks/spatulas to toss and incorporate the noodles well.
  • Stir-fry until all of the liquid is absorbed. If the noodles are too dry, you can add more reserved mushroom water/stock.
  • Turn off the heat and mix in the spring onions and cilantro. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve.

Notes

  1. Taiwanese cabbage: The type of cabbage typically used is Taiwanese cabbage, which is flatter than the ones found in western markets. The leaves are also thinner and crisper. However, if you cannot find Taiwanese cabbage, a regular cage will work just as well.
  2. Cooking the vermicelli noodles: The vermicelli noodles are blanched in boiling water for a minute before steaming in a closed container to finish cooking. This method helps make the noodles ‘qq’ (Taiwanese word for chewy/springy).
  3. Cutting the vermicelli noodles: Depending on the brand of your vermicelli noodles, they can be very long. Feel free to cut the noodles into shorter pieces with kitchen shears after blanching them.

How to Make Mi Fen/Mee Fun

Prep the ingredients

Pork: Add the soy sauce, wine, oil, and cornstarch to the sliced pork. Mix everything together thoroughly to combine and set aside. 

Marinating the Meat

Mushroom: Reconstitute the dried shiitake mushroom in hot water until fully hydrated (~10 min). Drain and squeeze out the extra water, making sure to reserve the soaking water. Slice the mushroom into thin strips. 

Prepared Mushroom + Water

Noodles: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the rice noodles. Let them boil for about a minute. Then, drain the noodles, place them in a bowl, and cover to let the residual heat cook the noodles through.

Boiling the Rice Vermicelli Noodles
Covering the Rice Vermicelli Noodles

Cook

In a large pan or wok, heat up some oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushroom and dried shrimp. Stir fry until fragrant and lightly browned. 

Add the shallot/onion and cook until translucent and wilted. 

Stir Frying the Shittake Mushroom, Dried Shrimp, and Onion

Add the marinated pork and stir-fry until it is completely cooked through. Then, add the cabbage, carrot, soy sauce, and white pepper. Stir fry until wilted and tender.

Meat, Cabbage, and Carrots Added to the Stir Fry

Add soaked vermicelli noodles and 1 cup of the reserved shiitake mushroom soaking water. (If you don’t have enough water, you can also add vegetable/chicken/pork stock). 

Rice Vermicelli Noodles Added In

Reduce the heat to medium. Use tongs or 2 pairs of chopsticks/spatulas to toss and incorporate the noodles well. 

Stir-fry until all of the liquid is absorbed. If the noodles are too dry, you can add more reserved mushroom water/stock. 

Turn off the heat and mix in the spring onions and cilantro. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve your vermicelli noodle stir fry!

Mi Fen, Taiwanese Rice Vermicelli Stir fry, Close

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