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Chinese Chili and Scallion Noodles

4 Servings

40 minutes 20 minutes active

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Every cook needs a few back-pocket recipes that can be thrown together quickly from pantry staples. Think spaghetti carbonara, the Italian pasta dish of bacon and eggs. Or Fuchsia Dunlop’s game-changing “midnight noodles,” a fresh spin on a Chinese staple. The simple sauce comes together in the time it takes the noodles to cook. Our version swaps out some of the hard-to-find Chinese ingredients and creates a simple chili oil that can be adjusted to taste. We cooked scallion whites in the hot oil to soften their bite and used the milder green parts to add brightness at the end. While we preferred udon noodles, chewy Chinese wheat noodles such as lo mein were fine substitutes. Even spaghetti worked in a pinch. These noodles also are great topped with a fried egg.




Don’t walk away while heating the oil. The sesame seeds can burn in an instant, and the red pepper flakes will blacken and become bitter. The seeds should be just turning golden, and the pepper should be pleasantly fragrant.

40 minutes

20 minutes active



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Michael D.
October 10, 2023
A weeknight staple
This is a favorite weeknight dish. The fried egg really gives the dish the “heft” to make it a full meal.
Katie L.
June 12, 2023
Somewhat bland.
This is a good base recipe. I personally found it to be a bit bland. It's quick and easy though, so going forward I add chili crisp to turn up the flavor.
Brady S.
May 23, 2022
Decently tasty quick noodle dish
Wasn't bad - the sugar made it a bit sweet for my taste, and I preferred Meera Sodha's Daniel Chang-inspired ginger-scallion noodles for a quick pantry Chinese noodle dish.
Armie L.

This is so easy to make. Delicious! Added fried egg and vegetables on the side for a complete meal.

Jon S.

The print version says to use "12 scallions", not "12 BUNCHES" as it says here. I've made the print version and it was delicious. This version seems a bit.....extra?

Lynn C.

Hi Jon -

Yes, that would be a bit much! This recipe got changed internally from 12 scallions to 2 bunches (which is the basic equivalent) and I think it accidentally got entered here incorrectly. Our digital team is changing it now. Thanks for pointing it out!

The Milk Street Team


I cannot find rice wine vinegar, only rice vinegar. Will that substitution work?

Lynn C.

Hi CL - Yes! It's the same thing. :-)

The Milk Street Team

Dana L.

I needed to use up some shrimp, so I dipped them into the soy sauce mixture and then cooked them on a grill pan, and served on top of the udon noodles, with some garlicky greens on the side. Quick, easy and good! Next time, I'll cut back on the oil a little-my sauce was a little looser than I would have preferred.

Nancy K.

I love these noodles! Still trying to memorise the recipe, so it’s in my back pocket. :) I serve it with the steamed cod with ginger and scallions also from Milk Street.

Cora D.

The taste of this was great but the sauce was quite thin so I had to add a cornstarch slurry (1 tsp cornstarch to 2 tbsp water) to make the sauce stick to the noodles.