Mì Xào Giòn (Crispy Pan Fried Noodles)

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Vietnamese crispy pan fried noodles, mì xào giòn, consists of various vegetables and proteins stir-fried in a thick savory brown sauce and then poured over crispy pan-fried egg noodles. Learn how to make this restaurant quality dish at home in 30 minutes.

Plate of mi xao gion with stir fried shrimp, scallops, carrots, broccoli, baby corn, baby bok choy, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and onions.

What is mi xao gion?

In Vietnamese, mì xào giòn means “crispy fried noodles”. It is a dish found in many Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants. It goes by many names such as mi xao gion, mi xao don, crispy pan-fried noodles, bird’s nest noodles, or crispy egg noodles.

Mi xao gion is thought to be Chinese in origin, with a dish known as bird’s nest. While there is no definitive origin story for this dish, legend has it that a local chef was inspired by a passing flock of birds and their nests. The chef was so intrigued by the birds and their nests that he crafted a dish using similar ingredients, naming it “bird’s nest noodles.” This original recipe consisted of stir-frying vegetables in nutty brown sauce and pouring them over crispy pan fried vermicelli noodles.

The ingredients used to make it vary depending on the region in which it is made. Common ingredients include beef, shrimp, mushrooms, carrots, onions, greens, and various sauces and seasonings. The noodles are usually fried in oil before being layered with saucy stir-fried vegetables and meat. This helps give mi xao gion its signature crispy texture.

There are many different variations of this dish. Mì xào giòn gà is made with chicken. Mì xào giòn do biển has seafood such as shrimp, squid, and scallops. Mì xào giòn bò is made with beef. Mì xào giòn chay is the vegetarian version loaded with extra vegetables and sometimes tofu. Mì xào giòn thập cẩm is a combination of meat, seafood, and vegetables.

Mi Xao Don, crispy pan fried noodles, topped with seafood, vegetables, and sauce.
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Why you’ll love this:

  • Versatile: you can add any protein or vegetables you like. Substitute the noodles for a gluten-free option.
  • Healthier than takeout: You can control what you put into the dish to control the amount of sodium and oil.
  • Budget-friendly: cheaper than ordering at a fancy restaurant.
  • Make ahead: You can make everything ahead of time and put it all together when you’re ready to eat.
  • Great for large crowds: This simplified recipe is great for parties, holidays, special occasions, or any type of get-together. With a 30-minute cook time, it is so easy to make for a weeknight dinner, too!

Kitchen tools for this recipe

  • Large wok or pan: use something deep enough to fry the noodles and stir-fry the seafood and vegetables. Use a wok that has high edges so that you can easily toss the food without it spilling over the sides. A 13-inch non-stick wok is the perfect size and can be found online or at an Asian grocery store.
  • Thermometer: use a deep fry thermometer that can attach to the side of the wok to ensure the oil is at the right temperature. The oil needs to be between 370-380°F so that the noodles can cook properly.
  • Spider Strainer: use a large spider strainer to form the shape of the noodles when frying. The strainer also makes it easier to scoop the noodles out while draining the oil.

Ingredients needed

Please scroll ⬇️ to the recipe card to see the full ingredient amounts and instructions.

The ingredient list might look long, but it is actually very easy to cook. Start by gathering all the ingredients and getting organized.

Ingredients needed for mi xao gion: fresh chow mein noodles, shrimp, scallops, onion, celery, carrots, red bell peppers, baby bok choy, baby corn, shiitake mushrooms, and oil.

For the mi xao gion:

  • Fresh noodles: refrigerated Hong Kong style pan-fried noodles are fresh, thin noodles that are partially cooked and ready to use without boiling them first. Found at your local Asian grocery store in the refrigerated section or online. It is much cheaper to buy in store. Dried shelf-stable noodles will work too, but you’ll have to parboil and let it dry for at least an hour before frying. If you can’t find pan fried noodles, use egg noodles such as chow mein or wonton noodles.
  • Oil: use a high smoke point oil such as vegetable oil, avocado oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.
  • Vegetables: carrots, onions, baby bok choy, baby corn, red bell peppers, or any vegetable you choose.
  • Protein: add your choice of protein. Shrimp, scallops, squid, chicken, beef, or pork are all popular choices. Make it vegetarian by adding tofu. This recipe uses shrimp and scallops.
Ingredients needed for mi xao gion sauce: shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, cornstarch, chicken broth, ginger, garlic, and sugar.

For the sauce:

  • Chinese Rice Wine (Shaoxing Wine): found at your local Asian grocery store or online. If you can’t find it, substitute it with dry sherry, sake, or mirin.
  • Soy sauce: I use Maggi seasoning, but any soy sauce will do.
  • Oyster sauce: found at your local Asian grocery store or in the international aisle of your grocery store. You can also use an oyster sauce substitute such as mushroom oyster sauce or hoisin sauce.
  • Chicken broth: flavorful liquid for the sauce. I use Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base since that is what I had on hand, but any chicken broth will do.
  • Sesame oil: used as an aromatic for the sauce.
  • Ginger and garlic: used as an aromatic for the sauce.
  • Sugar: use granulated sugar to sweeten the sauce and balance the saltiness and acidity.
  • Corn starch: used to thicken the sauce.

How to make it

FRY THE NOODLES

  • In a large wok, add oil until it covers 1-2 inches of the wok (about 8 cups or enough to fully submerge the noodles). Turn the heat to med-high.
  • Use your fingers to separate the noodles to prevent them from sticking together and cooking unevenly. Once the oil is hot, and reaches 375°F, drop 8 oz of noodles into the wok. Use chopsticks or tongs to spread the noodles around evenly to form a circle.
  • Fry for 7-10 minutes or until crispy. Place the fried noodles on a plate. Repeat this for the remaining noodles. Set the noodles aside for later.

MAKE THE SAUCE

  • In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, chicken broth, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and cornstarch. Set this aside for later.

STIR FRY THE SEAFOOD AND VEGETABLES

  • In a large clean wok, on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Fry the shrimp and scallops until no longer opaque. Remove it to a plate and set it aside.
  • Add all the vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, and baby corn) and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the sauce. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring. Then, stir in the shrimp and scallops. Once the sauce has thickened, and the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat.
  • When ready to serve, pour the stir-fried vegetables and seafood over the crispy noodles.
Plate of mi xao gion with stir fried shrimp, scallops, carrots, broccoli, baby corn, baby bok choy, mushrooms, red bell peppers, and onions.

Helpful Tips

  • Prep all the ingredients before starting. It will help speed up and simplify the cooking process.
  • Keep the oil between 370-380°F. If the oil is not hot enough, the noodles will take longer to cook and become soggy or lose moisture and harden. If the oil is too hot, it will brown quickly and burn.
  • If you’re using dried shelf-stable noodles and need to boil them, let them dry for at least an hour before frying. This will minimize the oil spattering.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Use a different protein, such as chicken, beef, pork, or tofu.
  • Add other vegetables, such as sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, broccoli, asparagus, or cabbage.
  • Use a different type of noodle, such as wonton noodles, egg noodles, or vermicelli.
  • If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, use dry sherry, sake, or mirin. For an alcohol-free version, use rice wine vinegar.
  • Make it spicy with spicy chili oil or Sriracha.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does mi xao gion taste like?

The egg noodles are cooked until lightly puffy and crunchy. The vegetables, meats or seafood are stir fried with a thick sweet, and savory sauce that consists of garlic, ginger, chicken broth, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Everything gets poured on top of the noodles for a hearty meal.

Which is the best oil to fry the noodles?

The oil will need to remain around 375°F. Choose an oil that has a high smoke point. Avocado oil (500°F), vegetable oil (450°F), peanut oil (450°F), or canola oil (400°F) are all great options.

Can I make this ahead of time?

This is the perfect dish to make ahead of time. You can stir-fry the vegetables up to 3 days in advance and pan-fry the noodles the day before. When ready to eat, heat the stir-fried vegetables and pour them over the noodles.

close up of fried noodles with stir-fried toppings and sauce.

Storage Instructions

Refrigerate: If you have leftovers, it is best to keep the crispy noodles and stir-fried vegetables separately. It’ll last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freeze: The noodles will not remain crispy and crunchy when frozen. It is best to fry just enough noodles and consume them right away. Leftover stir fry can be frozen. Simply prepare the stir fry according to the recipe instructions and cool it completely. Place in an airtight container or plastic freezer bag, then place in the freezer. When ready to enjoy, thaw it overnight in your refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop or in a microwave oven.

Reheat: Reheat the noodles in the air fryer or bake it in the oven for 2-3 minutes until warm. Reheat the stir fry on the stovetop or in a microwave oven.

RECIPE

Mi Xao Gion (Pan fried noodles) with shrimp, scallops, and vegetables on a plate.

Crispy Pan Fried Noodles (Mì Xào Giòn)

Quynh Nguyen
Vietnamese crispy pan fried noodles, mì xào giòn, consists of various vegetables and proteins stir-fried in a thick savory brown sauce and then poured over crispy pan-fried egg noodles. Learn how to make this restaurant quality dish at home in 30 minutes.
5 from 55 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people
Calories 928 kcal

Ingredients
  

Crispy Noodles

  • 1 (16 oz) chow mein noodles (fresh or shelf stable)
  • 8 cups vegetable oil or canola oil or peanut oil

Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese Rice Wine (Shaoxing Wine)
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Seafood and Vegetables

  • ½ pound shrimp (8-10 large shrimps)
  • ½ pound scallops
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, diagonally sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or baby Bella), sliced
  • ¼ pound baby bok choy
  • 6 oz baby corn
  • ¼ pound broccoli florets

Instructions
 

Fry the noodles

  • In a large wok, add oil until it covers 1-2 inches of the wok (about 8 cups or enough to fully submerge the noodles). Turn the heat to med-high.
  • Using your fingers, separate the noodles to prevent them from sticking together and cooking unevenly. Once the oil is hot, and reaches 375°F, drop 8 oz of noodles into the wok. Use chopsticks or tongs to spread the noodles evenly around to form a circle.
  • Fry for 7-10 minutes or until crispy. Repeat this for the remaining noodles. Set it aside for later.

Make the sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, chicken broth, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and cornstarch. Set this aside for later.

Stir fry the seafood and vegetables

  • In a large wok, on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Fry the shrimp and scallops until no longer opaque. Remove it to a plate and set it aside.
  • Add all the vegetables (onion, carrots, celery, shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, and baby corn) and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the sauce. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring. Then, stir in the shrimp and scallops. Once the sauce has thickened, and the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat.
  • When ready to serve, pour the stir-fried vegetables and seafood over the crispy noodles.

Notes

  • Prep all the ingredients before starting. It will help speed up and simplify the cooking process.
  • Keep the oil between 370-380°F. If the oil is not hot enough, the noodles will take longer to cook and become soggy or lose moisture and harden. If the oil is too hot, it will brown quickly and burn.
  • If you’re using dried shelf-stable noodles and need to boil them, let them dry for at least an hour before frying. This will minimize the oil spattering.
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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Lots of texture! I added more vegetables for a healthier dish. The stir fried veggies and seafood alone is 10 out of 10.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m drooling looking at these photos! Such an easy and healthy comfort food, can’t wait to make this this weekend!

  3. 5 stars
    Enjoyed these with dinner last night and they were a savory success! Loved all the flavors and textures; easily, a new favorite recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This hits the spot and is so delicious. My favorite noodle dish to order at Chinese restaurants and now I can make it at home! Yay!

  5. 5 stars
    I loved everything about this meal from the noodles to the shrimp. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to make this again!