Sour Spicy Cold Noodles

March 16, 2023

A bowl of Chinese cold noodles is one of the best things to eat on a hot summer day. This recipe for suān là, often known as sour, spicy cold noodles, is both light and filling.

You may even use dry spaghetti in this quick and easy dish!

Spaghetti For Chinese Cold Noodles?

Spaghetti, yes. Spaghetti noodles are more easily slurped and weigh less than their Chinese wheat noodle counterparts because of their smoother texture.

The takeaway here is that spaghetti can be used in place of Chinese wheat noodles if necessary. You should not worry that you are missing out on anything.

A Sour Spicy Mixture

These noodles, for example, have a unique sauce compared to our sesame noodles. It’s not as heavy or spicy. The saltiness of soy sauce and the sourness of rice vinegar make for a delicious flavor combination. Both the chili oil and the sesame oil contribute a nutty, rich flavor (as well as some heat from the chili oil).

In comparison to sesame noodle dishes, this one is far lighter. Crispiness and juiciness come from the inclusion of onion and cucumber.

An optional component of monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used because it is said to greatly improve the sauce. Mushroom powder, which can be purchased online, is another tasty addition entirely up to the cook.

It’s time to get down to the recipe.


  • 12 ounces of dried spaghetti or wheat noodles
  • 1 scallion (chopped)
  • 1 small cucumber (julienned, optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely minced)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of noodle cooking water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons of Shanghai rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of chili oil (75% oil, 25% flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorn powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of MSG (or mushroom powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt


  1. Prepare the noodles as directed on the package, adding an extra minute to the cooking time if you prefer them to be slightly chewy. Drain the noodles in a colander once removed from the pot. We recommend reserving part of the cooking liquid and rinsing the noodles under cold water before eating.
  2. Light soy sauce, Shanghai rice vinegar, chili oil, sugar, Sichuan peppercorn powder, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, salt, MSG (if using), and garlic are combined in a serving bowl.
  3. Put the water from the noodles, the scallion, and the cucumber in the noodles. Combine all the ingredients and serve. Additional boiling water may need to be added if the noodles appear dry.
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