Hengyang Yufen! An absolute classic from Hunan, this rice noodle is a deceptively easy thing to whip up – basically just rice noodles in with a mildly spicy, milky fish soup that is *way* more than the sum of its parts.

0:00 – Hengyang’s Famed Rice Noodles
0:34 – Why Hunan Food is (often) easier to make at home
1:25 – What kind of fish to use?
2:20 – Process Overview
2:49 – What kind of Rice Noodles to use?
3:14 – Boil Rice Noodles, Reserve
3:29 – Shallow Fry, Remove Oil
3:56 – Fry with Chili & Aromatics
4:15 – Add Hot Water, Boil ~8min
4:25 – Add Napa & (Optional) Eggs
4:40 – Season and Serve
4:47 – Re the Zhajiang Country Version


This makes 2 bowls.

Note on scaling up: the quantity of fish that we used (2 fillets) would actually be enough for four bowls (two liters) of soup. So if you want to scale up to 3-4 portions, scale everything up but keep the fish quantity the same. Scaling past that point, you’d probably want to look at increasing the fish quantity.

Also, because this recipe is *almost* “Western Supermarket Club” as is, free free to swap in dry sherry or sake for the Shaoxing wine if you gotta. On that note though, note that MSG is sold as “Accent” in the west.

* Fish fillets, 2 (we used Tilapia – 罗非鱼) -or- ~300g of the bones.

* Rice noodles, 200g. The Vietnamese sort of rice noodles can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Cathay-Vietnamese-Stick-Vermicelli-Noodles/dp/B0821V4M46/ and here: https://www.sayweee.com/en/product/Simply-Food-Fresh-Rice-Vermicelli/37504 . Weee! also has Jiangxi rice noodles which could also be used, though you might need to boil them for longer and/or soak beforehand: https://www.sayweee.com/en/product/JiangXi-Rice-Vermicelli-/27016

* Chili/Aromatics: 2 cloves garlic, minced; ~1/2 inch ginger, minced; 1 scallion white, cut into sections; 2 chilis, sliced. For the chili, we used Heaven Facing chili (朝天椒). Thai bird’s eye would have a similar flavor but be much spicier, so only use one if you’re using bird’s eye. But really, any not-smoked chili would be totally fine. You can even use fresh chili.

* Liaojiu a.k.a. Shaoxing wine, ~1 tbsp (料酒/绍酒)

* Napa cabbage, ~30g. Sliced into ~1.5 inch sections.

* Optional: poached eggs, 2-4

* Seasoning: 1.25 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp MSG (味精), 1/8 tsp white pepper powder (白胡椒粉)

Sliced scallion to finish.


Slice your fish fillet into ‘domino sized’ pieces (~2 inch by ~1inch). Set aside.

Boil your rice noodles according to your package (for us, ours cook through in about six minutes). Strain, rinse under running water to stop the cooking process.

Mince the garlic and ginger, slice the chilis, cut the white part of the scallion into sections, slice the green part of the scallion.

In a wok – or really any not-sticky vessel (a cast iron dutch oven would also work, though would require more oil than a wok), add enough oil to get about ~1 inch deep. Heat it up to 190C, or about when you’re starting to see some faint wisps of smoke. Add the fish, keeping over a high flame – the temperature should dip to ~140C, which is what we want. Fry til golden brown, ~3 minutes. Shut off the heat and remove the frying oil – leaving the fish and a thin smear of oil.

Add the chilis and aromatics. Swap the flame back to high. Brief fry, ~30 seconds, then swirl in the win. After another brief ~30 second fry, add in the hot, boiled water. It should quickly return to a rapid boil, so cover, and let it boil for ~8 minutes.

At that point, the soup should be good and milky. Add the Napa, cover, and cook for ~2 minutes. Then add the (optional) poached eggs and seasoning. Transfer to serving bowls. Sprinkle over scallion greens.

And check out our Patreon if you’d like to support the project!

Outro Music: คิดถึงคุณจัง by ธานินทร์ อินทรเทพ
Found via My Analog Journal (great channel): https://youtu.be/GHaL5H-VYRg


28 thoughts on “Hunan Fried Fish Noodle Soup (鱼粉)”

  1. Hey guys, a few notes:

    1. So something that I personally like to do is cut up and toss a whole head of baby Napa cabbage (or half a head of Napa) into the soup, cook it til done, then fish (most) of it out with chopsticks & serve in a separate bowl. Spoon some of the broth over the vegetables, top with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Fantastic side dish to go along with a fish-noodle-focused meal, plus the extra Napa lends a nice flavor to the soup.

    2. Besides Vietnamese rice noodles, you can also use Jiangxi rice noodles if you can find them, as they’re also sold dried. Depending on the thickness, for Jiangxi rice noodles you might need to boil them for longer and/or give them a soak in cool water before using.

    3. This recipe serves two, but do note that we were quite aggressive with the fried fish quantity in the video. We could’ve probably sorted everything with just one fillet, but we have to buy a whole fish at the market anyway, and hey, who’s going to complain about some extra fried fish? For the same fish quantity, you could comfortably double everything else in the recipe.

    4. If you’re adding poached eggs to your soup, just poach them however you’re comfortable BUT take the eggs a bit longer than you’d usually do. You obviously don’t want loose egg yolk running around your soup.

    5. I know a lot of you guys have been asking about the Husa knife (the so-called “Orc Knife”) that we sometimes use in the videos – recently an acquaintance of ours started exporting them. Check out the recent community post for more information if you’re curious (and for those of you guys that brought my attention to the broken link, thanks, it’s fixed).

    Anyway, that’s all I can think of for now 🙂

  2. Made this with cod today, didn’t have msg and used pickled chili’s in the bowl (kids don’t like spice…yet). Came out tasty but not quite milky. During the 8 min of boiling is that where the emulsifying happens? I sort of kept it to a simmer rather then a full on rolling boil. Any ideas what I could use to replace the msg, Thai fish sauce, chrimp paste?

  3. any advice/videos out there on how to cut the fish with the bones. The "bones" shown look pretty meaty…so filet the fish, but leave meat on the bone…I'd guess?

  4. Just made this cuz it's cold and rainy and I literally already had everything I needed in my fridge. Comically easy, preposterously delicious. I really enjoy the effort you both put into this channel selecting a mix of both fun Sunday project recipes and quick and easy Wednesday lunches

Comments are closed.