Home News Mian Yo Po: A Spicy and Savory Delight from Shaanxi Province

Mian Yo Po: A Spicy and Savory Delight from Shaanxi Province


Yo po mian, or oil sprinkled noodles, is a traditional Shaanxi Province specialty from China’s central northwest. Usually made with biang biang or hand-torn flat noodles (handmade), wide wheat noodles may also work for an easy weeknight meal (though any dried noodles would do). This dish packs plenty of flavor despite being deceptively straightforward: noodles and greens are combined with raw garlic and chilies before hot oil is drizzled on top, which releases their aromatic properties and brings out even more of their delicious aromas. Yo po mian can often be overpoweringly garlicky, but this version uses just four cloves for maximum versatility and reduced pungent aroma. Add ground Sichuan peppercorns for some added tangy spice or switch out half of the regular soy sauce for darker soy sauce for additional depth of sweetness and caramel flavors.

Mian Yo Po
Mian Yo Po

Baby Bok Choy (roughly 12 ounces) should be cut lengthwise into 4 pieces after trimming and slicing for optimal cooking results.

Grate 4 small garlic cloves. Peel them, and then grate.

1 teaspoon of red-pepper flakes, or as desired.

8 tablespoons of a neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola oil

Substituent Guide

601 calories; 32 grams of fat (3 saturated, no trans, 19 monounsaturated and 9 polyunsaturated; 65 carbohydrates (4 dietary fiber, 3 sugars and 14 protein); 609 milligrams sodium

Note: Please keep in mind that this information provided here by Edamam is an estimate based on ingredients available and preparation processes, not a replacement for professional nutritional advice.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add your noodles according to package directions until just al dente. About 45-60 seconds from completion, add your bok choy leaves by pressing down gently onto them in order to submerge them under the surface and cook them for 45-60 seconds, until their bright green and just tender leaves have been submerged completely by steam. Drain, and divide between four deep bowls as per package directions.

Distribute garlic between four bowls of noodles, and top each with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon black vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, some scalions and some cilantro leaves for garnish.

As soon as your oil reaches smoking point in a small saucepan (ideally one equipped with a spout to easily pour it out), carefully add garlic and toppings, divide evenly among bowls and pour oil evenly onto them before tossing with noodles and serving immediately.

Ratings, Cooking Notes,and Photos.

Nana2 years ago This dish is one I remember my grandmother always making for me as I was growing up, though with packaged noodles it can still be prepared quickly and deliciously. If possible, use chili pepper powder from Shaanxi instead as its less spicy and more fragrant aroma add a unique flair that other varieties might lack. Other chilies will work as well, though might not have the same authentic Xi’an-style yo po mian taste.

Chantal2 years ago

Black vinegar is worth investing in if it can be found online; it’s an invaluable ingredient. Balsamic vinegar works equally well, although you should find one without too much sweetness for optimal use; perhaps cheaper supermarket varieties might work better than expensive Modena-grown versions.

Catherine W.2 years ago

My family hails from Xi’an and this dish has long been our staple noodle meal. Each member does it slightly differently according to individual preferences; we forgoing cilantro while I opt for spinach over bok choy; similarly I don’t use vinegar or soy sauce and prefer the more subtle flavors of salt, Sichuan pepper infused hot oil, green onions, garlic cloves, Chinese red pepper flakes etc…My father on the other hand uses both dark vinegar & soy sauce which create an exciting mix of flavors.

Cook’s Illustrated, which often provides solutions for hard-to-find ingredients, suggests using equal parts balsamic and rice vinegar in place of black vinegar for their Pork in Garlic Sauce recipe: https://cooksillustrated.com/recipes/6978-Sichuan-stir-Fried-Pork-in-Garlic-Sauce?incode=MCSCD00L0&ref=new_search_experience_15

Amy S asked:

Can the NYT provide sample packages of wide wheat noodles or link me to some. As an amateur Asian chef I do a lot of Asian cooking but don’t understand exactly what that entails– whole wheat or flour-based? There are so many types of noodles out there if you have access to Japanese, Korean or Chinese grocery stores.

Chantal2 years ago

Pappadelle make an excellent alternative to Chinese wide noodles. Personally, I particularly enjoy wide egg noodles (common in German and Jewish cuisine) with Chinese flavouring; you can find these products in most supermarkets like Gelson’s (West Coast), Whole Foods or Aldi stores.

Nana2 years ago

For an alternative to Chinese black vinegar, I often opt for white wine vinegar as a replacement. While lacking its caramel-esque notes, I find apple cider vinegar or straight up white vinegar too intense. Narrow noodles work just as well if wide ones cannot be found; red pepper flakes would work nicely instead; I found wide noodles and chili powder on Weee if available near you.

jasey-enby2 years ago This was absolutely delicious. Since I couldn’t find wide wheat noodles, I substituted with pappardelle. Plus I added grated ginger for extra flavour. So delicious.

I would suggest switching out your chili pepper powder for one from Shaanxi instead, if available in your Asian grocery. It will be less spicy and more fragrant Other chili pepper varieties should work, although perhaps won’t quite replicate the authentic taste found in Xi’an yo po mian dishes.

We made this tonight December 25, 2023. My family absolutely enjoyed it. I made some slight variations by adding broccoli along with one jammy egg per serving for extra protein and flavor Simple and flavorful recipe we will definitely enjoy again in future meals.

K. Army3 months ago

Our tastes tend toward bold flavors, so I increased all ingredients except noodles, soy sauce and oil – and added Szechuan peppercorns – using black vinegar I found at my grocery store; once prepared in a pot with red peppers and garlic in oil directly. Very delicious dish.

Kay10 months ago

One of my all-time favorite recipes! This dish is so delectable! I’ve made it many times as written, except with more baby bok choy and plenty of ground, toasted Sichuan peppercorns to the red pepper flakes. For noodles I use store bought papardelle or home-made AP flour/egg pasta rolled on 5 setting through my Kitchenaid pasta roller before cutting wide by hand.

Catherine10 months ago

Delicious My family enjoyed this recipe immensely. As there were no broad wheat noodles (we should have used pasta instead), so instead we used both broad and fresh egg noodles – they turned out gloppy so definitely go for dry wheat noodles instead Very garlicky too.

ColleenL1 year ago Because I love bok choy so much and wanted more vegetables in this dish, I increased the quantity of bok choy. Otherwise I made it exactly according to directions – adding extra garlic too. Delicious Additionally I substituted dark soy sauce for half of the regular soy sauce used and even added an additional dash as well – delicious.

Justine Aurelia S. left for college one year ago.

Peanut oil gives Chinese dishes more depth of flavor, so I usually opt for that when making Chinese-themed recipes. Unfortunately, I found too much oil was being added by way of this recipe so it has been reduced accordingly.

Nick C1 year ago

Super easy and delicious I doubled this recipe for a gathering with no issues whatsoever. Instead of placing individual bowls before adding the soy-vinegar mixture and hot oil, I mixed all three elements in one large bowl before tossing to coat – no fussy bowl-sitting required.

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