Secret to Stir Fry Noodles That Don’t Stick

Everyone loves stir fried noodles but not when they stick to your wok.  My simple rules will guarantee NO-stick noodles if you use a well seasoned cast iron wok.  I must confess I was always intimidated frying noodles especially after watching my mom and then my sister fry them so expertly.  They did use a LOT of oil but after experimenting a few times, I realized you don’t have to use a ton of oil if you use my technique. You don’t even need to visit an Asian market for any of the ingredients I used in this noodle dish.

Please don’t make this in front of guests till you’ve experimented on your own, less pressure and you’ll be able to think clearly. You’ll notice I was making this for a dinner party with an appetizer of Egg Drop Soup and Apple Galette for dessert. I’ll share those dishes in another post.

HERE’S THE 101 FOR NO-STICK NOODLES…Once you understand the WHY, it’ll be a breeze.

About your wok…
If you are a new Wok Star…don’t make this dish for at least a month till you’ve built up enough patina when your cast iron wok becomes glossy and slick. The MORE YOU USE YOUR WOK, the BETTER the PATINA. If you don’t have a wok, use a wide stainless steel pan but you WILL need to use a lot more oil and I cannot guarantee they won’t stick. This is why I put together a KIT to eliminate all those issues of sticking, it’s not just the wok, you need the heat and then the technique which I’ll share below.

About the heat..
It’s vital to use high heat especially when cooking noodles, otherwise they will stick. If you have an electric stove, good luck. 

About the noodles…
If you can’t find Asian noodles in your local supermarket’s Ethnic section, just get thin Italian egg noodles which work FINE! You do know that the Italians learned how to make pasta from the Chinese, right? See technique below. The trick is to get the noodles as dry as possible so they DON’T stick and use OIL in the boiling water to keep them separated while cooking AND oil while they’re drying as well as when frying of course. Same concept as stir frying vegetables and meat.

Technique for NO-stick noodles…

  1. Boil noodles in the morning if using for dinner. Keep them Al Dente, if too soft, all the starch comes out and that’s what makes them stick to wok!    
  2. BIG TIP: squeeze in a few drops of oil (grape seed, olive oil) into the water, this prevents them sticking. Use chopsticks and separate the noodles while they are boiling.
  3. Drain really well, wet noodles are another reason for noodles sticking to your wok. Sprinkle toasted sesame oil and make sure oil is covering all the noodles well, use chopsticks and separate them.
  4. Use kitchen cloth towel and cover noodles to prevent from drying out till you’re ready to use.

Note: you can use just one kind of meat or seafood to keep it simple. You can also just slice the pork and stir fry instead of grilling. My reason for grilling was I wanted to make it like Char Siu (Chinese roast pork.)

1 head Bok Choy (sub with Broccoli, Broccolini, Cabbage, Baby Boy Choy, Kale, endless choices) cut into diagonals
1 bag multi colored mini sweet peppers (sub with bell peppers, carrots, golden beet)
4-5 scallions, cut into diagonals, green and white
1 big bunch cilantro
1 thumb size ginger, shredded or thwacked
4-5 cloves garlic, diced or thwacked

1 pound shelled, deveined, shrimp (31-40 count)
2 big pork shoulder or spare rib chops

Grape seed oil
Toasted sesame oil (never use for high heat cooking please! It’s not stable and become carcinogenic!) 

You know the drill…
for marinading shrimp and pork if you are stir frying instead of grilling

Pepper (white ground)

slice grilled pork into bite size pieces

You know the drill…
Heat wok, add oil, add garlic and ginger…
Fry Vegetables – Bok Choy and Mini Sweet Peppers, scallions, sprinkle Tamari and sherry, plate

Heat wok, add oil, add garlic and ginger…
Fry Shrimp – add to plate of vegetables

Heat wok till you see first whisp of smoke, add 4 rounds of oil and let it heat a little before adding noodles…
Fry Noodles – sprinkle a little Tamari and keep tossing the noodles. Since they are well oiled from both boiling and draining AND in the wok, you should be guaranteed NO-sticking!  Taste and adjust flavor, add in vegetables, shrimp and pork and keep tossing till all warmed through. 

Dish onto big platter, boom, done! 

ENJOY! Would love to hear how your NO-stick noodles turned out and what subs or combos you used?

Keep it simple with only Bok Choy & Multi Mini Sweet Peppers. Always have scallions, cilantro for garnish.

Line up everything so you’re ready to FRY!

Fry everything separately!

TA DA! Final presentation.

8 Responses to Secret to Stir Fry Noodles That Don’t Stick
  1. Vanessa Seoane
    March 4, 2020 | 8:37 am

    I’m having toruble making sure the noodles don’t stink while they boil! I try to separate it with tongs while it’s cooking but I tend to burn myself in the process with the hot water lol. Any tips for this???

  2. Vanessa Seoane
    March 4, 2020 | 8:37 am

    I’m having toruble making sure the noodles don’t stink while they boil! I try to separate it with tongs while it’s cooking but I tend to burn myself in the process with the hot water lol. Any tips for this?

  3. Jonathan
    April 3, 2019 | 5:53 pm


    I’ve cooled with a non stick “wok” made of porcelain. I graduated to a steel wok that I seasoned, but am quickly loosing interest as most of what I cook seems tos tick. Eggs and noodles mainly, and I am ready to hammer this thing into a frisbee and chuck it into the ocean. (Currently cooking now and my noodles are stuck so I’m rather annoyed)

    I will try these tips.


    • Eleanor Hoh
      August 10, 2019 | 6:19 pm

      I feel your pain, you made me LOL, ha, ha! NOTHING beats cast iron material for cooking ANYTHING. That’s why I put together a KIT, go check it out. And not just the right wok. You need high heat, right technique and quality seasonings.

  4. Kim
    April 25, 2018 | 5:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these amazing tips. Can’t wait to use these for the next stir fry dish. Awesome!

  5. Michael P Salmon
    April 10, 2018 | 4:08 am

    I don’t get it!
    Why not use a non-stick pan for this?
    Thank you!

    • Eleanor Hoh
      May 17, 2018 | 11:42 am

      Hi Michael, oh, you must be new to my Wok Star philosophy about using the right kind of wok/pans for cooking.

      Non stick pans are made of material that CANNOT withstand high heat and when you use above medium heat, the heat degenerates the plastic which leaks into your food, you don’t want that, do you? You can go to Dupont’s website, the manufacturer of teflon and nonstick, they post right on their own site to use only on medium heat. Just check any forum and you’ll read sad stories about little birds dying from toxic fumes when the pans are used on heat above what they are meant to be used on.

      You need high heat for wok cooking and to get your noodles crispy and not stick. That’s it.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?