tsa misua noodle bowl

Fried Chinese Birthday Noodles (Tsa Misua)

tsa misua noodle bowl with chopsticks
tsa misua noodle bowl
Today is my mom’s birthday. Misua is a skinny salty Chinese noodle from Fujian province, where my ancestors are from. It’s the “longevity noodle” so we always eat it on birthdays and New Years, both American and Chinese. While it can be cooked as noodle soup, I’m sharing the stir fried “tsa” version from my mom.
Fried Chinese Birthday Noodles Tsa Misua

Although Mom makes excellent food, explaining her recipes is not her strong point.

Chef Uy: *email* Mom, I want the recipe for your misua, can you send it?
Mom: *email* boil noodles, mix pork, veggies. That is basically it. Shrimps optional. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This is home style – no measurement. 
Chef Uy: eh… but… I still don’t know how to cook it.

Mom never measures anything and substitutes/leaves out ingredients based on whatever’s in the kitchen, which is why the family dishes are never exactly the same.

Dad: Although you’re making the same dish, it somehow tastes different every time.
Mom: This is why I run a house, not a restaurant.

long life noodles birthday chinese new year lucky

The whole reason why I started OCD was because I wanted to record the recipes I learned, especially the family recipes by mom. Asian food is all about tradition, so it’s kinda nice knowing I can carry these recipes onwards to my future family.

A second boon of writing these recipes down is that we might finally have some consistency in mom’s cooking as well, heh.

Fried Chinese Birthday Noodles Tsa Misua
Without further ado, I present a Fukienese family’s tsa misua birthday noodles. I’ve provided measurements, but in the spirit of mom’s cooking style, think of the amounts as just “guidelines.”

Fried Chinese Birthday Noodles (Tsa Misua)


1 package Chinese misua noodles
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 yellow onion
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water overnight to soften
1/4 lb pork
3-4 carrots
1/4 lb shrimp
1/4 head fresh cabbage
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken broth
Chinese peanuts (roasted peanuts with skin on)
green onions, sliced for garnish

Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until tender (just a few minutes). Drain and set aside.

Chop onions and slice mushrooms, carrots, cabbage into thin diagonal strips.

Heat oil in a wok, stir fry the garlic and onion until fragrant. Stir fry mushrooms, pork, and carrots with soy sauce and sugar. After a few minutes, add cabbage and shrimp and continue to stir fry. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken broth. Let simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.  Add noodles and mix. Top with peanuts and green onions.

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  1. Who wants to eat the same thing over and over again? Variety is the spice of life! I applaud your mom for her non-standardize cooking methods

  2. Literally sounds exactly what my mother does- she never measures anything either! Which makes it very frustrating to try and copy the recipe haha but this looks so yummy x

  3. From Canada – Super "To-Sia" to your blog and your recipes. Luv the convo between your mom and dad — 😉 thanks for sharing a laugh.
    Dad: Although you're making the same dish, it somehow tastes different every time.
    Mom: This is why I run a house, not a restaurant.

  4. I can relate with that no exact measurement style of cooking. That's what I learned from my mom. I wanted to prepare Chinese misua noodles with peanuts this Easter. Thankful I found your helpful page with a neat font and design. Very inspiring. Love love from PH ����

  5. yes, i totally agree! being raised in a chinese home in the outskirts of manila, i can totally attest that for chinese people, there is no such thing as exact measurements when it comes to cooking. we just pour the ingredients in the wok and pray that our ancestors guide us in making the dishes tastier than ever. i'll cook this on my birthday on sunday. to sia!

  6. How long do you boil the noodles for and will it remove the saltiness inherent in misua noodles ? I've made misua soup by just adding the noddles and it always comes out very salty. Thanks for a GREAT recipe. Willl try it on a bday later this month !