Cry Baby Noodles Recipe: The Secret Behind Netflix’s Irresistible ‘One-Bite’ Delight

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Cry Baby Noodles Recipe

The cry baby noodles featured in the Netflix series “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” have reached internet stardom for their mouthwatering deliciousness prompting tears of joy with every bite. What’s the secret? This inside look reveals an easy 6-step cry baby noodles recipe to make the phenomenal dish at home along with pro tips to nail the signature flavors.

In just 30 minutes active time, this recipe yields 4 servings of noodles bursting with umami personality. The prep time clocks in at 10 minutes and the total cook time is only 20 minutes for a start-to-finish timeline of just one hour. Each 427-calorie portion packs a powerful punch of savory satisfaction. Read on for the full cry baby noodles recipe details.

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410 mins20 mins1 hr427
<strong>Recipe Ingredients</strong>

Ingredients for cry baby noodles recipe

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons neutral oil like vegetable, grapeseed or sunflower
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
One 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 cup beef stock or water

For Serving:

1 (12 ounce) package fresh Chinese noodles or 12 ounces dried noodles prepared per package instructions
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Lime wedges for serving
Sambal or other chili sauce for serving
Recipe Instructions


Step 1:

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger and onion. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and onions are translucent.

Step 2:

Add beef to pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, breaking up meat into small crumbles as it browns.

Step 3:

When beef is no longer pink, stir in soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, Shaoxing wine and white pepper. Cook for 1 minute to evenly coat beef in sauces.

Step 4:

Pour in chicken stock or water. Bring mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Sauce will reduce down and coat beef.

Step 5:

Add cooked noodles and scallions to skillet. Gently toss everything together until noodles are fully coated in sauce.

Step 6:

Serve cry baby noodles immediately with lime wedges for squeezing over top and sambal or chili sauce on the side. Enjoy!

The Secret Behind the Cry Baby Noodles Recipe

So what makes these noodles deliver such powerful bursts of flavor that bring tears of joy streaming down cheeks? It comes down to a flavor trifecta punched up with clever technique. Let’s break it down element by element.

Umami-Rich Ingredients

Umami is considered the fifth basic taste alongside sweet, sour, salty and bitter – and it translates to deliciousness! Ingredients naturally high in savory glutamates like beef, garlic, onions and mushrooms deliver meaty, brothy, rich satisfaction for the tastebuds. Combining umami all-stars creates exponential effects rather than just additive impacts. This cry baby noodles recipe stacks the umami deck.

Potent Sauces

Beyond umami-PACKED whole food ingredients, this noodles dish incorporates bold Asian sauces packed with fermented flavors. A triple hit of soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce amplifies the taste with notes of caramel and brassicas. Just a bit splashed into the beef mixture as it cooks concentrates crazy deliciousness into the final noodles.

Hot Oil Jump Starts Flavor

Blooming aromatics like ginger, garlic and onion in hot oil before adding the beef accelerates flavor development through the Maillard reaction. This chemical process kicks savory flavors into overdrive once the minced alliums take on a toasted appearance in the fat. In just 60 seconds, you can practically hear the umami flavors pop!

Nailed Textures

Properly cooked noodles ought to have a delicate bounce with a subtle chew – not too mushy and not too toothsome. Fresh or properly boiled then thoroughly drained dried noodles achieve sublime texture for catching every drop of the powerfully-seasoned sauce. Contrast comes from scallions adding gentle crunch and chili sauce or lime juice spritzing the palate between bites.

Follow the Formula

While we can’t guarantee literal tears with every bite, you CAN replicate the mouth-popping magic of these cry baby noodles at home by following this simple template: Umami All-Stars + Potent Sauces + Hot Oil Blooming + Perfectly Cooked Noodles + Contrasting Textures = Crazy Delicious Noodles to Make You Cry Happy Tears!


One whiff of these aromatic noodles sizzling hot from the wok and you’ll see why Chef Samin’s recipe prompts such emotional outpouring. Bright scallions dancing in a complex sauce coating gently bouncing noodles present an irresistible invitation to dig in. The first bite of cry baby noodles recipe doesn’t disappoint – an instant rush of soy, ocean and garlic flood the senses. You’ll be hooked, ready to cry tears of joy and slurp up every last noodle in the bowl. Who’s ready to get cooking?  
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