Shanxi Noodles

Shanxi Province, which is also famous for its noodles and vinegar.  Yes, it’s as confusing as it seems. 

In Shanxi preparations, where you’ll find over 100 varieties of noodle shapes and preparations, you generally select a type of noodle and then a sauce or desired preparation style.  You might have noodles dry and topped with a savory sauce, or in a broth based soup, or sautéed.  If you peek in the kitchen, you’ll see noodles pulled, pinched, snipped and sliced, some with great theatrics straight into the boiling cauldron. 


Shanxi noodles primer

fresh mao er duo



猫耳朵 – mao er dou:  cat eared pasta (like orrechiete) which can be paired with sauces but tastes best sautéed with cabbage with soy and vinegar (pork optional) 




plain dao xiao mian


刀削面 – dao xiao mian:  knife cut noodles, shaved from a giant block of dough which is mount on the equivalent of a washboard and hoisted over the shoulder, with noodles always shaved off directly into the boiling water.



Shanxi la mian


拉面 – la mian:  like all hand pulled noodles, a wonder to watch as 5 to 10 pounds of flours is kneaded, stretched and pulled into delicate even strands.








yi gen mian - a single strand!


 一根面 – yi gen mian:  a 25 meter long single strand of hand pulled noodle in each bowl
剪刀面 – jian dao mian:  noodles are cut with an enormous pair of scissors as the giant spool shaped dough is rotated.

揪片儿 – jiu pian er:  easy, just grab a long coil of dough and start pinching bits off into the water; best done at great distances from the boiling water so you can pitch them across the room