dao shao mian (Chinese "knife-cut" noodles) in Bay Area??
- foodfirst Jan 17, 2002 12:43 PM
Given the number of Chinese food chowhounds that read/respond to this board, it seems the perfect place to ask where/if I can find "knife-cut" noodles in the Bay Area? The technique for these noodles is: chef holds a big "loaf" of dough in one hand and, with a cleaver (dao), slices off pieces from the loaf into boiling water, then scoops them out with a ladle (shao). The result is thick and hefty, slightly rough-textured, unevenly-shaped (about 1 in. wide) noodles that are slightly slippery and have the most wonderful chew. I'm most familiar with them in a spicy broth with ground pork and pieces of greens and lots of chile paste on top. About 8-10 years ago there was, in SF Chinatown, a northern Chinese restaurant around the corner from the Holiday Inn called (I think) Ryomon (I think it's a seafood restaurant now) that served them fried with cabbage and pork (artery-clogging but so delicious). About 3 years ago the SF Chron food section had a little article about them but when I tried the recipe they were awful (my fault probably).
I dream of this most toothsome of Chinese street foods .... can I get them here???
Foodfirst: There is Ma's in San Jose on Lundy Avenue. They served a knife cut noodle. I have not been there for a while. They also a bake bread like a pizza without the topping. The Chinese food is Muslim Chinese so there is no pork used and the Lamb Pot are great. I think that are other in the South Bay I will update later.
I had them for the first time not long ago. And they were as you described, remarkably chewy ovals--very nice texture--sauteed with a minced preserved vegetable and some pork, if memory serves. I think it was at Ocean on Clement, and the noodles were the only memorable thing we had that night.
One of the real strengths of the SF board is the discussion of various chinese cuisines. If you look further down the board starting about 8/31/01 and scan through to earlier posts through the month of July, you'll find some amazing discussion threads about Huaiyang cuisine, the perfect dan dan noodles, and more. During that timeframe, I was surprised every day at the number of local Chinese lurkers who popped up to add to our knowledge base or the Chinese chowhounds or China hounds from other regions who stopped in to join the discussion. I even got concerned that we might be turning off some of the other readership because the content was so skewed to minutiae of Chinese food. I really learned a lot from those posts.
Fwiw, Ryumon is still there, but I've never tried it. A couple friends really like the dim sum there.
These are available at Fatima (San Mateo on El Camino and Cupertino on De Anza). With a name like that, these are Chinese Muslim restaurants. There's also a Chinese Muslim restaurant next to the Century 16 Cinemas in Mountain View that serves these noodles (usually translated "dough slice" on the menus as I recall).