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Feb 20, 2012 08:24 AM

Fish Noodles Found at Zheng's Family Garden

This is a follow up to a posting of my from two or three years ago on fish noodles (i.e., noodles made partially from fish, as opposed to noodles served with fish) which I have been unable to exhume. As previously recounted I had run into these fish noodles at a Fujianese restaurant in Orlando and inquired without response as to whether the same item could be found in Manhattan Chinatown, particularly somewhere off of East Broadway. I did note that there was a restaurant on East Broadway with the same name as the Orlando restaurant, Zheng's Family Garden, but never encountered it on my trips on East Broadway, though I wasn't specifically looking for it either. However, I finally decided to seek out the Manhattan branch of Zheng's and located it downstairs at 151 East Broadway, almost to Rutgers St. The menu at this branch of Zheng's appeared to be identical to the Florida location, and does contain the fish noodles. Indeed, this must be their specialty because it took them less than a minute to fill my order for fish noodle soup. These noodles had the same elastic crunch as in the Orlando branch (and as the fish skin fish dumpling wrappers at Ivy's Deli in Austin, Texas.) So again I need to ask if this dish might be available anywhere else in or around East Broadway.

Zheng's Family Garden
151 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

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  1. Thanks for your digging around here. Don't the Fujianese also put fish (or fish type powder) into the the flour dumpling skins of their fish balls?

    1 Reply
    1. re: scoopG

      Yes they do. I think some Cantonese do the same thing. I've been fascinated by the topic ever since a Bay Area Chowhound posted on the L.A. board looking for fish flour wonton wrappers that might be sold at an unnamed Los Angeles area Chinese grocery store which we never tracked down. After finding the fish noodles in Orlando, I subsequently encountered fish skin wonton (i.e., wonton wrapper made with fish flour) at a Los Angeles area Chinese buffet , and then the fisk skin fish dumplings in Texas. And that's been it.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. My old paper menu -- procured when I ate at Zheng's last year, before the restaurant's makeover, when it looked even more forbidding, AubWah -- mentions "fish mein with soup." Were you working off a better-translated menu that lists "fish noodles" as such, Chandavki, or should I look sharp for the correct characters?

        Dave Cook

        5 Replies
        1. re: DaveCook

          No, fish mein with soup sounds like the correct dish. I think they're working off the same menu.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            Yes, "fish mein with soup" is the dish in question. The noodles are made with eel, and hand-pulled -- but not in-house -- according to the fellow behind the counter. "Elastic crunch," in Chandavki's words, is a fair assessment of the texture.

            Dave Cook

            1. re: DaveCook

              missed this post somehow, so how did u guys like the noodles? i walk by zheng's all the time, but never eaten there

              i really need to eat at more fujian restaurants to figure them out better

              1. re: Lau

                They're OK, but I think the curiosity factor is the main attraction.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Regarding the noodles, Chandavki has it spot on. But compared with most of the joints on Eldridge, the atmosphere is more sunny than grotty. The afternoon I tried the fish noodles, a dad, a mom, and their two kids were clustered around what must have been their big meal of the day, sharing family time. Decent English spoken here, too.

                  Dave Cook

        2. @Chandavki - is this your July 2009 post?

          In the Balto-DC area we have a restaurant named Grace Garden that serves Fish Noodles described as "fresh noodles hand-made with ground fish, sauteed with Chinese sausage, mushroom, & cilantro" on their eastern/traditional menu:

          The topic for this restaurant over in the Balto-DC board has > 150 entries: and includes the attached photo from one of our 'hounds. BTW, the noodles aren't overly fishy-flavored - but are very perishable.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Lydia R

            The fish noodles at Grace Garden are awesome, I have had them several times.

            1. re: hon

              and BTW, the caption for the Grace Garden Fish Noodles says this:
              Fish Noodles Found at Zheng's Family Garden (Manhattan)

              1. re: hon

                That's not a caption for the photo, which comes from Grace Garden's site. It's just the title of this thread, which is where the photo was posted.

          2. good taste, on monroe at market, has them on the menu, but, i haven't tried them yet.


            i've been to grace gardens, though, which was mentioned in a response by lydia r.. those noodles are basically a very mild tasting minced, white fish. they are about 3/8" in diameter and soft. grace gardens is a short detour when traveling by car between manhattan and washington, dc (it's about ½ way btw balt and wash).

            Good Taste
            41 Monroe St, New York, NY 10002

            1 Reply
            1. re: piney

              Interesting to see that Good Taste has a menu on the Internet. When I stopped by there a couple of years ago, the in-house menu was only in Chinese.