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Apr 1, 2013 10:36 AM

Where to find good "mian xian"?

Mian xian is a Taiwanese noodle soup dish with thin rice noodles in a goupy soup that you add vinegar to.

I've had it at Sinbala in Arcadia, but does anyone know where else one can find a good version of this dish?

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  1. Weird, while I love 面線, I don't think I've ever actually gone out and ordered it at a restaurant.

    Let me check with my mom and get back to you. She knows more about 面線 and Taiwanese nooks and crannies in SGV than I can shake a stick at.

    1. Mian xian comes in a shit ton of flavors, are you literally just looking for the noodles?

      If you're looking for specifically for o-ah-mi-sua, then you should state as such. Ai Chung (San Gabriel's) OAMS was well loved, but mostly because the damned chili paste was so spicy and addicting. Since they've shuttered, you can still find a very decent OAMS is at Huge Tree.

      if you're looking literally for a bowl of mian xian in "something", then Old country (at least the one in Monterey Park) offers every noodle soup dish they have with mian xian. Just ask for a substitute. The pork and squid pottage mian xian is probably the most appropriate pairing. They offer that in a mixed combo. Old Country MPK does not have OAMS.

      6 Replies
      1. re: TonyC

        There's also stewed pig foot mian xian 豬腳麵線 which is often eaten by Fujianese and Taiwanese as an ailment for bad luck or curses (it is said to bring about better luck or getting rid of being S.O.L), or in some cases, eaten after something catastrophic or tragic has happened.

        Moms often feed their kids pig foot mian xian in TW, also to help bring about better grades.

        For those who can read, there's a TW saying and its explanation:


        1. re: TonyC

          I think Ay Chung IS what I'm looking for - I ate there in Taiwan! The "o-ah" you're referring to is oyster, right? Not that I mind oysters, but does Huge Tree have non-oyster versions? Are the noodle soup dishes at Old Country served with the thickened broth? I guess what I'm really craving is the combination of the thin noodles with the thickened broth.

          1. re: matikin9

            Ay Chung completely pulled out of US (Milpitas, San Gabriel and Flushing Mall) as of '11.

            Huge Tree have intestine mi sua and OAMS, or you can do a mixta. I have to have both, I don't know why. And you can pair with a ba wan, and stink up everything with the garlicky soy on the table.

            Old Country Cafe (both locations, I believe. You can call and confirm) has "thickened" chitlin' mi sua. They also have the pig foot mian xian K K spoke of. They also have the thickend mi sua with pork and/or squid pottage. Be aware: it's a MSG fest.

            My Way Deli has mixed intestine/oyster, but since oysters actually cost more, and is found in scarcity in My Way's version, surely they'll just leave it out if you ask for it. Also, My Way has edible o-ah-jian, but forget about anything else there.

            There's a stall in the President Food Court that used to do a very nice herbal duck mian xian, but when I last visited a couple of years ago, it tasted like dishwater soup infused with dang gui. Blech.

            1. re: TonyC

              The original Ay Chung in Xiemending Taipei only serves intestine/chitterlings mian xian, the founder and his descendants did not want to muck with the original receipe by adding oysters to it and has been stubborn about it for a while. The adding of oysters is more of a Fujianese influence, where immigrants from Fujian settled at first in Central western Taiwan coast, around Lu Gan(g) (where there are some oyster farms there that yield sweet delectable perfectly shaped and sized oysters for the omlettes. The omlettes were more for the other parts of TW but a more celebrated use of the oysters in central TW was Er-Deh (O-Deh)...eggless oyster pie (deep fried with basil, flour, salt, and maybe chives or scallions).

              I too prefer both oysters and chitterlings/interestines inside my mian xian. Minced garlic or paste is a must, and I prefer black vinegar over soy sauce.

              The darker red brown mian xian are sun dried and treated a different way (which gives them that color) and there are ones imported from TW sold at the likes of HK2 supermarket (e.g. Rowland Heights) that have other things mixed in (red yeast?). I've used this brand (from TW) before, and it is more yellow than I would like...with a whooping 1600 ish mg sodium.

              1. re: TonyC

                Wife had the oyster and intestine one at Old Country (the newer one on Rosemead) for dinner, and it's plenty gloopy.

                1. re: TonyC

                  Awesome, that's a bunch of places I can put on my to-try list, thanks! BTW, I'm the random girl who was with Jack & Amy last night at Haus. :D