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Dao-xiao-mian4 (knife-shaven noodles)

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Hi all,

I'm sorry if this has already been asked, but I just couldn't find the answer to this from browsing this forum or googling (even in multiple language encodings).

Does anyone know the actual recipe for these knife-shaven noodles?

Googling only gives me restaurant reviews, and the closest my set of wei-chuan books get is a recipe on "cat ear" noodles.

I know that these noodles can be cooked in pretty much whatever flavor of soup base it seems, but I'm only interested right now in the recipe for the pasta dough itself..



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Buried in this thread is a reference to a recipe by Florence Lin. Hope this helps.

Edited to correct my manners: Welcome, Bert! :biggrin:

Edited by Suzanne F (log)

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Thanks for the tip and the welcome, Suzanne. Eventually I did contact the poster with the Florence Lin reference (thanks, jo-mel), and was kindly directed to the Wei-Chuan Noodles: Home-Cooking book which contained a recipe. (The Florence Lin book did not) I then promptly found the book at Borders, for $20, which was great, especially since it saved me from spending $40 buying the F.L. book on Amazon.

As for the dough recipe, it was something almost absurdly simple:

400g all purpose flour

180g water

And I forget but maybe 1/4 tsp salt.

The only part that makes the noodles special is the knife cutting part. I found it much harder to cut off thin flakes of dough with a knife into boiling water than I expected. First of all, if I hold the dough over the water, then it soaks up the steam and quickly becomes softer and more sticky/mushy, making cutting difficult. If I hold it away, then I would need much better aim than I currently have.

Maybe next time I can try chilling /partially freezing the dough first, for extra firmness.

Anyone else have advice on this?



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Why do you HAVE to cut the noodles into the water? I know that's how professional noodle makers do it, but they've had lots of practice. Why don't you practice cutting the noodles over a board then dump them all into the water at once - that way they'll all be cooked at the same time.

Anyway, I've watched these noodle makers and the "secret" seems to be in the wrist action - a curving motion that looks easy but I'm sure is hard to do at first. Plus, using a very sharp knife.

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As I recall, watching the chef in Boston do it, he stood back a bit from the pot and scraped and flung the noodles at the water. Which is probably harder than scraping directly over the pot, but at least prevents steam burns and soggy blobby dough.

BTW: how long did you have to knead the dough?

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The one chef that I was really able to watch -- at a sidewalk restaurant, stood back from the boiling water, also. The wok of boiling -- actually a vat -- was well below him and he aimed for the water, but even then, some pieces went on the sidewalk. The dough looked quite stiff, and didn't settle as he held it. I've forgotten what the knife looked like, but his slices were decisive, and there must have been wrist action, as the shreds were tapered -- not chunks.

In that picture in the Wei-Chuan Noodle book, Bert -- it looks like the chef is holding the dough, in his hand, over the water. That is not what I remember, but on that sidewalk, the dough was a massive piece and he held it in his arm.

Maybe well chilled dough is the answer.

(Just watch your fingers!!)

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In one of the HK weekly food megazine, they interviewed a shop with knife shaven noodles. They use a special kind of knie that looks like a rectangular piece of metal with have been curled up a bit around and from a crescent moon shape on the edge. Also, they chill the dough for 5-6 hours.

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You have to really knead the dough or else it the noodles won't be chewy enough.

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aprilmei: I did try cutting the dough outside of the pot to dump them in all at once, but the problem again was that the dough was too soft, and when left in a pile they soon started sticking together.

It would be interesting to see what sort of knife it is exactly that they use. I figured sharpness would be necessary, so I used my only "nice" knife, a henkels santoku. I would be first to admit that this is probably not the right size or style of knife for this sort of thing though.

As far as kneading goes, I kneaded it by kitchenaid for 6+ minutes before kneading some more by hand. I'm still a dough novice, but I thought that that was probably enough. Anyone feel free to correct me...

As for the cutting part, the best(most familiar)-shaped pieces came when the knife was drawn in a smooth but sharp cutting motion, and not just in a scraping manner. At least with the santoku, this was much more of a violin-bow/forearm movement than any sort of wrist movement I think.

From the posts so far, I'm guessing that chilling the dough would be the way to go for my next attempt.

Hmm I wonder if a vegetable peeler would work if the dough was firm enough? =P


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Bert -- In that Wei Chuan noodle book, the dough, the chef is holding, looks quite firm. His fingers barely make a dent as he is holding it.

His knife looks like a simple, long, not too wide, cleaver. If your dough is really firm -- but not quite frozen, a sharp potato peeler might work. Worth a try.

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My dad told me that in one area of China the chef puts the dough on top of his head and using two knives he cuts shavings off on either side of his head.

Is this the same type of noodles and has anyone else head of this? Maybe my dad was just pulling my leg :blink:

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I know this is an older thread, but, can anyone show me the proper knife for making these noodles? I have seen regular Chinese noodle knives, but I had heard that the knife for these noodles is specially curved to help with the cutting/shaving off the loaf of dough.

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4 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

I know this is an older thread, but, can anyone show me the proper knife for making these noodles? I have seen regular Chinese noodle knives, but I had heard that the knife for these noodles is specially curved to help with the cutting/shaving off the loaf of dough.


I could be wrong, but I've never noticed any particular knife being used. Everywhere I know just uses a standard Chinese cleaver, as they do for almost everything..

  • Like 1

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I happened to watched on youtube a day ago.

They used a home-made shaver to cut.





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Ah! Youtube, the fount of all knowledge and fact,


You've seen one video on YT, so that's the way it's done.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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I think we are talking about this. I could be wrong:





Many use home made knives for shaving noodles



there is also this one



Edited by dcarch (log)
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Thanks! I have been reading up on these noodles, as I want to learn to make a variety of Chinese and Japanese noodles. I feel weird that I know how to make so many types of Italian noodles and almost nothing about other cultures' noodles. For anyone looking for a recipe in English, THIS blog entry seems pretty good.


I am still contemplating getting a noodle knife, if only because some appear to have blades which are longer than my cleaver.

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