Tainan Style Noodles

  • Serves

    serves 6


(Tan-tzu Mian)
Of Fukien origins, this noodle dish is now synonymous with Tainan—thanks to the expertise of noodle cooks like those at Slow Season, who gave us this recipe.


  • 2 lb. medium shrimp
  • Salt
  • 2 tsp. lard
  • 14 lb. boneless pork butt, minced
  • 4 small shallots, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. Chinese dark soy sauce
  • 10 oz. you-mian (oily noodles) or 6 oz. spaghetti
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts, heads and tails trimmed
  • 12 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and finely minced
  • 6 small sprigs cilantro


Step 1

Peel shrimp, chop shells, and put shells into a medium pot. Halve 3 of the shrimp lengthwise and set aside. (Save remaining shrimp for another use.) Add 8 cups water to pot and boil over medium heat, partially covered, until liquid has reduced by about one-quarter, 35–45 minutes. Strain broth into a small pot and season to taste with salt. Keep warm over lowest heat.

Step 2

Heat lard in a wok over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Stir-fry pork until no longer pink. Add shallots and stir-fry until pork is well browned, 5–7 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and I cup water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Step 3

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Put shrimp into a large sieve, transfer to pot, and cook until opaque, 25–30 seconds. Set shrimp aside. Put noodles into sieve, transfer to pot, and cook until soft, 1 minute for the oily noodles and divide between 6 bowls. Put sprouts into sieve, transfer to pot, and blanch. Drain sprouts, then divide between bowls. Divide garlic, scallions, cilantro, and shrimp broth between bowls, then add a generous tbsp. of the pork sauce to each bowl. Garnish each with a piece of shrimp.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.