Tainan Style Noodles
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.
Yield: serves 6
- 2 lb. medium shrimp
- 2 tsp. lard
- 1⁄4 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
- 1⁄2 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 scallion, trimmed and finely minced
- 6 small sprigs cilantro
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.