Dāo Xiāo Miàn – Sliced Noodle -­ 刀削面

A noodle delicacy coming directly from the noodle­-renowned Shanxi region. The Hand Shaved Noodles offer a rustic approach to the many variety of noodles found in China. The technique for preparation requires precision only achieved with endless practice. Unlike the other variety of noodles, these are meant to look simple, imperfect, and simply mouth-watering. Prices range depending on the different ingredients that can be added, but you can expect to pay around 30rmb per dish. It is considered as one of China’s famous five noodles, the other four being Beijing’s Zhajiangmian, Wuhan’s dry noodles, Sichuan’s dan dan noodles and Shandong’s Yi mein.

Cooking Method:
Preparing the Dough­
4 Cups of of bread flour (小麦面粉)
1­2 Cups of water
3 Cups of all purpose flour
1 Cup of rice flour
1 tbs of Salt
1tbs of baking powder
1­2 Cups of Water
Pour the dry ingredients into a bowl, open a small space in the center and slowly start pouring water. Mix the dough as you pour the water until you have a dry–but not sticky–mass. Add more water if necessary. When you have a rough dough, knead for 10 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes and knead again for another 10 minutes. Roll the dough into an oval and let it rest in the fridge.
OPTIONAL: Repeat the knead­rest process until you have a smooth surface. Wrapping the dough in plastic paper, while letting it rest, helps moisturize the dough.
Boiling the Noodles­
The noodle itself has a seemingly simple, traditional preparation. Start boiling water and add salt. Once the water is boiling, hold the dough on one hand and use a sharp knife to cut slices out of the mass (Preferably at a 30 degree angle). The motion should be seamless, with the knife always touching the dough. Cook for about 5 minutes and then take the noodles out.
Add the noodles to a beef bone broth (牛骨头). Add red braised beef (红烧牛肉)or red braised cow mix (红烧牛杂). Place a few coriander leaves on top and enjoy.

Dāoxiāomiàn originated in Taiyuan, Shanxi during the 12th century. Although there is no clear record of how this type of noodle preparation came to be, there is a common tale that dates its origins back to the Mongolian Tartar occupation of the central plains in the Yuan Dynasty. At that time various types of household metalware were confiscated in order to prevent people from revolting and thus only one knife was available for every ten houses. The tale tells the story of a housewife preparing noodles. She had left the dough resting waiting for her family’s turn to use the knife. However while the husband was walking back home he stumbled upon a sharp yet thin piece of metal on the ground. Once home, the husband impatiently handed his wife the piece of metal and suggests she uses it to cut the dough–it worked. This technique resulted in noodles thick around the center but soft around the edges, a characteristic trait of Dāoxiāomiàn. This method quickly spread among the people of Shanxi. Later in the Ming Dynasty this technique also spread outside of the household and into restaurants and city streets.

Variations occur both in terms of sauces/broths and toppings. The broth can be cow bone broth, replaced by gravy, the noodles can also be braised in a pork marinade sauce, they can be stir fried or even presented cold tossed. Toppings can include more pork, bay leaves, cow innards, bean sprouts, etc.
太原刀削面, Taiyuan Noodle
大同刀削面, Datong Noodle
刀削面卤汤, Gravy soup DaoXiaoMian