Taiwanese noodles refer to the noodles which are uniquely prepared in Taiwan. In Taiwan, noodles are made very long and are usually thinner than their Chinese and Japanese counterparts. These noodles are basically prepared from whole-wheat but they are mostly flavored with green tea, yam, and blue-green algae. The Taiwanese cuisine is divided into 8 categories and rice noodles form one integral category. Taiwanese use following noodle variants in their regular cooking:
- Hsinchu rice noodles
- Taiwanese rice noodles
- Slab noodles
- Slender Nantou noodles
The Hsinchu rice noodles were introduced in Taiwan by Fujianese, who fled China during the invasion of five Barbarian tribes. They are identified as water noodles or thick noodles and cooking noodles or slim rice noodles.
Taiwanese also cook the O-a-mi-suann (thin noodles involving oysters), but Taiwanese beef noodles are the most popular Taiwanese cultural export.
Taiwanese Noodles Recipe Variations
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup: This beef noodle soup is often served as a main dish in most of Taiwan. Spices like star anise and dried tangerine are used to impart an exotic flavor to the dish. The flavor of beef broth is balanced by using pickled mustard greens. This soup is prepared using water, sauce, Chinese rice wine, light brown sugar, peeled fresh ginger, scallions, garlic, cilantro stems, Asian dried tangerine, whole star anise, hot red pepper flakes, chicken broth, meaty beef ribs, mung bean sprouts, Chinese pickled and mustard greens. The noodles are cooked in a pot of salt water and kept aside. The broth is prepared by combining other ingredients excluding sprouts, pickled mustard greens, and cilantro. The meat is removed from the broth at certain stage of cooking and preserved for serving. The noodles are added to bowl and cooked broth is poured over it. The noodles are served after topping with scallion greens, meat, pickled mustard greens, bean sprouts, and cilantro sprigs.
The diners are served with beef soup noodles with only beef broth, if they order for it in a restaurant. If the diners order for beef-soup, then they are served with a bowl of beef broth with few beef pieces in it.
- Tsao Mi Fun: This translates to Taiwanese Fried Rice Noodles. Rice vermicili, dried Chinese black mushrooms, five spice powder, are some of the common ingredients which add uniqueness to this dish. The Tsao Mi Fun can be easily prepared using thinly sliced pork loin, soy sauce, rice wine, white pepper, Chinese five-spice powder, cornstarch, Chinese black mushrooms, dried rice vermicelli, vegetable oil, eggs, clove, shrimp, and vegetables like carrot, onions, sprouts, napa cabbage, salt and fresh cilantro. The pork is soaked in a marinade of Chinese rice wine, soy sauce before frying with other ingredients in a wok. The noodles are cooked in regular manner and combined with pork mixture. The dish is garnished with cilantro before serving.
The annual Taiwanese Beef Noodle Festival is organized in Taipei every year and during the festival, the restaurants and cooks compete with each other in making the best beef noodle dish.