A take on the traditional Tainan-style noodles have your fill of this delicious Taiwanese dish loaded with pork, shrimp, and prawns.
Ta-a noodles, danzi noodles or Tainan Style Noodles is a 130 year old noodle snack that dates back to the late Qing dynasty. Found in Tainan, Taiwan this noodles are usually made with minced pork, prawns, bean sprouts and noodles, also called the “Slack Season Ta-a Noodles” these noodles traditionally were served during the typhoon seasons where fishing is proved to be dangerous, these times were called the “slack seasons” and ingredients that were not fish are commonly used like this noodle.
The ingredients of this dish is well known but each establishment and/or individual who regularly prepares them uses them with different amounts and these are a well-guarded secret and usually is not shared. While I am no expert in Taiwanese cuisine the recipe below is a combination of different recipes I saw and the flavour profiles that I tasted and here is my take on it.Print
- Author: Ang Sarap
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Taiwanese
- 300 g Taiwanese style oily noodles or Yaka Mien
- 250 g fatty minced pork
- 1 kg shrimps heads and shells
- 12 pcs prawns
- 4 pcs small shallots (minced)
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 spring onions (minced)
- 6 sprigs cilantro
- 2 tsp pork lard
- fish sauce
- Roast or grill shrimp heads and tails until very fragrant. Place them in a soup pot together with any drippings, add 10 cups of water and boil then simmer in low heat partially covered for 45 minutes. Add the prawns during the last minute to cook then set the prawns aside.
- Strain broth in a smaller pot and then season to taste with fish sauce.
- In a wok add lard then add pork mince and cook until it’s not pink, push pork on the side then add shallots and garlic, sauté for a minute then combine with the pork, cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour soy sauce with 1 cup of water then bring to a boil. Simmer in medium heat until the sauce thickens, this will take around 10 minutes.
- Blanch the bean sprouts then set aside.
- Cook noodles according to packet instructions, then place it on serving bowls together with the bean sprouts, spring onions and cilantro. Pour hot soup on top and a generous serve of the minced pork sauce. Place prawns on top then serve.
Hi I am Raymund a Filipino living in New Zealand, I’m not a cook nor a chef but I love cooking and it is my passion. My real job is an IT Professional whose devotion is to develop applications (I have a Software Development blog for those who might be interested), my brain is abused at work on a daily basis so cooking at the end of the day acts as my therapy for stress release. I have been cooking since I was 7 years old and since then almost every day I prepare our dinner and weekend meals, I usually try to cook dishes that we had tried and ordered in different restaurants that’s why you will see a lot of varieties at my blog Ang Sarap (angsarap.net). I learned cooking mostly by observing my Aunt who cooks for us when I was younger, I learned to bake by assisting my Mom during my younger years and for the native dishes I learned it from my Grandmother. My other passion is photography which explains the photos you see here and travelling which explains the variety of dishes and reviews of restaurants from all over the world.
I just found your blog and I’m really enjoying it! Thank you for creating a food lover’s space that isn’t pretentious or precious… just informative, fun, and well thought out.
I love your photography style… it’s really gorgeous.
I’m making these noodles tonight… thanks again!
Thanks for the kind comments Tana
Hi there, thank you for sharing this! I am actually from southern Taiwan, and this food snack is truly one of our family’s favorites!
Like you said, the ingredients and the amount may vary a little bit from one to one. In my humble opinon I would probably remove the fish sauce and use rice wine instead. Fish sauce has a stronger flavor (to some, too “fishy”) but rice wine is easier to deal with in many ways. The truth is I don’t see fish sauce that often in Taiwanese food, but that could be just my personal experience. Last but not least, while the noodles are ready, sprinkle some white peper or splash tiny bit of sesame oil as you wish. :)))
Will try your suggestions to make it even more authentic! Thanks Audrey
My mother’s family is from Tainan and I’m Taiwanese. You should be really proud you got so many of the ingredients right. I also agree about the rice wine, but a real secret a a very small spritz of rice vinegar on top of the dish at the very end. You don’t cook the vinegar but it makes Taiwanese pork and noodle dishes have that missing flavor. We also fry the shallots in oil or lard to draw out the flavor before combining with the other ingredients. You can actually buy them freshly fried in Tainan shops. Thanks again for sharing this recipe and a bit of Tainan culture
Wow what a nice response, I will certainly follow those new steps you mentioned to make this even better
I bought this noodles but didn’t know what to do with it. Thank you so much for the recipe. Easy to understand!!