Ta-a noodles

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Dan zai noodles

Ta-a noodles or danzai noodles (traditional Chinese: 擔仔麵; simplified Chinese: 担仔面; pinyin: dānzǎi miàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: tàⁿ-á-mī; literally: "shoulder pole noodle") is a type of snack found in Tainan, Taiwan.[1] It originated in Tainan, (in southern Taiwan) about 130 years ago. Tan-tsu Noodles is also known as "Slack Season Tan-tsu Noodle". While the general recipe is well known, some of the spices and the proportions of the various ingredients (shrimp flavored soup, shrimp, coriander, and garlic) are well guarded secrets by the different restaurants/stands that serve it. While seemingly a simple snack, foodies from all over the world have given it substantial recognition. The normal serving size is usually small, being considered more of a snack than an entree. It is also on the pricier side (relatively) at around 50 NTD ($1.67 USD) for a small bowl.


Tan-tsu Noodle is rumored to originate in the late Qing dynasty, around 1895. The founder was a fisherman named Hong Yutou, from Tainan, and descending from fishermen in Zhangzhou, Fujian who immigrated to Taiwan. During the Tomb Sweeping Festival and summer season (July to September) each year in Taiwan, there are frequent typhoons, rendering fishing too dangerous. These periods of time were called the “Slack Season” because the fishermen were not able to work. When Hong was 20 years old, he began to sell noodles to earn money during this "Slack Season" and then eventually began to make this his primary occupation. In the beginning, he carried his noodles on shoulder poles (擔仔; tàⁿ-á) and sold them on the street before setting up a small stall in front of the Tainan Shui Xian Temple. Thus the name “Slack Season Tan-tsu Noodle”.

Production methods[edit]

  1. Ingredients: "oil noodles", minced pork, prawn, bean sprouts, cilantro, black vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and egg.
  2. Boil prawn heads to be used as the soup base
  3. Boil noodles and bean sprouts in hot water, while shaking them up and down
  4. Pick up noodles and bean sprouts, put bean sprouts on the bowl first and then put noodles on the bean sprouts in bowl. Topped with minced pork and prawn.
  5. Add the prawn head soup, and then add some seasoning to your taste: typically black vinegar, garlic and cilantro.
  6. Also can be topped with an egg or pork ball



See Also[edit]