Tainan Fish Noodles

You haven’t tried fish noodles (魚麵 – yumian) until you have eaten at the Xia Family Handmade Noodle Shop. 

The sign outside Xia Family Handmade Noodle Shop

My good friend Amy insisted we try fish noodles when we last visited Tainan.  At first I didn’t quite understand what all the fuss was about.  We had already had tubular seafood rice noodle soup and milkfish congee, let alone countless other snacks — surely we didn’t need any more seafood!  When my dish of simple soup noodles topped with nori seaweed arrived I was somewhat confused.  Where was the fish?  I thought this was fish noodle soup!  But then I tasted a bite of the homemade, rustic noodles.  They were chewy and quite unlike anything I had ever had before.  And then it hit me: the fish was in the noodles.  This was truly ‘fish noodles’, not ‘noodles with fish’.

Fish Noodle Soup

And the owner was not lying when he claimed that the noodles are handmade.  I had to find the restroom, and as I negotiated my way to the back of the restaurant I saw him vigorously handrolling the noodles using a simple glass wine bottle.  No special equipment here!  He was friendly and happy to chat and pose for photographs.  He said the noodle dough is made from fresh fish and flour.  At one stage he upgraded to a machine, but the fish noodle dough was too sticky and unpredictable for mechanisation.  So he went back to his original tried-and-true wine bottle method. 

Rolling out the fish noodle dough with a wine bottle

Close-up of the fish noodle dough

Cutting out fish noodle dough into strips

In addition to fish noodle soup, Xia Family also make ‘dry’ noodle soup and fish dumplings.  Plus some supersized homemade fish balls that are large and very tasty, nice as a side-dish to the noodles.

Xia Family fish balls

Xia Family Handmade Fish Noodle Shop is at No 343 Fuqian Road Sec 1 (夏家手工魚麵店, 台南市府前路343號), phone 0912 124 620, (06) 214 4400.

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About taiwanxifu

‘Taiwanxifu’ (pronounced ‘shee foo’) means ‘Taiwan daughter-in-law’ in Chinese and has been my nickname ever since I married my Taiwanese husband, Sam. I love sampling Taiwanese food, even local specialties such as stinky tofu, pigs blood cake and Taipei beef noodle soup with offal. But there are many other options on the menu. Promise!
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4 Responses to Tainan Fish Noodles

  1. THE Steve says:

    This looks truly delicious…but can I play golf with the fish balls? (warning: in joke)

    • Taiwanxifu says:

      Hi THE Steve,

      Well, the fishballs are almost the same size as golf balls. Probably not the same texture, though. But just because I tried to make YOUR golf blog all about food, don’t think you can make mine about golf. (Ha, ha, ha!)

      Serina

  2. Chi-ping says:

    現在能吃到手工作的料理,真是一種幸福.特別是在機器大量生產的這個時代.

    • Taiwanxifu says:

      [Translation: You are lucky to be able to eat handmade food, especially in this age of mechanised, mass-scale automated production.]

      Dear Chi-ping,
      Yes, living in Taiwan I am lucky to be able to eat “hand-made” food. I am not sure how long it will last, though. Some people have complained to me that there are not as many ‘xiao chi’ in Tainan as before. Hopefully, though enough people will be interested in the local food traditions to make them a viable commercial option.

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