Toushoumen: a Different Style of Noodle

In Making Udon Noodles from Scratch, I showed how dough was flattened out like a pizza crust, folded over, and carefully cut into long strips to be boiled into udon noodles. While in Tokyo earlier this year, we came across a different method of preparing the noodles at a shop named for the this style of noodle preparation: Tosho-men (刀削麺).

This style, from the Shanxi region of China, literally means “knife-cut noodles”.

As with the Japanese preparation style, the chef starts with a hunk of dough...

It's Time to Make the Noodles -- Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/50 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
It's Time to Make the Noodles

He then stands some distance from a big pot of boiling water, and starts hacking away at whirlwind speed, sending long strips of dough flying through the air toward (and usually into) the pot.

Flying Noodles of Fury -- Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/60 sec, f/4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Flying Noodles of Fury

It's hoped that a finger or two don't also make the trip.

Multiple Noodles In Transit -- Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Multiple Noodles In Transit

This method seems easier to me than the normal Japanese method, at least until the blob of dough gets small enough to reveal the chef's fingers. However, the results are less uniform (and less long), which is perhaps why the Japanese favor their method.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

I’ve seen this on a few shows about China and it’s pretty impressive, neat that you got to see it in person.

— comment by Jon on April 21st, 2008 at 1:46am JST (9 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Wow, that looks dangerous! Very impressive!

— comment by Jao on April 21st, 2008 at 11:20am JST (9 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve been to that restaurant — it’s near Toranomon Station, right?

— comment by Cory on May 2nd, 2010 at 8:59pm JST (7 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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