Fried noodles in Taiwan SUCK!

Sorry, this might be better placed in the “living in Taiwan” forum where most such whinges go, except that perhaps some kind 'mosan can prove me wrong by telling me someplace (on the island, obviously) where they don’t suck!

Now let me define “suck” as it refers to fried noodles:

  1. if the noodles look like the kind you get in a package of instant noodles - it sucks.
  2. if it’s soggy and there’s enough soup to drink - it sucks.
  3. if it tastes like “sha cha” (沙茶?) it sucks. (Only a LONG-standing foreign resident of Taiwan will understand #3!)

It should also NOT be those crispy Cantonese noodles. That’s a different thing. What I’m talking about is slightly oily but NOT soupy, fatass fried noodles that actually have some TASTE!

I lived in Nanjing for a year so maybe I was spoiled, but frankly even the fried noodles in San Diego were better than the ones they serve here! I’ve yet to find ONE exception! Please help!

You haven’t defined “suck”. You’ve just defined your personal complaints about noodles. Personally I’ve rarely had bad fried noodles.

Personally I usually suck my noodles. Not the other way round.

I have been here for a looooong time. I have had lousy fried noodles, but I have had some really tasty awesome ones, in Taipei and Tainan.

I don’t know where you eat, but I love the fried noodles. I think you’re a little overly dramatic saying they “suck”. Not everything in this country is great. There is so much variety to the food. Everywhere you go even the same dish will taste just a little different. Keep going to diiferent places.

Not with fried noodles, there isn’t. :raspberry: The thing is, I think people have certain expectations when they think of fried noodles (chao mian). You wouldn’t expect soupy eggs if you ordered chao dan (scrambled eggs), so people get disappointed when they get soupy noodles. I think this is in part due to how the word chao is translated. I believe it refers more to the way the food is manipulated in the pan, than how it is cooked, but correct me if I’m wrong. “Chao” basically means to mix something up vigorously, which is probably why chao fan (fried rice) is slang for making love. The problem is, we translate the word “chao” as fried, which conjures up not necessarily accurate images of nice crispy things sizzling on a pan… :s

Yes, finally someone who knows what I’m saying! Thanks Maoman! I was beginning to think I was crazy, because no one (especially Taiwanese) ever knows what I’m talking about when I itterate this complaint!

The different “chao” translation is probably the reason, I agree - because otherwise I don’t know why I always end up with soupy top-ramen flavored with “sha cha” (yuck!) instead of the kind of noodles which I think Maoman knows I’m talking about. Every time I’m like, “um, how can you call this, ‘fried’? Ever eaten ‘fried’ chicken? It doesn’t come in SOUP!”

Even Cantonese noodles come “wet-fried” (sup chao) or “dry-fried” (gorn chao). It sounds like the Taiwanese noodles - which I don’t think I’ve ever tried - are all “wet-fried”, and if so, that’s probably The Way They Are :slight_smile:

I also agree the meaning of chao does technically come closer to “being stirred/mixed up vigorously in a wok/pan over heat”.

2 points:

About my “fried chicken” remark: that was just a smartass remark. I do realize that “za” and “chao” are 2 different words in Chinese.

Also, a small comment: every time I point out that the mod is probably going to move my post to a different forum, they do so! There was actually a reason I wanted this thread in the restaurant forum: because I want people to tell me where to get good fried noodles!