August 23, 2022
BEIJING – For the past 18 years, many customers have lined up for lunch and dinner in front of Zhao Xiping’s noodle restaurant – Zhaolaoqi – in Taiyuan, Shanxi province.
Zhao, the fifth inheritor of Zhaolaoqi knife-cut noodles, which has been listed as a city-level intangible cultural heritage in Taiyuan, moved to the city from Datong in 2004 and opened the restaurant.
“Datong knife-cut noodles are one of the most famous noodle dishes in Shanxi,” he said. “Zhaolaoqi, referring to my family’s cooking technique, dates to the reign of Emperor Daoguang of the Qing Dynasty” (1644-1911).Zhao learned from his father and developed his own skills and cooking tools. Increasing numbers of customers poured in.
The process of make noodles starts with mixing about 1 kilogram of flour with 0.3 kg of water and kneading the dough. The noodle-maker then rolls the mixture flat with a roller after compacting it with a wooden pole. The dough then gets folded into a tortilla shape and is cut with a blade.After the noodles are cooked in a pot of boiling water, customers can choose different marinade and seasonal vegetables to accompany them.
Zhao has opened restaurants outside Shanxi, including in Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Henan provinces and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
“I hope I can bring the traditional food of Shanxi to every corner of the country and even abroad and help more people experience the culture of my hometown,” he said.