Shanxi Province, which is also famous for its noodles and vinegar. Yes, it’s as confusing as it seems.
In Shanxi preparations, where you’ll find over 100 varieties of noodle shapes and preparations, you generally select a type of noodle and then a sauce or desired preparation style. You might have noodles dry and topped with a savory sauce, or in a broth based soup, or sautéed. If you peek in the kitchen, you’ll see noodles pulled, pinched, snipped and sliced, some with great theatrics straight into the boiling cauldron.
Shanxi noodles primer
猫耳朵 – mao er dou: cat eared pasta (like orrechiete) which can be paired with sauces but tastes best sautéed with cabbage with soy and vinegar (pork optional)
刀削面 – dao xiao mian: knife cut noodles, shaved from a giant block of dough which is mount on the equivalent of a washboard and hoisted over the shoulder, with noodles always shaved off directly into the boiling water.
拉面 – la mian: like all hand pulled noodles, a wonder to watch as 5 to 10 pounds of flours is kneaded, stretched and pulled into delicate even strands.
揪片儿 – jiu pian er: easy, just grab a long coil of dough and start pinching bits off into the water; best done at great distances from the boiling water so you can pitch them across the room