Noodles with a 100-year history

Photographs by Pauline Songco for the Daily Tribune DAN Zai noodles.

What was once an additional source of livelihood for Ancestor Hong Yu To is now a culinary household name in Tainan.

In 1895, a migrant from Zhengzhou, China, named Hong made a living from fishing. However, the waves have become rough every Tomb Sweeping Day and Mid-Autumn Festival, making sailing impossible. This season is called Hsiao Yueh (Slack Season).

STIR-FRIED Bok Choy with Peanuts.

To make ends meet, Hong instead began to sell noodles. He makes them from scratch, peddling noodles with a shoulder pole before taking them to the streets. It became popular that Hong decided to sell it full-time.

Du Hsiao Yueh, located at No. 16, Zhongzheng Rd., West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan, is a go-to among patrons also for its fried pork with shallot sauce purportedly bubbled in the same pot. It is served over noodles in a clear shrimp soup, special egg, and topped with fresh shrimp and coriander for only NTD50 (P90).

SHRIMP with sweet and sour sauce.

Other must-try dishes at Du Hsiao Yueh are Deep-Fried Shrimp Roll, Braised Pork Rice, Grilled Milkfish Belly, Deep-Fried Egg Tofu with Bonito Sauce, Deep-Fried Oyster, Braised Pork Knuckle with Peanut, Braised Duck’s Egg, Deep-Fried Hand-made Squid Balls, Braised Intestine, Grilled Pepper Pork with Fruit Vinegar Dressing, Deep-Fried Tainan Taro Cake with Braised Pork, Spicy Penghu’s Bovine Offal Hot Pot, Chayote Vine Salad with Sesame Dressing, Soy Sauce Chicken and Areca Flower with Hot and Sour Sauce.

The second-generation family of Hong opened another branch at 144, Chung Chen Road in 1946. The third generation moved into the lane on Chung Chen Road to operate the business due to the reconstruction of the original site in 1985. This was followed by openings in 1999 Direct-controlled Chung Hsiao store opened on Chung Hsiao E. Rd., Taipei in 1999; Chung Chen Rd., Tainai in 2008; Yung Kang street, Taipei in 2008; and B2, International CKS Airport in 2011.

TAIWAN beer.

In 2015, Di Hsiao Yueh was selected by CNN as one of the 40 Taiwanese food people can’t live without.

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