The plate of stir-fried peel noodles at Sheng Wang glistens with egg and baby bok choy.
There’s no better plate of noodles in town than the stir-fried peel noodles at Sheng Wang, located on the southernmost block of Eldridge Street in the heart of Fujianese Chinatown. Watch as the noodle wrangler fashions a cylinder of dough and, using a short scary knife and an outward motion, slices off little swatches of dough, which fly right into the bubbling water. In a few seconds, your freshly made noodles are done, and ready to toss in the wok.
These noodles were unique to Sheng Wang a couple of years ago, but now you can occasionally find them at other noodleries in Sunset Park and Flushing. No convincing story has been discovered as to where and how the noodles were invented, though googling “knife noodles” (another name for them) garners a couple thousand hits. Indeed, these noodles may have originated in Northern China; in Korea a similar but slenderer wheat noodle is called “kalguksu.”
These slippery noodles may be had in soups, but the cheapest evocation at Sheng Wang is stir fried. The amazing price for a full plate is $3, and for an extra 50 cents, you can have a runny fried egg dropped on top, which makes the noodles even more tasty. 27 Eldridge Street, 212-925-0805
Sometimes Super Taste, right across the street, features the same noodles.
Check out a few of our other Incredibly Cheap Eats:
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 22, 2009