Taiwanese Danzai Noodle Soup Recipe

Created by Taiwanese fisherman, this hearty soup is layered with the flavors of both pork and shrimp. Cathy Erway

Why It Works

  • Buying shell-on shrimp, preferably with heads, gives you more bang for your buck: the shrimp are served on top of each dish, while the shells and heads are used to flavor the broth.
  • A mound of grated garlic on each bowl and a drizzle of black rice vinegar add assertive flavors to balance the rich pork-and-shrimp broth.

Invented by resourceful Taiwanese fisherman as a way of making money during the off season, this delicious noodle soup is packed with a flavorful pork-and-shrimp broth, long-simmered meat sauce, pleasantly chewy wheat noodles, and one lone ceremonious shrimp. The broth and meat sauce require a bit of advance planning, but once ready, it's an incredibly easy dish to throw together.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 6 large shell-on shrimp, preferably with heads, shells and heads removed and reserved, shrimp deveined
  • 6 cups chicken or pork stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups Taiwanese Meat Sauce, warmed
  • 2 pounds fresh or dried Chinese wheat noodles, such as lo mein or chow mein noodles
  • 3 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 6 teaspoons Asian black rice vinegar
  • 3 scallions, white and light-green parts only, chopped


  1. Place shrimp shells and heads, if using, in a medium pot with stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Strain broth, discarding shells and heads.

  2. Return broth to a clean pot and bring to a boil. Season shrimp with salt and white pepper. Add to broth and cook until shrimp are just cooked through, about about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, remove shrimp and set aside. Season broth with salt and white pepper.

  3. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.

  4. To assemble, place noodles in bowls. Add ladlefuls of broth and top with meat sauce. Place a small mound of grated garlic and 1 cooked shrimp on each bowl. Drizzle black vinegar all over and garnish with scallions. Serve immediately.


Be sure to buy shrimp with shells, and, if possible, heads, as they'll both help add lots of flavor to the broth. This recipe requires first making the meat sauce, which takes several hours to cook, so be sure plan accordingly. The meat sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

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