Trader Joe’s Squiggly Knife Cut Noodles Review

Trader Joe's Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce
Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce

Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Squiggly Noodles, the latest contender in the never-ending supermarket saga of “Let’s make carbs fancy.” Within the confines of its alluring packaging lie four individually portioned promises of ‘delightfully chewy dining experiences’. These noodles, with edges so ruffled they could compete in a Victorian fashion show, have been air-dried for a painstaking 18 hours – because, apparently, in the world of noodle couture, time is no object. But wait, there’s more! Each pack comes with its own Soy and Sesame Sauce, a duo so umami-laden it could mask the taste of even the most questionable cooking. Trader Joe’s assures us these noodles are perfect for an afternoon nosh or for elevating your culinary artistry. However, as I prepared to embark on this noodly journey, I couldn’t help but wonder if these squiggles were going to be a masterpiece on my plate, or a tangled mess reminiscent of my last attempt at knitting. Read on…

Nowadays, we have a large variety of high-grade dried, and even fresh ramen noodles to choose from. At my local Asian specialty grocery store, they literally have a whole grocery store aisle dedicated to dried and fresh noodles from all over Asia. Obviously Japanese-style ramen, soba, and udon noodles, but also Korean, Chinese, and Indonesian noodles. But I think most people are familiar with ramen style noodles so that is what we are going to base this on.

Trader Joe's Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce
Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce

What are Knife Cut Noodles?

The Shanxi Province in China is known for its “knife-shaved noodles,” or “dao xiao mian.” The most traditional way to make dao xiao mian is to hold a sizable block of dough with one hand, angled downward at about a 30-degree angle. With the other hand holding a sharp knife (designed especially for this task), the noodles are shaved into a sizable kettle of boiling water. It takes years of experience to quickly shave the noodles; a good chef is said to be able to do 200 strands each minute.

Knife-cut noodles are thought to have been created for the first time at the start of the Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368), when the government seized all private weapons, including kitchen knives. Ten households could only share one knife instead.

When an elderly woman requested her husband to borrow the knife from their neighbor one day while making lunch, he discovered it had already been put to use. The elderly man picked up a small piece of iron on his way home. The spouse suggested shaving the noodles rather than cutting them while they discussed how to use it. In actuality, the method produced noodles that were tender at the edges but thick in the center. Since then, Shanxi has continued the practice of manufacturing shaved noodles.

Dao xiao mian can be enjoyed by coating the noodles in just the right amount of sauce, which is typically a rich meat sauce. The starchy and springy texture of the noodles can also be highlighted by eating them in a broth or stir-frying them.

Trader Joe's Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce
Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce

Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Noodles

You can buy fresh knife-cut noodles at almost any good Asian grocery store and I highly suggest that if you can. It’s like fresh pasta vs. dried pasta. The Trader Joe’s noodles are machine made and dried with ruffly or squiggly edges. 

Trader Joe’s Knife Cut noodles are a pretty simple affair. They are just dried noodles and a sauce pack. These are not like ramen where you make a broth. You make the noodles and then put them in a bowl and pour the sauce packet over the noodles. Toss it all up and start eating. 

The sauce is made out of soy sauce, sesame oil, shallots, and chili sauce. But they are not very hot. You will need to add some hot sauce to pump up the heat.

Trader Joe's Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce
Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce boiling

How to Prepare Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Noodles

This is very simple to make. Just boil a pot of water, about four cups per batch of noodles. After a few minutes drain them into a colander and then put them in a bowl and pour the sauce over the noodles and toss. 

But I feel like this is just a platform to make your own because it’s so simple. Just like with ramen, the things you can put on these noodles are endless. The simplest additions might be some green onions and a fried egg. You could stir fry some vegetables like boy choy and add that to the noodles and toss. You could buy Trader Joe’s Stir Fry vegetables and cook those up and then add them. Shrimp would be excellent in this too! So many ways to make this the way you want.

Trader Joe's Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce
Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Noodles with soy and sesame sauce in a bowl

Final Verdict

There isn’t an easier meal than this. You are bounded by your imagination as to what you can do with these noodles. I really liked the sauce and there is just enough for the noodles and some leftovers to coat other things you might throw in the bowl. The sauce isn’t very hot so at some chili crisps or sriracha to turn up the heat. On its own, it’s not a very nutritious meal, but these Squiggly Knife Cut noodles are an excellent base to make them your own. At 320 calories per pack (there are four noodle and sauce packs per package), it doesn’t fill you up very much. 

Having said all that, I really like these Trader Joe’s Knife Cut Squiggly Noodles in Soy Sauce Sesame Oil sauce. The four noodle pack is $4.99 nationwide so that adds up to about $1.25 per serving and with some creativity you can serve four meals easily with this. I think it’s a solid effort by Trader Joe’s and I will award it 7 Bells!

Ingredients

  • NOODLES (WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, SALT)
  • SAUCE PACKET (SOY SAUCE [WATER, GLUCOSE, DEFATTED SOY FLOUR, INVERT SUGAR SYRUP, WHEAT, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, YEAST EXTRACT POWDER, MALIC ACID], SHALLOT SEASONING SAUCE [CANOLA OIL, SOY SAUCE {WATER, SOYBEANS, WHEAT, SALT}, WATER, SHALLOT POWDER, SUGAR, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SALT, CHILI SAUCE {CHILI PEPPER, SALT}, GARLIC POWDER, YEAST EXTRACT POWDER, NATURAL FLAVOR, GLUCONO-DELTA-LACTONE, BLACK PEPPER, PAPRIKA EXTRACT, ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE {TO PRESERVE}], SESAME OIL).
Trader Joes Knife Cut Noodles
Trader Joes Knife Cut Noodles

17 Comments

  1. I find them not saucy enough for me, so I reserve some of the water the noodles were boiled in and add a tablespoon or two after I mix in the sauce packet.

    • I would say no it doesn’t. Here is the ingredients list for the sauce: SAUCE PACKET (SOY SAUCE [WATER, GLUCOSE, DEFATTED SOY FLOUR, INVERT SUGAR SYRUP, WHEAT, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, YEAST EXTRACT POWDER, MALIC ACID]

    • Doesn’t matter – MSG is in almost everything. Have you ever cooked salt and tomato sauce together? Congratulations, you’ve synthesized MSG in your kitchen.

  2. Make my own Dan Dan noodles with these TJ squiggly noodles, sautée onion pork sausage and a little chard, spinach or cabbage add the sauce pack + spicy chili oil 🤌🏼

  3. I add the tjs soyaki, a little chili crunch, garlic crunch, and veggies, and an egg. 2 packs makes my lunch for three days.

  4. Do they keep well for leftovers? I’m thinking that these would be good to take for lunch, but sometimes noodles get soggy/gluey the next day.

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