Parsippany, NJ 07054
- Cost: $$
- Credit Cards: All Major
- Alcohol: BYO
- Parking: Private Lot
- Take Out: Yes
September 16, 2016
Head to Parsippany’s Shan Shan Noodles to try a regional Chinese specialty.
Hand-pulled wheat noodles, or lamian, are popular in northwestern China, commonly appearing on menus in the provinces of Xinjiang, Qinghai and Gansu. In New Jersey, you can find these noodles in a nondescript strip mall near the junction of Routes 280 and 46 in Parsippany.
Shan Shan makes Lanzhou-style lamian, from the Gansu provincial capital. You can see your fresh noodles made to order through the large kitchen window facing the dining room. Balls of dough are stretched by hand, repeatedly, to produce long strands of noodles. The chef crafts his noodles in five different thicknesses, from flat or thin, to thick or round. Dropped immediately into boiling water, the hand-pulled noodles are served in soup, or sauteed with stir fried vegetable and meat toppings, including beef, offal, lamb, seafood, duck, or simply hot chile oil. The welcoming owner and hostess is quick to help newcomers navigate the menu options.
The beef soup features a light broth, less meaty than phở, and a chewy noodle. Noodles with spicy minced pork arrives with diced carrots and mushrooms. The sauteed dishes might be the best way to enjoy these noodles. Think of a fresh and elevated version of the ubiquitous Cantonese lo mein on Chinese-American restaurant menus.
Other menu items are worth trying at Shan Shan. The “Chinese burger” is a nice appetizer, with shredded, spiced pork in a thick pita-like bread. The soup dumplings (steamed pork buns) are also very good. Next time, I might try the Xinjiang Saute Spicy Chicken or Shan Shan’s version of Ma Po Tofu.
Shan Shan has a simply decorated dining room with a dozen tables. Next door is an Asian market, and the Moroccan spot, Marakesh.
Shan Shan Noodles is a nice example of regional Chinese cuisine gaining an audience in New Jersey.