zhenjiang bounced noodles 2
NARRATOR: In Zhenjiang, there are fewer and fewer masters who can make bounced noodles now. Even fewer of them can chop the noodles. This is because they need to learn step by step, generally they have to start from practicing kneading to bouncing the dough then to chopping noodles.The masters who can chop noodles usually have been making the noodles for more than ten years, or even decades.Xiang Shao, the mentor of Yan Yin, the manager of Shao Shunxing in Zhenjiang is one of them.
NARRATOR：Yin Yan started to learn making noodles from him in 2006.Starting with the basic skills, Yan Yin learnt to knead dough for 3 years and started to learn to bounce dough in 2009.Now, he has achieved quite some successful skills.But he hasn’t mastered the skill of chopping dough.It's because Xiang Shao needs a special tool, which Yan Yin still cannot master it properly.
Moderator: Is that in the cupboard?
Xiang Shao: Yes.
Moderator: It's quite big, wrapped in red cloth.
Xiang Shao: You will know what it is later.
Moderator: Well, is this a knife, isn’t it?
Xiang Shao: Right, this is a kitchen knife handed down from my ancestors, used for chopping noodles.
Moderator: A knife that designed to chop noodles ?
Xiang Shao: Yes.
Moderator: You just said it's handed by your ancestors?
Xiang Shao: Yes, this knife is (passed down) from my great grandfather's grandfather;I am the seventh generation to have it.Take a look at this, look at the quality of the knife and the iron.In terms of the degree of corrosion, it is history itself.It’s totally different from the current knives.But the knife from the past is hand made by dug iron.The back of knife looks like a carp, so it is called carpbackbone knife.
Moderator: Can I try it?
Xiang Shao: Yes, just be careful.
Moderator: So heavy! Do you cut it one-handed? I think I can't even turn it with one-hand , , how heavy is it?
Xiang Shao: Seventeen and half kilograms.
NARRATOR: It requires extremely high physical strength in arms to lift the knife with one hand.The fifty-year-old Xiang Shao started the one hour weight training since he was 16.In order to make it easier to chop noodles, he used to carry a block of stone which weight a few kilograms, but now he can lift 15 kg dumbbells.
NARRATOR:Because he is not used to the new knife, Xiao Shao has been using this old knife to cut noodles for more than three decades. As time passes, he has built a special bond with the knife.Xiao Shao even excels a unique skill, which is blindfolded chopping.
NARRATOR:He wears the eyeshade and holds two eggs under his arm and neck individually. After he adjusts his position, he starts to chop the dough with a rhythm.Although he is blindfolded, he cuts fast and steadily.The dough soon becomes noodles with even thickness under his knife.Less than a minute, a dough is done.
Moderator: Is the egg raw or cooked?
Xiang Shao: Raw eggs.
Moderator: Raw eggs?
Xiang Shao: You can try it, if you don't believe.
Moderator: Let's find out this egg is raw or cooked ah, if it is araw egg, then he is really skilled.
Moderator: Wow, It's a raw egg indeed!