Trader Joe's Took Its Time To Make The Squiggly Knife Cut Noodles

From savory spaghetti and meatball dishes to the hard-to-master cacio e pepe, there is a huge variety of noodles out there to explore and savor — especially when it comes to the popular grocery chain Trader Joe's. Packages of organic trofie pasta, pappardelle pasta nests, and Italian penne rigate line the aisles, aided by neighboring jars of red and white sauce options, as seen on the chain's official website.

Trader Joe's has also been dabbling with global-inspired noodles, like its Japchae Korean glass noodles, vegetable pad thai, and peanut udon noodle salad. But for those who have a soft spot for soy and sesame flavors, the Trader Joe's squiggly knife-cut-style noodles may be a future favorite in your meal rotation. The air-dried noodles, which have a resemblance to instant ramen noodles, have creative squiggly shapes and are best paired with bok choy, tofu, and boiled eggs, according to the Trader Joe's website. Small packets of soy and sesame sauce are also included, which are packed with umami flavors.

But perhaps one of the most interesting things about these squiggly knife-cut noodles is how long it takes for Trader Joe's to make them. Care to take a guess?

They're not your average dao xiao mian noodles

Before we reveal the answer, some backstory on knife-cut noodles is in order. These are actually referred to as "knife-shaven noodles" or "dao xiao mian," according to Week in China. They're beloved for their contrast in texture and pair well with broths, sauces, and stir-fries. These noodles are made with thin handmade dough, which is then — as the name implies — knife-cut. In China, a chef may use a hook knife to carefully, yet quickly, slice thin strips of dough down into boiling water, per this video on Gold Thread.

The squiggly knife-cut noodles from Trader Joe's pay homage to these Chinese noodles, as they have a chewy texture and boil in no time at all, according to the Trader Joe's website. But while a chef in China needs only 60 seconds to make 90 fresh noodles (per Gold Thread), Trader Joe's needs about 18 hours. No other information as to why is given on its website, other than that they let the noodles dry for this length of time.

Luckily, Trader Joe's takes care of most of the waiting, leaving the easier part of the noodle prep to you. The packages of squiggly noodles only need four minutes in boiling water to become soft and ready to be doused with the salty, nutty, umami punch of the soy and sesame sauce — which sounds like a noodle dish worth the wait.