1715 10th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2938
Isn't it amazing that you can live in a city for years and years and not know about all the cool hidden gems that it has to offer? Some of them practically in your backyard? This past Friday, I grabbed a coffee at Temple and took a mini-fieldtrip by myself down the street to the Mei Mei Noodle Factory. Calling it a "factory" might be a stretch as it appears to be quite the small operation but the place is seriously cool and I had no idea it existed in the Grid. Located on a quiet block of 10th Street, it sits right next to New World Co. (a fortune cookie factory)...you can't miss it, the warm smell of fresh cookies will greet you about half a block down and make you instantly salivate like Pavlov's dog.
When I walked into Mei Mei (I believe the name translates to little or younger sister in Mandarin?), I was the only customer. There was a small flour-sprinkled counter separating the front of the room from the rear work area. I took a few steps in and was greeted by a jolly gentleman. We chatted for a bit and I learned that the noodle factory was open 6 days a week (every day but Sunday) and had been there for about 30 years, the current owners had acquired it from it's previous proprietors about three years ago (from what I could understand, the majority of their business is commercial accounts and only a minute portion is walk-in customers like myself). He explained that they make several types of noodles and dumpling wrappers fresh daily. I took some time to look over the list by the counter and decided to order some stir-fry noodles and potsticker wrappers. I also wanted to pick up some wrappers that I could use to make some fresh raviolis, for this the gentleman consulted a woman who was busily working at one of the back tables cutting dough. She came over to the counter and after some gesticulating and describing on my part (there was a bit of a language barrier), she suggested the #7 dumpling wrappers which she thought would be small and thin enough to work for my raviolis. Both people were extremely helpful and friendly. I have to admit when it came time to pay, I was a bit astonished at how inexpensive the fresh pasta was! A pound of noodles was 99 cents and a pound of wrappers ranged from roughly $1 to $1.50 a pound (depending on what kind), you can't beat that. As I closed the front door and walked out into the mid-morning sunlight, I half expected the Mei Mei Factory to disappear in a magical puff of floury smoke behind me. It seemed too good to be true- a figment of my culinary imagination, perhaps? If it's still there next week, I'll be back for more dumpling wrappers. I have so many more recipes I'm anxious to try out!
Tips For Cooking Your Fresh Noodles (posted on the wall at the factory):
1. Add the noodles into boiling water. Keep boiling for 5 minutes.
2. Drain the noodles, then put them into cold water. Drain again.
3. Serve with your favorite soup base or stir-fry.