Silver needle noodle (simplified Chinese: 银针粉; traditional Chinese: 銀針粉; pinyin: yín zhēn fěn) or Rat noodle (Chinese: 老鼠粉; pinyin: lǎo shǔ fěn) is a variety of Chinese noodles. It is short, about 5 cm long and 5 mm in diameter. It has a white semi-transparent colour. The noodle is available in many Chinese markets in Chinese populated areas such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Quite a number of names have been used to describe the noodle. The noodle is more commonly known as silver needle noodle in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and rat noodle in Malaysia and Singapore. It is known as locupan in Indonesia. The noodles are named as such because the shape of the noodles is long and tapered much like a rat's tail or a needle.
- Lao Shu Fen, Lou Syu Fan, Lo Cu Pan, Loh See Fun (老鼠粉)
- Yin Zhen Fen, Ngan Jam Fan (銀針粉/银针粉)
- Bee Tai Bak, Mi Tai Mu (米苔目/米台目)
- Mi Shai Mu (米篩目/米筛目)
- Short Rice Noodle
The noodles are made from ground rice flour but sometimes with some added cornstarch to reduce breakage during frying. As with most Chinese noodles, they are commercially produced and seldom homemade as it is too tedious to make a small amount for home consumption.
The noodles may be stir-fried, scalded and flavored with a mixture of sauces, cooked in soup or cooked dry in a clay-pot. As with most Chinese noodles, it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner as a main course or supplementing a rice meal. Many Chinese restaurants, hawkers and roadside stalls serve the noodle in various forms. One of the famous dishes that can be found widely in Southeast Asia is Clay-Pot Lao Shu Fen. The purpose of using clay-pot is to keep warmth of the dish and make the dish look more appetizing.