Chinese restaurateurs really have it in for the human race, or at least human workers. Their latest invention is Chef Cui, a robot that automates the time consuming process of making shaved noodles for soup.
The robot's creator, Cui Runguan, introduced his Ultraman look-alike, noodle ninja early last year. Since then he's sold over 3000 of the machines for the equivalent of around $2000 a pop. That might sound like a lot but it turns out that it's a steal for restaurant owners since a cook's wage is almost twice that amount. Plus they have the added advantage of doing double duty as security guards. Who is going to rob your noodle shop when it's guarded by a knife wielding robot with glowing eyes and angry eyebrows?
As you can see from this video, the old-fashioned way of making shaved noodles is not without its difficulties. We have been unable to locate good statistics on how many junior cook fingers end up in bowls of shaved noodles but we have to imagine the number is uncomfortably high. Shaved noodles are popular because their irregular shape and thickness add chewy texture to dishes they're featured in. Their unusual shape also makes it easier for them to carry whatever soups or sauces they are bathed in. Plus it looks cool.
Of course if you crave shaved noodles made the good old fashion way, there's always China Magic Noodle in Chandler.