You might have heard a joke, Chinese people either choose rice米饭 or noodles面条 at table... This is not true as we do have so many staple food options. But Chinese people's love for noodles is real.
Noodles, originated from the Han dynasty, are now popular all over the world. No matter it's hot noodle soup, or fried up with meat or seafood, almost everyone has their favorite way to eat noodles. And fun fact, most people unfamiliar with the Chinese culture would mix up different noodle types.
So first, we need to make it clear, if you mistakenly ask for rice noodles while actually you want ramen, you might not enjoy the food hunting journey at all! Here we list a few common types of noodles in China for your reference.
面条 miàntiáo – wheat starch noodles
Famous wheat noodle dishes include:
炸酱面 zhá jiàng miàn: Beijing.
'Fried sauce noodles’ are cooked with ground pork and a dark brown savoury-sweet soy sauce.
担担面 dàndàn miàn: Chengdu.
'Carrying-pole noodles’ (referring to how street vendors used to sell the dish), served with a spicy-numbing sauce, ground pork or beef, pickled mustard plant and peanuts.
拉面 lā miàn: Lanzhou.
'Pulled noodles' served in a clear or spicy broth with meat and vegetables. Also known by their Japanese name 'ramen'.
米线 mǐxiàn – rice starch noodles：
1. 桂林米粉 guìlín mǐfěn: Guilin.
'Guilin rice noodles' are medium-thin noodles either served in a clear broth or dry tossed in a little sauce, alongside sliced meat and vegetables.
2. 过桥米线guò qiáo mǐxiàn: Yunnan.
'Crossing the bridge rice noodles' are soup noodles, and often served with each component separated like a mini individual hotpot. The dish includes hot bone broth, cooked noodles, and slices of meat and vegetables.
粉丝 fěnsī – glass/cellophane (sweet potato, mung bean or pea starch) noodles：
1. 酸辣粉 suān là fěn: Chongqing.
'Hot and sour noodles' are served in a spicy broth with crunchy deep-fried soybeans and pickles.
2. 蒜蓉粉丝扇贝 suàn róng fěnsī shànbèi: Hong Kong.
'Garlic vermicelli scallops' steamed on a bed of glass noodles.
There are also different ways to make noodles too. For example:
拉面 lā miàn (also known as ramen) – hand-pulled noodles
刀削面 dāoxiāomiàn – knife-cut noodles
By the way, how can we forget 方便面fāng biàn miàn -- instant noodles?
What's your favorite way of eating noodles? Share with me!