Over the Bridge Rice Noodle (guoqiao mixian)
Last updated by chinatravel at 2013-11-3
It is a typical Yunnan local flavor food. This dish consists of several courses: put some monosodium glutamate, pepper powder and hot chicken oil into a big bowl and fill the bowl with boiling chicken broth. Serve the broth to table (remember not to taste the soup in case it may be too hot). Now put the food items, such as sashimi, sliced meat, pork liver, slices of squid, etc into the bowl and stir the soup slightly with a pair of chopsticks until these things are done. Vegetables are then added afterwards as the second course, and the rice noodles follow as the last course.
It is said that over-the-bridge rice noodles was first made in Mengzi County in South Yunnan more than 100 years ago. At that time there was a south lake outside the county town. A bridge zigzagged to an islet in the lake, where it was quiet and very suitable for people to read. The story goes that a xiu cai (xiu cai was a scholar in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1616-1911) dynasties who passed the imperial examination at the county level) was attracted by the peace and quietness of an island there. He settles into a cottage on the island, in preparation for further official examination. And his wife sent the meals for him. But the xiu cai was usually too absorbed in his books that he often forgot to eat his meals. When he finally realized it, the meals were cool, and he just ate a little and became thin as time went by. His wife was worried about this. One day, she cooked a fat chicken and sent it in a pot to her husband and went back to work. After some time, she went to see whether her husband had finished his meal. This time, he forgot to eat his meal again. But to her surprise, the chicken broth was still warm. It so happened that the oil layer on the surface had preserved the temperature of the broth. The overjoyed wife found a good way to do meals for her husband. From then on, she often prepared some broth and rice noodles before hand, and crossed the bridge and cooked the prepared ingredients in the hot broth. And the local people also like this kind of food, which they called over-the-bridge rice noodle.
Yunnan people introduced over-the-bridge rice noodle into Kunming in 1920 and have been improving it from that time on. Nowadays, over-the-bridge rice noodle is delicious and well-known. Many tourists who come to Kunming will go to taste the food.
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