Cross Bridge Noodle RecipeJump to Recipe
Noodles have always had a strong presence in Chinese culture. There are many beliefs surrounding noodles. The most popular one is that eating noodles will bring longevity to the consumer.
When you have a cultural and culinary history as long as China’s, you’ll find that a lot of customs and dishes have legends behind them.
A popular legend is a story about the Cross Bridge Noodle from Yunnan, China.
Cross Bridge Noodle Origins
Photo credits: Wonders of Yunnan http://wondersofyunnan.com/blog/posts/the-cross-bridge-rice-noodles
The story starts with a small peaceful island where scholars would study for the imperial exam. Among these scholars was a particularly diligent one
This scholar would spend days there. He would often forget to take breaks for meals when his wife came with food. When he did remember, the food was often already cold. His wife became concerned when he came home one day looking noticeably thinner.
One day, she had an idea. She butchered a plump hen to make hot chicken soup and separately prepared her husband’s favourite local rice noodles, seasonings, and ingredients.
She put each ingredient in different containers and put everything in a basket. Then she began to make her way over the bridge to her husband.
When she arrived, she combined the ingredients in a bowl just before he was ready to eat. On its own, the chicken broth stayed hot enough to cook the noodles and other ingredients and created a thin layer of oil that kept the whole bowl piping hot.
It was the perfect solution. The scholar regained weight and could focus better on his studies. In the end. He loved the hot noodle soup, and the wife started crossing the bridge every day with these bowls.
When the imperial exam finally arrived, the scholar passed with flying colours. It is said that he attributes his success to how caring and devoted his wife was.
The story has been passed through generations and became a story of endearment and an expression of love.
The dish has become so popular that many restaurants, such as Dagu Noodles, specialize in it. We hope you enjoy this recipe and show your love by sharing it.
If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out all the other Dumpling Connection Recipes here!
Cross Bridge Rice Noodle Recipe
- 7 oz dried rice noodle
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 7 oz thinly sliced pork, chicken, fish or any combination of them
- 1 oz ham, thinly sliced
- ground white pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 1 stalk green onion
- 4 oz tender vegetables, (e.g. baby Chinese broccoli, baby bok choy, spinach or watercress)
- 2 oz mushrooms
- 2 small eggs
- 1 tbsp chopped Zha Cai (Sichuan pickled vegetables), optional
- chilli paste or any other seasonings of your choice
- Pour the chicken stock into a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Peel and clean the ginger. Then crush with a mallet or the side of a broad knife.
- Add the ginger, bay leaves and Shaoxing wine into the stock.
- Let the broth simmer for 15 minutes and then scoop the bay leaves and ginger out.
- Season the broth lightly with salt and pepper. Add the thinly sliced meat of your choice.Optional: Add some vegetable oil on top.
- Set the pot of soup aside and begin preparing the other ingredients.
- In a medium-sized pot, fill to half with water and bring to a boil
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. Strain when done and drain well.
- Prepare serving bowls and divide the soup equally into them.
- When ready to eat add the toppings in this order: meat and fish (and allow time for them to cook properly), vegetables, mushrooms, pickles, and noodles.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you prefer, you can briefly cook the meat and fish in the stock on the stovetop.
- Stir and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Ready to eat! Enjoy!