Rice Noodles Crossing the Bridge
Having originated in Mengzi
County of Southwest China's Yunnan
Province, the Rice Noodles Crossing the Bridge dish boasts a history of more
than 100 years. With continuous renovation by chefs specializing in Yunnan
Cuisine , the dish has enjoyed growing fame both at home and abroad, and
every visitor to Yunnan should definitely try the famous snack besides taking in
the breathtaking natural scenery.
There is a beautiful legend concerning the birth of the rice noodles. Legend
has it that South Lake in Mengzi County once boasted extremely beautiful
scenery, where a great many literary scholars would work hard to become an
official. One of them was a Xiucai (person who passed the imperial
examination at the county level in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911)
dynasties) surnamed Yang.
Yang often went to read books at the pavilion
located in the middle of the lake. Although his wife would always take him
something to eat, Yang was always so deep into his studies that he often forgot
to eat. By the time he would remember, the food had already become cold, and
thus his health deteriorated.
One day, much concerned about her husband, the wife killed a
hen, and cooked it in a pottery pot. Then, she took the chicken and soup to her
husband. After a while, she came back to clean up. However, what she saw was the
food left untouched by her husband who was intently concentrating on his book.
With a sigh, she decided to heat it for her husband to eat
later, but to her surprise, the pot was still warm when she touched it.
Uncovering the pot, she found a layer of chicken oil floating atop the soup,
which, together with the pottery container, helped preserve the heat. From then
on, she cooked in this way to keep the food warm, and her husband was always
able to eat warm food.
Later, many people cooked rice noodles in the wife's innovative way, and
found it really delicious and fresh. Since Yang had to cross a bridge to reach
the pavilion in the middle of the lake, the rice noodles cooked in this way was
named "Guoqiao Mixian " (literally "Rice Noodles Crossing the Bridge").
The rice noodle dish contains three parts: the soup, any kind of sliced meat,
and rice noodles and fresh vegetables.