Yunnan Rice Noodles
Yunnan noodles are made into different shapes from rice flour but the most common shape is the round strip, a little bit like spaghetti. Another flat and wide shape is also very popular. Yunnan people like to add in rice noodles with ingredients such as stewed meat, pickled vegetables, spicy sauce and chopped green onion. Other toppings like chicken, beef, mutton, sweet sauce and even bean curd are possible.
Different cooking methods contribute to a lot of delicious Yunnan noodles dishes. No matter the boiled hot spicy soup rice noodles, cold Yunnan noodles in summer or fried rice noodles, they all worth a try, especially for the first-time Yunnan travelers. Here is a round-up for the most popular types of Yunnan rice noodles.
Top Types of Yunnan Noodles
1. Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 过桥米线 guò qiáo mǐ xiàn
Also known as Guoqiao Mixian, this is undoubtedly the most famous Yunnan rice noodles so far. The Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles are served with a large bowl of hot broth, a bowl of rice noodles, and a dozen small plates with fresh meat slices, raw quail eggs and various vegetables. The soul of the delicacy is the broth made of bone, chicken, duck, goose and ham. A layer of goose oil will be on the top of the hot soup for heat preservation. When eating, just add raw quail eggs to the soup first, and then put other ingredients into the large bowl. The rice noodles will be the last one to add. The heat of the hot soup will make all the ingredients cooked in a short time and soon you can enjoy it. In the hometown of the Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles, Mengzi, the locals even add edible chrysanthemum to make the dish tastier.
2. Small-Pot Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 小锅米线 xiǎo guō mǐ xiàn
If Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles are a symbol of Yunnan noodles, then the Small-Pot Rice Noodles or Xiaoguo Mixian can be the king of Kunming rice noodles. Different from the Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles with “troublesome” steps before eating, this kind of rice noodles are directly boiled with a lot of ingredients including minced pork, Chinese leek, and special pickled cabbages in a small copper pot with a long panhandle, then readily served to diners. Every traveler who visits Kunming should try this authentic local snack and the sour and spicy flavor will not let you down.
3. Boiled Rice Noodles with Various Toppings
Chinese Name: 煮米线 zhǔ mǐ xiàn
The Boiled Rice Noodles play an important role in Yunnan rice noodles as the different palatable toppings can bring sorts of variants with various flavors. In Yunnan, it is easy to find these rice noodles in high streets and back lanes as the locals always have them for breakfast. The boiled rice noodles are set in delicious broth, and choose a piece of wrought topping, which cannot be more enjoyable. The topping choices are wide from minced meat, deep-fried diced pork (cuishao), chicken, beef to special miscellaneous sauce and lamb.
4. Rice Noodles with Tofu Puddings
Chinese Name: 豆花米线 dòu huā mǐ xiàn
Also named Douhua Mixian, this is a remarkable and traditional dish and one of the favorite local snacks in Kunming. The Rice Noodles with Tofu Puddings are milder in taste compared with other Yunnan noodles and it is more suitable for people prefer light taste. Add white soft tofu puddings, and then some dried vegetables, minced Chinese leek, chopped peanuts, a bit spicy sauce and to a bowl of boiled rice noodles, the dish can be served. What’s more, it is also a recommended dish for vegetarians if without any meat toppings.
5. Fried Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 炒米线 chǎo mǐ xiàn
Compared with traditional soup rice noodles, the fried type has a stronger flavor. This kind of rice noodles are often fried with ingredients like Chinese leek, pepper, cabbages, sweet soybean, salt soybean and ported meat paste. The bright color makes it appetizing but it may taste a little spicy and greasy, more favored by people fond of hot food.
6. Cold Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 凉米线 liáng mǐ xiàn
The name suggests it would be a perfect snack for sweltering summer, and it exactly is. Cool the boiled rice noodles, mix it with various shredded vegetables, meat sauce, leek segments and add some sweet soy sauce and vinegar. The sweet and sour taste can cool you down in summer heat. This is definitely a cold dish not to be missed when visiting Yunnan in summer days.
7. Rice Noodles Eaten with Hands
Chinese Name: 过手米线 guò shǒu mǐ xiàn
It could be the most characteristic delicacy among all the Yunnan noodles. Rice Noodles Eaten with Hands, also known as Guoshou Mixian, is a unique snack of Achang ethnic minority in Dehong Dai - Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan. The material of the rice noodles has a large difference with others, which is made from purple-red rice, making it more smooth and tender. When eating, put a lump of rice noodles on the hand, and then add meat sauce and other ingredients on the noodles. Wrap the filings with the rice noodles and then eat. The flavors of meat and rice noodles will be well-mixed, offering a unique dining experience.
Best Restaurants to Try Yunnan Rice Noodles
1. Dongchun Small-Pot Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 东春小锅米线 dōng chūn xiǎo guō mǐ xiàn
Location: No.363, Jinbi Road, Yuntong Times Square (near Chongshan Street), Kunming
Average Cost per Person: CNY 12
A lot of people flood in the restaurant for the spicy small-pot rice noodles but the rice noodles with odd-odor bean curd are also very popular.
2. Lala Xiaochi Douhua Mixian
Chinese Name: 辣辣小吃豆花米线 là là xiǎo chī dòu huā mǐ xiàn
Location: 9-36-37, Zhuanxin Farm Market, No.274 Xinwen Road, Wuhua District, Kunming
Average Cost per Person: CNY 10
It is said that Kunming’s most authentic restaurant serving Rice Noodles with Tofu Puddings is located here. And there are many lines waiting for the delicacy every day.
3. Yunping Fengwei Yuan Restaurant
Chinese Name: 云平风味园 yún píng fēng wèi yuán
Location: No. 37-39, Huguo Road, Wuhua District, Kunming
Average Cost per Person: CNY 25
This is a popular restaurant with a history of more than 20 years. It serves a variety of Yunnan local snacks including a wide range of Yunnan rice noodles.
4. Zaihuishou Cold Chicken Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 再回首凉鸡米线 zài huí shǒu liáng jī mǐ xiàn
Location: No. 198, Renmin Road, Dali
Average Cost per Person: CNY 15
5. Yunnan Luwei Chicken Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 云南卤味土鸡米线 yún nán lǔ wèi tǔ jī mǐ xiàn
Location: 100m west of the Intersection of Dali First Grade Road and Yu’er Road, near the entrance of Dali Ancient City
Average Cost per Person: CNY 15
6. Yunnan Mengzi Cross Bridge Rice Noodles
Chinese Name: 云南蒙自过桥米线 yún nán méngzì guò qiáo mǐ xiàn
Location: No. 136, Wenming Lane, Yishang Street, Lijiang Old Town
Average Cost per Person: CNY 25
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