Crossing the bridge noodles, or Guo Qiao Rice Noodle, is a typical and famous Yunnan local flavor food. Almost every established restaurant in Kunming serves this delicacy. No matter what time of the day, be it breakfast, lunch or even dinner, this noodles seems like a perfect dish.

The legend and Name origin of Cross bridge rice noodles

It is said that Cross 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.

Therefore, his wife had to walk from their home to the island everyday to deliver his meals. As the distance was great, her dishes always arrived cold. he just ate a little and became thin as time went by. His wife was worried about this. She experimented with different methods to keep her dishes warm, but nothing worked.

One day, she cooked a fat chicken and sent it in a pot to her husband. To her surprise, the chicken broth was still warm when she arrived. 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, ensuring her husband a hot meal. Later, many people cooked rice noodles in the wife’s innovative way, and found it really delicious and fresh. As she had to cross a bridge to reach the island, her dish came to be known as “Cross Bridge Rice Noodles.”

Recipe: Cross bridge rice noodles

Cross bridge rice noodles

Cross bridge rice noodles

Ingredients for Cross bridge rice noodles

  • 9 ounces fresh thick round rice noodle (go to your local Asian supermarket for it, you can also use 9 ounces very fine Chinese egg noodles or Malaysia’s Asam Laksa noodles instead)
  •  1 ounce spinach
  •  2 ounces boneless chicken breasts
  •  2 ounces fish fillets, skinned and de-boned
  •  2 ounces shrimp or prawns, shelled
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine
  •  1/8 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  5 tablespoons chicken fat

Ingredients for Cross bridge rice noodles

Directions to cook Cross bridge rice noodles

1, Blanch the spinach or rape briefly in boiling water, drain, and set aside for later use. Mix the rice wine, ginger, 1/8 tsp of the salt, and the soy sauce into a marinade. Slice the chicken, fish, and prawns paper-thin. Spread out on a serving platter and add the marinade.

2, Heat a pot of water to boiling and add the noodles. Bring back to a boil and cook uncovered until they are soft, about 4 minutes for dried noodles and 2 minutes for fresh ones. Drain in a colander and lay the spinach on top.

3, Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan and add the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, and the chicken fat. Bring to a fast boil for 1 minute. Transfer to a tureen, previously filled with hot water and then drained, and bring to the table with the platter of meats and the colander of noodles.

4, Pour the meat and noodles into the boiling hot broth. They will cook instantly. Stir and serve in individual bowls. And enjoy this famous Yunnan local flavor food.

{October 12, 2010} {Tags: , }