The main ingredient of the noodles is rice. Rice vermicelli production differs in different regions. In Kunming and Yunnan, there are two varieties: "dry paste" and "sour paste". The production process differs depending on individual preferences and tastes. "Sour paste", as the name suggests, tastes a little sour, but is characterized by a relatively thick and soft rice noodle. The "dry paste" does not have the sourness of the sour paste, and the noodle is relatively thin and more rigid. Older people in Kunming think the "sour paste" noodles are more authentic. Most people in Yunnan think the Kunming noodle does not satisfy their taste buds, and generally believe Mengzi County and Jianshui County make better noodles.
Now, as people's tastes change, all kinds of noodle varieties are flooding the market. Kunming people now do not necessarily pick a "dry paste" or "sour paste." At present, people prefer the more efficient, slippery "water-washed rice noodle" and "purple rice noodle", one that is mixed with purple rice.
The development of crossing-the-bridge noodles has changed people's eating habits over the years, especially breakfasts. Generally, in street markets, the hot fresh rice noodle is put into a bowl of boiling water for about half a minute and then colored sauce is added to the bowl. This is known as the "hat" of the sauce. Crossing-the-bridge noodles served in markets in the morning are usually completed in one minute. There are a few franchised restaurants that serve more intricate or elaborate crossing-the-bridge noodle dishes.
The general ingredients of Guoqiao Mixian include raw quail eggs, ham slices, chicken slices, and colored vegetables. Crossing-the-bridge noodles are generally served first with a bowl of boiling hot soup. The attendants will then be on the other side of the bowl and put the ingredients into the bowl, generally in order from raw to cooked: meat first, then quail eggs, and then vegetables. Finally, they perform the noodle "crossing" with chopsticks and the dish is ready to be consumed. The amount of oil, chili, vinegar, and soy sauce one puts in the bowl varies according to personal taste.
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