There is an old saying in China that food is the paramount necessity of people.
The record about the history of Yunnan cusine is quite scarce, however, what we know is that Yunnan people were enjoying steamed rice 10,000 years ago. This is definitelyan amazing thing.
As you may have heard, there are eight styles of cooking in China, however, since Yunnan cuisine rose up too late, it was blocked outside the door of the eight styles. Some say that snacks are not presentable and acceptable on grand occasions nor appeal to refined taste. However, our cross bridge rice noodle did manage to walk itself out and become famous worldwide. Especially on the world expo in 1999, cross bridge rice noodle was presented in a brand-new style in front of people's eyes.
Stories about Cross-Bridge Rice Noodle
There is an interesting story about how the name came into being. It's said that in Qing dynasty, there was a man in Mengzi county in Honghe Prefecture who was preparing for the imperial examination. However, the man was too fond of playing that he barely study. Seeing this, his wife was really worried and she suggested him study alone on an island in Nanhu lake in Mengzi. Since then, the wife persisted in preparing and sending food for the husband everyday and on her way there, she would cross a small bridge. Being touched by what his wife had been doing, the husband decided to strive harder and study industriously. Sometimes he was so preoccupied that he forgot to eat what his wife had brought for him. Such things happened a lot and the health condition of the man deteriorated. The examination day was already around the corner, the wife was so anxious. She decided to kill the only hen in their family and stewed a pot of delicious chicken soup. When the wife was preparing the tidying up the dishes, she found the soup was not even touched. So angry was she and she scolded the husband. Afterwards, she was about to put away the pot. To her surprise, the soup was still very hot. When revealing the lid, she realized that there was a thick layer of oil on the surface which kept the temperature. Being enlightened by this phenomenon, the smar wife devised a new way of eating. She separated the soup from the rice noodle. Thus, the husband could put the rice noodle into the soup whenever he got hungry and the dish wouldn't go cold any more. Finally, the man succeeded in the examination. In order to commemorate what his wife had done for him, he decided to name such dish as cross bridge rice noodle.
There is another interesting story about the cross bridge rice noodle. I assume all of you have heard of Lihongzhang? The story goes that when Lihongzhang was visiting France, the climate was extremely hot. The local French men presented him a popsicle. Having never saw such thing, he noticed the popsicle was steaming. Li thought that the popsicle was hot so he blowed the popsicle again and again before he dare to bite. To his great suprise, the popsicle was really cold. Li lost face in front of those French people. The humiliation sowed the seed of revenge in Li's heart.
Not long from the incident, those French people visited China. As the host, Li treated them with a very special local cuisine, cross-bridge rice noodle. When the soup was served, Li didn't say anything. Since there was no steam rising from it, those French people thought the soup was just cold beverage. So they lifted the bowl and took a deep swig. The result can be imagined. Those people was almost scalded.
The story is not necessarily fun because it might cause injury. However, we did learn one thing from it, that is the soup of the cross bridge rice noodle was really hot. We should be careful when dealing with it.
How is it made?
It consists of four parts: the soup, the seasoning, the main dish rice noodle and saucers of meat and vegetable.
Soup: the soup was made by stewing bones, hen's meant, and xuanwei ham for a long time; though the soup has no steam but the temperature can reach even 100 degrees.
Seasoning: seasonings include oil chilly, pepper, salt and sugar(MSG味精）;
Saucers of meat and vegetables: include pork filliet/pork tenderloin/griskin, chicken breast, cuttle fish, half-cooked pig's kidney, stomach and sliced squid. Vegetables include tine peas豌豆尖, Chinese chive(韭菜）, Chinese parsley(芫荽), spring onion, shredded ginger, bamboo shoot slices, beancurd shin.;
Main dish: obviously the main dish is the rice noodle, which was slightly cooked already.
How should we eat it?
First, let's put the pigeon's egg into the soup, then the meat, stir it slightly, then put in lettuce and rice noodle. Then you can put in whatever you like or suites your taste.