Rice noodles are a ubiquitous food in Kunming, of which there are many different types. You can easily find a restaurant specialising in them, enabling you to sample for yourself their delicious flavour.
Cross-Bridge Rice Noodle
Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles is one of the most well-known dishes in Yunnan cuisine. It is the first choice for every tourist who visits Kunming. The dish is served with a large bowl of hot soup, and all other ingredients are separated.
The most common ingredients are raw quail eggs, very thin slices of raw pork, several pieces of chicken and the rice noodles.
Once added into soup, the noodles cook quickly because of a layer of goose oil on the top, which helps to keep the heat in.
Edible flowers can also be added as a special feature of this Yunnan cuisine. The traditional Cross-Bridge Rice Noodles feature edible chrysanthemums, for instance.
Small Pot Rice Noodles
Xiaoguomixian literally means rice noodles cooked in a small pot. It’s a well-established main course among local Kunming residents. Soft and white rice noodles, cooked with minced pork, some Chinese leek, and locally produced pickled vegetables warm the hearts of local people and visitors alike. For those who’ve made Kunming their home for a long time refer to this simple dish “the taste of Kunming.”
What makes it so special then? Well, first, the rice noodles and other ingredients have to be cooked in a small copper pot, which has a long panhandle for the cook to hold it tightly without being burnt. One small pot makes one bowl of Xiaoguomixian each time.
Boiled Rice Noodle with topping
In Kunming, the most common dish is boiled rice noodles. The boiled rice noodles and broth, with a topping chosen by diners, is the best choice for breakfast. There are many choices of topping, such as chicken, pork, beef and lamb.
There’s also miscellaneous sauce, which is made from Zhaotong Sauce, including bean paste, chilli sauce, tahini, peanut butter and other secret ingredients. Stir fried pork mince and peanut with miscellaneous sauce is a delicious topping for the rice noodles.
Douhua Mixian (Rice Noodle with Bean Curd)
Douhua Mixian (or rice noodle with bean curd) has been one of the recognised local snacks in Kunming for many years. Its ingredients include a bowl of boiled rice noodles, two spoonfuls of soft bean curd, tasty pork chilli sauce, some chopped Chinese chives, dried preserved cabbage, a pinch of salt and some sweet soy sauce. Although chilli sauce is present, the bean curd and the sweet soy sauce combine to present a mild overall taste.
Fried Rice Noodles
Fried rice noodles include mince, sweet soy sauce, salty soy sauce, chives, peppers, cabbage and other ingredients.
Cold Rice Noodles
Cold rice noodles is one of the most popular dishes in Kunming. On a hot day, it can help you cool off. Sliced vegetables, crushed peanuts and chives are all the highlights of the cold rice noodles. The sweet and sour flavour is achieved through a sweet soy sauce and vinegar dressing.
Guanguan Rice Noodles
Guanguan in Chinese means small earthenware jar. Rice noodles are put in the Guanguan, together with broth, mint, stinky tofu and picked vegetables.
The jar is then put on the roast rack and warmed over a low heat, before one spoon of meat sauce is added, producing a rich and fragrant aroma.
There are also other Guanguan-inspired dishes, such as Guanguan seaweed and Guanguan potatoes. They are common street foods in Kunming.
Casserole Rice Noodles
The method of cooking casserole rice noodles is very simple. You just put all the ingredients into a casserole dish and add stock to cook. The taste is light and delicious!