China is likely the birthplace of noodles. Its provinces’ cultural diversity and geographical diversity provide a universe of noodles with various shapes, sizes, textures, and even meanings for each personality. The influence of the noodles on Eastern cultures is unrivaled, given its symbolic history and everyday significance. So, what is the best Chinese noodle dish?
Often used as the symbol of longevity, you can make noodle strands from various flours paired with almost any sauces, toppings, and local specialties. From Shanghai to Sichuan, noodles are a cornerstone of Chinese culinary tradition, so much so that the dishes are now relished not only in Asia but across the globe.
10 The Best Chinese Noodle Dish
Here is the list of 10 best Chinese noodles dish:
1. Ants climbing A Tree
The unusually named Sichuan dish Ants Climbing a Tree consists of glass noodles with ground pork in a flavorful sauce. The name derives from the dish’s visual appearance, in which the glass noodles represent tree branches, the chopped green onions represent foliage, and the ground pork depicts ants.
As glass noodles quickly absorb the sauce, adding a touch more stock or soy sauce to the dish is advised, according to individual preference. In Sichuan, chopped fresh or dried chili is frequently added to the word, whereas in other regions of China and Taiwan, the dish is less spicy due to moderate bean sauces.
2. Beef Chow Fun
Cantonese chow fun is prepared by stir-frying beef segments previously marinated with flat, wide rice noodles (hor fun) and bean sprouts. Due to the manner of preparation, beef chow fun is an actual test of a Cantonese chef’s skill.
Wok hei is the cooking technique of stir-frying the ingredients over high heat, which imparts a unique umami flavor, and pow wok is the method of quickly tossing the elements without using a spatula, which prevents sticking and does not break the delicate rice noodles.
3. Wonton Noodles
Wonton noodles are a ubiquitous Cantonese noodle dish found in numerous regional varieties throughout Southeast Asia. Egg noodles and wonton dumplings are traditionally combined and served in a poultry, pork, or seafood broth.
Typically, the dumplings are filled with ground pork and shrimp and gently seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, and grated ginger. Thin, stringy egg noodles are the most common type in the dish’s many variations. The choice of garnishes is region-specific and is influenced by common culinary traditions of the area where wonton noodles are prevalent.
4. Dry Hot Noodles
Reganmian, also known as hot, dry noodles, is a traditional Chinese cuisine originating in Wuhan, Hubei’s provincial capital. It is one of China’s five most prevalent and well-liked noodle dishes. The noodles in Reganmian are boiled in a mixture of water and soybean oil, then chilled, tossed, and reheated in the same mix just before being served.
This procedure yields a dish of sesame-flavored noodles that are delectable. Numerous street vendors throughout the city offer the word from early morning until nightfall. Additional ingredients and garnishes vary depending on the vendor, who may use peanut or sesame oil, soy sauce, or chili to produce their signature reganmian.
5. Biang Biang Noodles
Due to their width and length, Biangbiang noodles, also known as belt noodles, are a specialty of the Chinese province of Shaanxi. The noodles are usually topped with vegetables and seasonings such as spring onions, garlic, leeks, coriander, Sichuan peppercorns, cumin, and chili.
There are two stories regarding the origin of these unusual noodles: one states that the name derives from the sound of handmade noodles being stretched and flapped and the other states that the Chinese Emperor devised the word biangbiang. Bizarrely, the word bang does not exist in Chinese, and its 57 strokes make it the character with the most strokes.
6. Cold Skin Noodles
Liangpi is a noodle delicacy that originated in the Chinese province of Shaanxi. To prepare the dish, wheat flour, rice flour, or a combination of both are used to make the noodles, which are then dressed with soy sauce, chili oil, and vinegar and garnished with thinly sliced segments of cucumber, bean sprouts, and cilantro.
The name translates to “cold skin,” referring to the noodles’ chewy, thick, and translucent texture and appearance. According to a folk legend, the noodles originated during the Qing Dynasty. Depending on the ingredients, several variations of the dish exist; liangpi from the city of Hanzhong is prepared with steamed garlic and hot chili oil, majiang liangpi is named for the black sesame paste used in the sauce, and shan xin gan mini is garnished with wheat gluten, mashed garlic, and bean sprouts in a sauce made of vinegar, chili oil, and salt.
7. Lo Mein
Guangdong lo mein or layman (lit. stirred noodles) is any dish made with separately boiled wheat and egg noodles tossed in a savory sauce and combined with various stir-fried vegetables and proteins.
When adequately prepared, lo mein should be elastic and have a satisfying crunch, similar to Italian pasta and Japanese ramen. The Chinese typically season their lo mein dishes with sesame oil, green onions, ginger, and oyster or soy sauce for a robust umami taste.
8. Dan Dan Noodles
Traditional dan dan noodles are an absolute culinary classic in China. The dish’s protagonist is a spicy sauce served with noodles. Made with chile oil, preserved vegetables, Szechuan peppercorn, and sometimes sesame or peanut paste, the sauce explodes with complex flavors.
The meat, typically ground pork or beef, is also commonly included but serves primarily as a garnish. In China, the varieties of dan dan noodles vary only marginally. In contrast, in the rest of the world, traditional dan noodles have been adapted to the more delicate Western palate and contain substantially fewer spices.
Shandong is known for its Zhajiangmian, which consists of wheat noodles in soy sauce and vegetables such as summer radishes and cucumber slices. Typically, the sauce is prepared by cooking minced pork or beef with fermented soybean paste. The vegetarian variant of the dish substitutes smoked tofu for the meat in preparing the sauce.
Although the dish originated in China, Koreans adopted it a century ago when immigrants from Shandong introduced it to them. The dish is known as ja jang myun in Korea, and it is trendy because it is inexpensive, convenient, and informal.
10. Chow Mein
Although food historians can’t indeed agree on who created the first chow mein and when this stir-fry meal, whose name derives from the Chinese chǎomiàn and Taishanese chāu-mèing (lit. fried noodles), had likely begun in Northern China.
And even though there are as many kinds of chow mein in China as there are regional cuisines, the preparation method is essentially the same. The noodles are boiled and fried until crisp outside and tender in the center, then tossed with shredded pieces of meat (chicken, pork, beef, or seafood) in a classic stir-fry sauce frequently flavored with rice wine.
The “best” noodle dish is subjectively determined within the complex tapestry of Chinese cuisine. However, the myriad flavors and regional variations of Chinese noodles ensure that there is something for every palate. Individual preference ultimately determines the finest Chinese noodle dish, whether it be the savory delight of Beijing’s Peking duck noodles, the spicy complexity of Sichuan’s Dan Dan noodles, or the comforting simplicity of Cantonese wonton noodles. Exploring these culinary gems is a delightful excursion through China’s culinary landscape.
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