Saturday, January 28, 2012

Re Gan Mian

If you go to Wuhan, the one must-try dish is the Re Gan Mian (热干面). This dish is a staple for residents of Wuhan, typically eaten for breakfast (but available any time of the day). The Chinese name translates literally to "hot dry noodles." It's worth noting that that "hot" refers to the temperature and not the spiciness. Re gan mian is simple, but quite tasty. The noodles are made a special way so that they do not stick to your teeth. They are long, round noodles, akin to spaghetti. They are pre-cooked the night before so that when you order them, they only need to be flash-boiled for about 30 seconds. After the boiling, the cook drops them in a bowl, tops them with sesame paste (sometimes peanut paste, but sesame is more authentic), and your choice of pickled vegetables, radishes, scallions, sour vegetables, and spicy sauce (la jiao). All that remains is to mix it up and eat.

This stuff is delicious. Most noodles in China are served in a soup of sorts, which is why re gan mian (which is not served in a soup) is called "dry." The sesame paste adds a nice grainy texture to the noodles, which are just the right amount of sticky. Re gan mian will only set you back about 3 - 5 yuan, which is a great price for a filling breakfast. Highly recommended.


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