Yuntun Mian (Wonton Noodle 云吞面)
What is it?
In Guangdong Province – and most famously in neighbouring Hong Kong – yuntun mian comes with piping hot soup, wontons and egg noodles, all garnished with a few chopped garlic chives. Guangdong wontons are largely made of prawn, with small amounts of minced pork (sometimes no pork at all). The noodles are thin egg noodles cooked al dente. The soup base, prepared from dried flounder and dried shrimp roe, adds a depth of flavour and umami.
Why is it famous?
The history of the wonton could date back to the Han Dynasty, when famous poet Yang Xiong wrote about a type of cake called tun (ton is a Cantonese pronunciation). At the time, wonton was called ‘soup cake’. It wasn’t until the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that wonton noodle became widely popular in Guangdong Province. Even though wonton noodle looks simple, it is hard to achieve perfection. Each of the three elements – the broth, wontons and noodles – need to be equally well prepared. In Hong Kong, where wonton noodle is a quintessential dish, a few restaurants still make their noodles from scratch, using bamboo poles to knead the dough.
Where to eat it?
Mak’s Noodle in Hong Kong is a local institution. The Michelin-starred restaurant is one of the oldest wonton noodle establishments in Hong Kong. While you are there, make sure you save room for its lo mein, which perfectly highlights the noodle’s chewy texture (they usually give you a bowl of broth on the side if you think it is too dry). Even though there are many locations around the city, be sure to visit its original shop at G/F, 77 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; Tel: 852-2854-3810
Rival Tsim Chai Kee Noodle is another solid option but waiting times to be seated could be long, 98 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; Tel: 852-2850-6471
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