Re Gan Mian (Hot Dry Noodles 热干面)
What is it?
Hot dry noodles, also called re gan mian, are a traditional dish from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province. Typically eaten for breakfast, re gan mian have become so popular that most restaurants now serve the meal around the clock.
Fresh noodles are cooked in boiling water. Sesame oil is mixed in and the noodles are boiled again, before toppings including soy sauce, sesame paste, pickles, chilli oil and a lot of cilantro and spring onions are added.
Why is it famous?
The recipe has been around for some time. One suggestion is that it originated in the 1930s when a noodle seller had leftovers, and accidentally covered them in sesame oil, and then found that he could reboil the noodles a second time.
But recently, re gan mian has captured headlines in Italy, thanks to a couple from Wenzhou who opened a restaurant in Florence serving the dish. Huang Airong told Wuhan Evening News that she first opened the eatery to cater to the growing population of Chinese students in the city.
Another city in Hubei named Xiangyang, also has its own famous noodle dish called Xiangyang Beef Noodle. Also known as Butter Noodle, the dish uses an excessive amount of beef fat and chillis to develop the flavourful beef broth. The noodles are usually served with different cuts of meat and beef organs.
Where to try it?
You can find re gan mian at Cailinji, a Wuhan restaurant chain, for as little as Rmb4 (60 American cents). Address: 139 Luo Yu Road, Hongshan District, Wuhan; Tel: 86-159-0270-5437)
Hot Uncle (Re Dashu) Re Gan Mian is a restaurant in Beijing that serves a variety of authentic Hubei dishes. Address: Building 7, Number 1-5, 23 Guangchu Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing; Tel: 86-10-6778-9855.
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