The history behind the famous 'Cross Bridge Rice Noodle

22 Aug 2018

Colourful Yunnan is located on the outside of Box Hill Central on Station Street. The inspiration for the restaurant dishes comes from the Yunnan Provence in the South West of China. One of their famous dishes is the 'Cross Bridge Rice Noodle which has a long and rich history, the story is...

Long ago, just south of the Yunnan city of Mengzixian (蒙自县)….

There was beautiful lake with water as clear as jade. In the center of the lake, there was a small island covered in green bamboo saplings and giant trees whose ancient stalks reached the heavens.

Known for its natural beauty and pleasant atmosphere, the small island drew many neighboring scholars seeking a tranquil place to study for the imperial exams.

Among these scholars was a particularly diligent student who spent many days studying on the island.  Every day, his wife made the long walk to the lake, crossing the bridge to the island to bring him his midday meal.  However, he was frequently so engrossed in his studies that he only remembered to eat long after the food had grown cold.

Due to his irregular eating habits, the scholar became noticeably thin and his warmhearted wife grew very worried.  One day, she had an idea. She butchered a plump hen to make a hot chicken soup, and separately prepared her husband’s favorite local rice noodles, seasonings, and ingredients.

She brought them over the bridge in different bowls, combining them just before he was ready to eat. On it’s own, the chicken broth stayed hot enough to cook the noodles and other ingredients, and created a thin layer of oil that kept the whole bowl piping hot.

It worked. The scholar loved the hot noodle soup, and the wife started crossing the bridge everyday with these bowls.

Eventually, the scholar succeeded in passing the imperial exams and, remembering his wife’s great kindness and hospitality, joked that it was his wife’s wonderful noodles that helped him pass the prestigious and famously difficult exams.

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“As a result of their unwavering resolve, the husband became an imperial scholar and great honour and satisfaction was brought to the village.”