Honeycomb whole wheat noodles in Jin Zhong China
After nearly a decade of living in China and travelling extensively to learn as much food as humanely possible, I decided to start posting some of the really interesting things I have found, in hopes that other will enjoy them as well.
This one is made from a longer grain variety of whole wheat (莜麦) grown in ShanXi Province--shown in the photo below next to the finished product. The noodles are hand made by pushing dough onto a long rectangle, cutting, rolling up, forming into a honeycomb structure and steaming. They contain only flour and water--no salt, oil, or flavorings.
They are eaten with a variety of toppings or dipping sauces.My favorite preparation was one topped with stewed wild mushrooms, pork, hot peppers, and string beans. Other really good variations include stir-fried tomatoes with garlic as a dipping sauce.
You can find them at many restaurants(from hole in the wall places to higher end ones) in the capitol city Tai Yuan as well.
Besides the unique shape, these noodles packed a seriously satisfying chewy texture and robust whole grain flavor.
How cool is that! I've never seen them before but a quick google had plenty of hits. Thanks for the posting, IHTJ.
I probably won't make it to Taiyuan but seems to be available in Shanghai and Macau:
As an aside, this is my favourite cookbook/travelogue of all time (deservedly won 2009 James Beard award). Doesn't have the honeycomb noodle but journeys through the country and food across the western two-thirds of China. If you haven't read it, I think it would be right up your alley, IHTJ. Photos in it are amazing.
Yeah the photos in that book are amazing!
I think those noodles are made of oats as the two links you provided state. The Chinese character for oats is 燕麦, and the character for this grain is different( 莜麦), but it is probably a variety of oat as I just looked at the grains that I have here and they are suspiciously similiar to photos of whole oats on google.
That is good news as now anyone can make them without having to go to ShanXi Province to buy the grains.