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Audible | The Hustle and Bustle in Chongqing –Chongqing's Spicy Noodles

Editor’s Note:  This article is produced in collaboration with the Chongqing Institute of Foreign Studies as part of a series of ongoing reports exploring the city’s abundant resources in intangible cultural heritages.

Chongqing spicy noodles.

People in Chongqing often say that we may know more about our universe after a glass of liquor, and similarly, we may have a deeper understanding of life after a bowl of spicy noodles. The streets and alleys of Chongqing are lined with noodle stalls or restaurants, where we can experience the unique charm of this city and learn about people's attitudes towards life.

Chongqing spicy noodles are called "Gang Zi noodles," meaning people knead the dough with bamboo or a wooden stick. It has combined techniques from other parts of the country, such as pressing, cutting, and pulling.

According to Liu Yidian, the inheritor of Chongqing spicy noodles, there are more than 20 procedures, from grinding wheat to serving the dish.

The first is to make flour noodles by spreading, adding water, kneading, pressing, and cutting. In particular, the dough has to be pressed hundreds of times with soft and average force to make the noodles al dente. The second is to make the seasoning, which is the key to the flavor. Usually, it consists of 10-15g of soybean sauce, 2g of chicken powder, 2g of gourmet powder, 30g of Chongqing spicy oil, 2g of Sichuan pepper powder, 8g of ginger and garlic water, 10g of lard or vegetable oil, some chopped green onions and pickled mustard tuber, as well as sesame seeds. Next is to make the soup. Stew pork marrow bones and mature hens for two hours, and then add soybean sprouts, kelp, or some fresh mushrooms). After that, one more hour is needed until the soup turns white as milk. Finally, boil the noodles for two or three minutes before picking them up and placing them in the serving bowl.

Liu adds that experience and craft are crucial to making a bowl of good noodles that meets the taste of all diners. 

The vitality and passion of Chongqing reflect not only in the noodle stalls by the roadside but also in the hearts of those inheritors of intangible cultural heritage.

Chinese script: Xie Haifeng

Tutored by: Tang Ruohan

Translation: Zhu Xianfang

Tutored by: Wu Shulin, Han Xiefang

Voice-over: Liang Shengdong

Tutored by: Lei Yu


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