Cross-bridge rice noodles (過橋米線) is a rice-noodles dish cooked and served in the Yunnan style.
It is all started from a woman’s desire to provide her husband with hot meals. The legend has it that a scholar, preparing for the imperial examinations, isolated himself on an island, away from distractions. His wife brought meals to him everyday. Yet, she was dismayed that meals she carried to him across a long, wooden bridge always arrived cold.
One day, by chance, she found that she could keep the soup boiling hot by topping it with a layer of oil. So, from then on, she served noodles and meat slices with the oil layered soup. And of course, her husband passed the exams and credited his success to his wife’s noodles…
Today, the so-called authentic (正宗) Yunnan style cross-the-bridge rice noodles is having the soup, noodles, meat, veggie, and other ingredients served separately. It is kind of like hotpot, but only without the stove.
While the restaurant next to Yunnan Binguan (麗江賓館) is referred by many locals as the best place for authentic Yunnan cross-the-bridge rice noodles, it didn’t impressed Yik and me very much. It’s good, but nothing extraordinarily remarkable.