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Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Crossing Bridge Noodles}

A Traditional Yunnan Style Chicken Rice Noodle Soup

by HomeNaturallyMade
Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Crossing Bridge Noodles}

Guo Qiao Mi Xian {过桥米线}, literally translates as Crossing Bridge Rice Thread is a traditional Chinese Yunnan Province Style Rice Noodle Soup. It features pre-cooked rice noodles added to a steaming hot delicious chicken soup bowl to make a noodle soup on the go. My favorite rice noodle for Crossing Bridge Noodle is the angel hair rice noodles. So refreshingly tasty, which complements perfectly with the yummy cage-free chicken broth.

Besides the main ingredients of chicken soup and rice noodles, you can add all sorts of side ingredients to Guo Qiao Mi Xian. Vegetables, meat, eggs, tofu, fish fillet, shrimp, you name it. This dish is especially suitable for a buffet-style setting to serve food on the go. All you need to do is to keep the chicken soup steaming hot, people can then make a delicious noodle soup bowl whenever they’d like to.

Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Traditional Yunnan Style Chicken Rice Noodle Soup}

Why is it called Crossing Bridge Noodles {Guo Qiao Mi Xian}?

The origin of the Crossing Bridge Noodles dish traced back to China’s Qing Dynasty {1644-1911}

Legend says a scholar in Yunnan moved to a small island next to his house in order for him to concentrate and prepare for the highly competitive Imperial Examination called Ke Ju {科举} in Chinese.

When it was time for meals, his wife would deliver his favorite rice noodle soup. However, she had to walk across a long bridge to get to the island. By the time she arrived, the noodle became soggy and cold. The green leafy vegetables also lost their color and texture. So what to do?

Guo Qiao Mi Xian was about how to deliver a fresh noodle soup across the bridge in the old days

His wife was a creative clever woman. She decided to use a clay pot to cook the chicken soup steaming hot, along with the ingredients that are OK to stay in the soup for an extended period of time, such as tofu. For ingredients that can’t be staying in the soup for too long, she would briefly blanch them and put them on the side in small bowls. Rice noodles and green leafy vegetables belong to this category. Once she arrived at the island, she would add the previously blanched rice noodle and green leafy vegetables to the steaming hot chicken soup to make a fresh rice noodle soup on the spot.

Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Crossing Bridge Noodles}

This method worked out perfectly! The clay pot has superb heat retention capabilities which kept the soup hot. In addition, a thin layer of chicken oil that seals the top of the soup also effectively prevents the soup from getting cold.

The word spread out and people started to follow suit. Since she had to cross the bridge to deliver the food, in her memory, people started to call this way of making rice noodle soup Crossing Bridge Noodles or Guo Qiao Mi Xian {过桥米线} in Chinese.

Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Traditional Yunnan Style Chicken Rice Noodle Soup}

How to make Crossing Bridge Noodles {Guo Qiao Mi Xian}?

First thing first, a delicious chicken broth is the key to Guo Qiao Mi Xian

A cage-free chicken slow-cooked with Shaoxing wine and ginger makes the excellent chicken broth. Huai Yang Style Xiang Gu Ji Tang {Chicken Soup with Shiitake} used exact same method.

cage free chicken, shaoxing wine and ginger

What kind of noodle is best for Guo Qiao Mi Xian?

Rice Noodles made of rice flour which is naturally gluten-free is a traditional Guo Qiao Mi Xian main ingredient. I am especially fond of angel hair rice noodles.

What to put in Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Crossing Bridge Noodle}?

Other than the main ingredients of chicken and rice noodles, there are lots of side ingredients choices for you to consider.

For additional protein, fish fillet, shrimp, thin-sliced raw pork, and quail egg are among the popular ones. You can add them to the steaming hot chicken broth on the spot, the heat in the soup can cook them the same way as Hot Pot.

Yunnan Province is well-known for the yummy “Yunnan Huo Tui”, or salt-cured ham, similar to the Spanish Serrano ham. Naturally, it is a popular item to add to the chicken soup. The good news is you can also make the Salt pork at home which I make regularly. Check out how to make salt pork at home.

Guo Qiao Mi Xian Ingredients

Deep-fried pork or chicken bites are also popular choices. When I have bacon handy, I use cooked bacon and chop them into small bits

For vegetables, tofu skin and shiitake or other types of dried mushrooms are among my favorites. Both need to be soaked in plenty of water in advance. You then cook them together with the chicken broth to make a soup base.

With respect to leafy vegetables, Bok Choy, mung bean sprouts or soy bean sprouts are all favorable choices. Blanch them in advance and set them aside.

Fresh herbs and/or vegetables such as chopped cilantro or sliced tomatoes can be added raw to the noodle soup.

Enjoy a naturally tasty Crossing Bridge Noodles {Guo Qiao Mi Xian 过桥米线}!

Crossing Bridge Noodles Yunnan Rice Noodle Soup
Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Crossing Bridge Noodles}

Crossing Bridge Noodles {Guo Qiao Mi Xian 过桥米线} Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

Guo Qiao Mi Xian or Crossing Bridge Rice Noodle Soup is a traditional Chinese Yunnan Style Rice Noodle Soup. It features pre-cooked rice noodles added to a steaming hot delicious chicken soup to make a noodle soup on the go.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole cage-free chicken
  • 1 lb dried angel hair rice noodles, soak in water in advance
  • Salt to the taste, starting with 1 tsp
  • 1/2 lb salt pork or Spanish Ham, optional, cut into bite-size thin slices

For the Chicken Broth:

  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 1 small piece of ginger, about 10 g, thin sliced

Recommended dried ingredients, soak in water in advance:

  • 2 pc dried tofu skin
  • 1 cup of dried shiitake
  • 2 pc of salted tender bamboo shoots {Bian Jian 扁尖}

Other Recommended Ingredients for the soup, pick one or two if not all, and blanch in advance:

  • 1/2 lb baby bok choy
  • 1/2 lb mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 lb soy bean sprouts
  • 1/2 lb daikon radish, thinly sliced

Other recommended garnishing ingredients, add to the soup lastly:

  • cooked bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2-3 stems of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, horizontonly thin sliced

Instructions

Soak Dried Ingredients In advance:

  • For tofu skin, dried shiitake, or salted bamboo shoots, they need to be soaked in plenty of water at least 4 hours in advance.
  • For angel hair rice noodles, soak them in plenty of water 2 hours in advance.

Slow Cook the Chicken Broth:

  • Wash and rinse the cage-free chicken well, trim unwanted skins, and cut open the chest.
  • Fill an 8-Quart stockpot with about 70% water, and add the chicken along with 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine and ginger slices. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil. About 20-30 minutes.
    Stockpot filled with water and dried shiitake soaking water for cooking chicken soup
  • Turn the heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour.
  • Turn off the heat and set it aside.

Prepare Ingredients:

  • While waiting for the chicken broth, prepare vegetables and other ingredients.
  • If you would like to add bacon, cook bacon, wait for it to cool, and then cut it into small bits.
  • Wash and rinse bok choy, trim the ends, and cut vertically into long thin strips. Wash and rinse the tomato, and cut it horizontally into thin ring slices.
  • Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the tofu skin in an angel into bite-size strips.
  • Fill a 4-Q stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add the soaked rice noodles into the boiling water, Use a stainless steel skimmer to stir and make sure they are separated and fully immersed in the boiling water, and then immediately remove them from the pot using the skimmer and a pair of cooking chopsticks.
  • Turn and flip the rice noodles to let out the steam and then set them aside.
  • Use the same pot to blanch bok choy, tofu skin, mung bean sprouts, and soybean sprouts respectively. See notes. Blanch them individually, and add water in between blanching different ingredients to ensure there is plenty of water in the pot. Always wait for the pot to reach a boil again before adding a new ingredient.
    Guo Qiao Mi Xian Ingredients

Make the Soup Base:

  • Remove the chicken from the broth, and remove and discard the skin if you'd like to. Separate the meat from the bone except for legs and wings. Discard the bones.
    slow cooked chicken
  • Add salted pork {or Spanish Ham} slices, soaked shiitake mushroom, soaked tofu skin, and salted bamboo shoot slices, wherever applicable, to the chicken broth, along with Himalayan pink salt to the taste, starting with 1 tsp, bring it to a boil again, and then simmer for 10 minutes.

Make Guo Qiao Mi Xian {Crossing Bridge Noodles}:

  • When you are ready to serve, add the soup along with the ingredients in the soup to a large bowl, preferably stone or clay, and then add some of the slow-cooked chicken meat, blanched rice noodles, blanched bok choy or other vegetables, and garnish with bacon bits, chopped cilantro and sliced tomato.
  • Enjoy a refreshing and satisfying rice noodle soup {Guo Qiao Mi Xian}!
    Crossing Bridge Noodles Yunnan Rice Noodle Soup

Notes

  • When blanching vegetables, for bok choy, mung beans, and tofu skin, add them to the boiling water, then wait for it to reach a boil again, and then fetch them out using the skimmer. Blanch one ingredient at a time separately. Soybean sprouts require a bit longer to cook. add them to the boiling water, once it reaches a boil again, turn the heat to simmer, add the lid and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Salted pork, salted bamboo shoots, and bacon all contain salt. If you add these ingredients, you will require less salt for the soup.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 538Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 1367mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 27g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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