Restaurant: 京味小館 (Jing Wei Xiao Guan)
City: Beijing, China
After lunch (where we had the Peking roast duck), we went to Tiananmen Square and Wangfujing. For dinner, we had thick noodles with soybean paste, which is a Beijing specialty and nicknamed “Chinese spaghetti”.
When you order the dish, you start off with the cold noodles as the base ingredient and choose the toppings you want with soybean paste. We all had the same toppings- bean sprouts, cucumber, and red radish.
When I got my bowl, I thought the presentation looked similar to bibimbap!
All the ingredients were mixed together before eating. It was a little messy because the noodles were thick and soybean paste splattered everywhere!
After mixing, the dish also reminded me of the Korean dish, jjajangmyun. Chinese spaghetti uses soybean paste while jjajangmyun uses black bean paste. Chinese spaghetti is also not as thick as jjajangmyun.
This cold dish helped us cool down from the hot and humid Beijing weather. Beijing was humid this weekend, but not crazy humid as Hong Kong.
I found some interesting tidbits about Chinese spaghetti from Beijing Tourism:
Beijing Noodles with Soybean Paste is a northern Chinese dish consisting of thick wheat noodles topped with a mixture of stir-fried ground pork and cucumber with fermented soybean paste. Nicknamed as “Chinese spaghetti”, the noodles has been popular throughout Beijing.
In Summer Solstice, natives in Beijing have a tradition of eating noodles. Food relevant to Summer Solstice always sells well during this period. People can eat as much lettuce and chilled noodles as they wish, because these foods can help stimulate appetites instead of undermining their health in the hot summer days.
Noodles with Soybean Paste Self-made Noodles with Soybean Paste is the Beijingers’ Favorite. Due to their popularity, the price of different kinds of noodles shoots up in Summer Solstice. So people usually prefer to make noodles at home. Hand-made noodles and hand-pulled noodles are very popular. After noodles are cooked, cool them with cold water. and then mix in the fried soybean paste. If you like, you can also mix in some cucumber slices, summer radish slices and soybean sprouts. Two pieces of garlic added can make the noodles savory. Or you can stir the noodles with sesame oil, vinegar and zanthoxylum oil, because noodles with sesame sauce have a distinctive flavor. Many people also prefer to eat hot noodles in the summer. These are called “Guotiaoer”. It is said that eating hot noodles can help dispel evils and the moisture and summer heat inside human bodies.