Yi mein is a variety of flat Cantonese egg noodles made from wheat flour. Rice flour would make them too breakable - not an advantage when the goal is longevity! They are known for their golden yellow color and slightly chewy, spongy texture which comes from the use of soda water when making the dough. They are also fried before being dried which give them their distinctive texture.
They are also called hand-pulled noodles, which traditionally distinguishes them from machine-made noodles. These "long-life" noodles deserve their name, since they are 1 meter long.
Found throughout China; their popularity dates back to the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE).
- Never cut longevity noodles unless you want to shorten your life! On the other hand, it's good form to admire their length.
- Don't fill up your noodle bowl, which would indicate your life is already full.
Photo: EJET international trade development, Yiwu markets in China
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