Yunnan Rice Noodle Soup (云南小锅米线)

Among many other things, Yunnan Province in China is known for its rice noodles. And this “Little Pot Rice Noodle Soup” (小锅米线, xiǎoguō mǐxiàn) is one of the most popular Yunnan rice noodle soup dishes you might come across! 

Yunnan’s Rice Noodle Dishes

There are too many varieties of Yunnan rice noodle dishes to name. Some are salads, others are soups. Some are mixed cold, and others are boiling hot. There are tangy/sour dishes, and dishes where spicy chilies are at the forefront. 

The two Yunnan rice noodle dishes that stand out are: “Crossing the Bridge Noodles” (过桥米线, guò qiáo mǐxiàn) and this Little Pot Rice Noodle. And there are still many variations on each!

You may have already heard of Crossing the Bridge Noodles. I’ve seen Yunnan restaurants popping up in New York City that specialize in that iconic dish. However, I find this Little Pot Rice Noodle easier to make. 

Customizing Your Little Pot Rice Noodles

The dish is called “Little Pot Rice Noodles” because it’s usually served in a small personalized pot, and you can customize it to your own tastes. You can request it with/without chilies, with thin or wide noodles, with extra scallions, no cilantro––you get the idea. 

The good news is, tailoring the dish to your own tastes is not only allowed, it’s encouraged! You should feel free to use this recipe as a guide, and make tweaks to it according to what you like, and what you have available in your kitchen. 

Note that if you’d like to make this recipe gluten-free you can substitute dry cooking sherry for the Shaoxing wine, and use gluten-free soy sauce products.

I know we’re all in a tough situation these days, and that we’re all limiting trips to the grocery store. I’ve included many suggestions for substitutions and alternative ingredients in the recipe below. 

Now that so many of you have been cooking so much over the past few weeks, I know you’ll be creative and find a way to make your own version of this tasty pick-me-up noodle soup for yourselves and your families! 

Once you have all the ingredients sorted out, making it is a snap. I really hope this pot of noodle soup can put a smile on your face. Let’s all continue to stay inside and stay well!

Yunnan Rice Noodle Soup Ingredients, thewoksoflife.comYunnan Rice Noodle Soup Ingredients,

Yunnan Rice Noodle Soup Recipe Instructions

Add the ground meat to a bowl, and add 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine, 1/4 teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce and 2 tablespoon water. Mix until the meat has absorbed all the marinade liquid. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Marinated ground pork, thewoksoflife.comMarinated ground pork,

Here are the different types of rice noodles you can buy. First are the dried Jiangxi rice noodles below. They come in different thicknesses, sometimes with different names on the labels, like “rice stick” and “rice vermicelli.”

Dried Rice Noodle packages, thewoksoflife.comDried Rice Noodle packages,

You can also get fresh rice noodles in the refrigerated section:

Fresh rice noodles, thewoksoflife.comFresh rice noodles,

One isn’t necessarily better than the other, and if you can’t find or don’t have rice noodles, you can use whatever noodles you like––fresh/dried wheat noodles (i.e. regular white noodles, soba noodles, etc.).

If using dried rice noodles, soak them in warm water for 1 hour (or follow the instructions on the package). Then cook the soaked noodles in a pot of boiling water until just cooked through. The cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the noodles. Rinse the noodles in cold water to prevent them from sticking together and set aside.  

Pre-heat a wok or soup pot over medium high heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil, along with the ginger, garlic, and chilies. Cook for a minute until fragrant.

Ginger, garlic, and chilies, thewoksoflife.comGinger, garlic, and chilies,

Add the marinated meat, turn up the heat, and fry until it is cooked through. 

Browning pork in the wok, thewoksoflife.comBrowning pork in the wok,

Add the stock, 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add in the bean sprouts

Adding bean sprouts to soup, thewoksoflife.comAdding bean sprouts to soup,

Along with the pea tips and garlic chives.

Adding pea tips to soup, thewoksoflife.comAdding pea tips to soup,

Bring to a boil again, stir in the noodles, and salt to taste.

Adding noodles, thewoksoflife.comAdding noodles,

Serve immediately with the pickled cabbage, cilantro, and scallions. 

Yunnan Rice Noodle Soup, thewoksoflife.comYunnan Rice Noodle Soup,

Remember that if you don’t have pickled cabbage, you can substitute chopped kimchi (Korean pickled napa cabbage), pickled or preserved radish, pickled mustard greens, or even a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for added acidity.

I used pickled mustard greens, pictured below.

Pickled mustard greens, thewoksoflife.comPickled mustard greens,

I chopped it up…

Chopping pickled mustard greens, thewoksoflife.comChopping pickled mustard greens,

And stir-fried it with ginger and dried red chili.

Pickled mustard green with ginger and dried chili, thewoksoflife.comPickled mustard green with ginger and dried chili,

Stir-frying pickled mustard greens, thewoksoflife.comStir-frying pickled mustard greens,

You really can customize this dish however you like!

Yunnan Little Pot Rice Noodles, thewoksoflife.comYunnan Little Pot Rice Noodles,



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