Soviet-style soup noodles, a memory of a city

“A bowl of noodles in the morning, past the living gods.” The early morning of Suzhou people was awakened by a bowl of soup noodles. “One or two or three miles away, there are four or five noodle restaurants.” The older generation of Suzhou people pay attention to “skins of water in the morning” and eat noodles in the morning. People who talk about style must eat “head soup noodles”.

My grandfather used to be the “big head” of an old cloth shop in Guanqian Street. Every day he got up early and went to Song He Lou, opposite, and waited for “head soup noodles”. The noodle soup from the first pot in the morning is the clearest, and the noodles are the smoothest. There is an old saying in Suzhou: “Eating noodles requires soup and listening to the opera.” Eating noodles is most about a bowl of soup, because the soul of Su-style noodles is hidden in the soup.

To make a good soup, you have to choose the right ingredients. The soup recipe of the Su-style noodle restaurant includes cheekbones, chicken (chicken rack), hoof, pork bones, shrimp shells, herring, ham, etc., boiled for eight or nine hours with simmering heat, and “hang” the charm of five flavors, After the soup, add pork leg bones and spine bones, and slowly simmer for about three hours. I remember when I was a kid, my grandfather took me to the restaurant. I never ate noodles and patronized soup.

For the first time outsiders come to Suzhou Noodle House, just looking at the “toppings” on the price list, you can see the blindfold. “Toppings” is a dish of noodles. With 518 kinds of toppings, Su-style noodles successfully set the world record of “the most popular soup noodles in the world”. Popcorn, gluten, shiitake, shredded pork, braised duck, stir-fried pork, stir-fried prawns, fried pork liver with soy sauce, big tomato sauce, shredded pork, etc. are daily choices. Personal weight.

When I was a “Student Party”, I often struggled with meat noodles or fish noodles, but at the end I ordered the cheapest poached egg noodles. After joining the work, I had spare money in my pocket and ran to the Yichang Fu Noodle Restaurant near the unit. The upstarts ordered beef, shiitake mushrooms, popcorn, pork belly, pork ribs, kidneys, pork liver … eleven toppings , Eleven small plates filled the entire table, I enjoyed while tasting. The correct way to open a bowl of Soviet-style noodles is to cross the bridge, that is, a bowl of noodles, and a small dish of toppings, one noodle, one topping, and one ginger.

Suzhou people have always been particular about “not eating from time to time”, and seasonal noodles are different in different seasons. When “toppings” meet the season, it is a collision of souls. There are three shrimp noodles in spring. Suzhou is the hometown of fish and rice. River prawns are common, but shrimp and shrimp brains can only be eaten during the egg-holding period of Taihu river prawns. The toppings of the three shrimp noodles are fried with shrimp, brain, and shrimp. Pick the shrimp first, then peel the shrimp. The remaining shrimp shells and the shrimp head are braised on a low heat, and then the dark orange peel is peeled from the shrimp head. Pieces of prawn brain, add the seasoning, chicken broth and seasoning, chicken broth, drizzle with sesame oil, and make a plate of three shrimp noodles with aroma and fresh eyebrows. Shrimp and shrimp brain are covered with shrimp, shrimp Q is soft and tender, and noodles are covered with shrimp and shrimp brain. Take a sip, as if the whole spring taste is in this bowl of noodles. This bowl of noodles is time-consuming and time-consuming, very seasonal, and is available daily in limited quantities.

In the midsummer’s Fengzhen, the big meat noodles had been featured in “China on the Tip of a Tongue”, and now it has become a “net red”. Its history is quite dramatic. According to legend, the Emperor Qianlong went down the south of the river to the Tieling Pass of Fengqiao. It was just when the fish belly was white and hungry in the stomach. The sleepy-eyed boss is a gambler and has no intention of doing business. He grabbed the raw noodles overnight and started tossing about it. He used salt without soy sauce and yellow meal without meat bone soup. Seeing that the wine was gone, Just grab some wine and make up. It is expected that Qianlong Yelong’s stomach opened wide, and even the soup and water ate a bowl to the sky. At the end, he touched Guangguangguang’s mouth and asked the store: “What did you give me?” The gambler blurted out “Fengqiao Town Meat Noodles.” “A good bowl of Maple Town Meat Noodles.” Awkward, like it again and again. Since then, the reputation of Fengzhen Darou Noodle has spread in Gusu City. The story is easy to tell, this bowl of noodle soup is not easy to make. The soup is very special. It is boiled with pork bones and cheekbones, and then scented with wine. The soup is colorless but tangy. The topping is a piece of white tender meat. The sweetness of the wine is permeated in the salty fragrance, which stretches back and makes the guests unable to stop.

In late autumn, crabs have become a delicacy on the Suzhou people’s table, and a “butter butter noodle” is definitely the emperor in the middle. The so-called “bald butter” is all crab yellow crab cream, not even a trace of crab meat. Think about it. The bald butter must pass through Chongyang, take the cream of the male crab, the yellow of the female crab, add the fat scallion, add the scallion ginger and sauté, then season with the rice wine, season the broth, and season with some lard and pepper. The mellowness of crab paste, the deliciousness of crab yellow, the richness of fat, and the spicy flavor of pepper are mixed together, and each noodle is stained with the aroma of “bald butter”, and the taste is simply unbeatable.

Frozen chicken noodles is a traditional winter noodle in Suzhou. The workmanship is complicated and delicate. From cleaning to fire, from seasoning to loading, it takes ten hours to get a transparent, fresh and tender “frozen chicken pearl.” Make a bowl of frozen chicken noodles with embroidery. When eating, chopsticks are used to remove frozen chicken, sandwich a small piece of chicken, tender and soft, sip a spoonful of soup and drink slowly, the umami is still locked in the Q bomb frozen juice. With just one sip, the umami quickly spreads between the lips and teeth.

The noodles in Suzhou are unforgettable. The name of the Suzhou noodle restaurant is also evocative. Most of the century-old restaurants carry the word “Xing”, Tong De Xing, Zhu Hong Xing, Yu Xing Ji, Lu Chang Xing … It means that the flourishing and flourishing. There are also poetic names such as Jinshuitai, Qionglin Pavilion, and Delicious Zhai … What keeps me fresh is delicious Zhai. Every year I celebrate my birthday, my father always gets up early, holding a big pot, and “packs” a flat-boiled pork with meat and vegetables, plus two poached eggs.

To paraphrase a buzzword: When people live to the extreme, they must be plain and light, as well as noodles. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, a bowl of green onions sprinkled with green onions, without any toppings, swept the streets of Suzhou. My mother said that my grandfather never ate breakfast like porridge, buns, churros, flatbreads, etc. The sky was bright, and he would not let the upper hall call a bowl of “glossy”. Later, the store felt that it would not make much money, and with fewer and fewer customers eating smooth noodles, it gradually stopped supplying. Recently, “Glossy” has appeared in a well-established noodle restaurant in Suzhou.

With twelve minutes of curiosity, I went to get a bowl. At first glance, the noodles with white flowers are sprinkled with a few green onions, which smells little, but when they are imported, the umami bursts in the mouth, and each noodle seems to dance on the tip of the tongue. The boss said, do n’t underestimate this bowl of noodles. The soup base is unusual. Use the whole old hen, ham, old duck rack, and Yaozhu to cook together, and hang for three days and three nights. Finally, knock the beef and chicken breasts into putty, gently stir in the soup, use the putty to absorb all the oil and impurities, and the rest is the clear soup. It is used for both noodles and boiled noodles. A bowl of clear soup noodles has the flavor of “yangchun white snow” in Suzhou, so it is also called “yangchun noodles”.

A bowl of Su-style noodles, just like a gentle and affectionate Wu Dibei, took full advantage of the delicateness and exquisiteness of Suzhou people. She gently said to the world: “All you need to remember a city is a bowl of noodles. . “