Originating from the city of Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei Province, the breakfast staple of reganmian – or hot dry noodles – stole my heart on my own trip to Wuhan.
Every morning I tucked into a bowl of these noodles; sometimes adding braised beef or boiled egg, but always topping them with the accoutrements provided. Pickled radish, chopped green onion and coriander, plus a little chilli oil.
The days of reganmian being an exclusive breakfast dish are in the past, as now you can see vendors making it all across the city. That’s a bonus for every fan!
The noodles are meant to be of the slightly thick, alkaline variety made from wheat. I absolutely struggled to find them in my part of the world, so I settled on these medium-thickness ones. The main thing is they need to be al dente when you cook them, as soggy noodles call for reganmian disaster.
Once they’re drained they need to be cooled asap, without rinsing under cold water. I put my mixing bowl in the freezer for a while before using it, which helps immensely. Or you can lay the drained noodles on a board in front of a fan, or use an old school hand fan. The rest is straightforward reheating and assembling.