Miao xiang Mi Xian

Usually our weekend eat out is at hotpot.This week though I wanted to try the food at a restaurant called Miao Xiang Mi xian.

I have been there a couple of time before with friends but was always a 'spectator' coz the place is famous for its 'noodles with meat' dishes.This time though my dear friend Ju suggested that we request the chef to prepare a vegetarian version of the noodles.I was not sure if the request would be taken up but to my utter surprise the girl at the billing counter conveyed my request to the chef and he was more than willing to prepare a special one for me!!

In this restaurant,you first order the food at the billing counter and they give you a card with a number which tells the waitress what you ordered.The service is quick and the atmosphere is homely.No fancy decoration,just a neat place to eat.You can order the dish with your choice for spiciness-bland,medium spice or spicy

Every time I have been there ,it is full of people-no wonder- because of the quick service and the price.The noodles that I ordered with vegetables cost just RMB 8 which is actually cheap.The other types of noodles with fish/other meat costs somewhere between RMB 15-18 only.You can also order a drink of your choice with the food.

I did not have to wait long for the waitress to bring my dish.The noodles arrives in a relatively large bowl with a matching spoon.I had requested for a medium spice vegetable noodle but it looked quite fiery!

The piping hot noodles topped with peanuts and radish kimchi[Korean style radish pickle] looked tempting.

It was a large bowl full of soup and noodles with Chinese cabbage.The sour and sweet pickle and the peanuts offered a tasty crunch to the dish.

Here is how you eat it-Fish out the noodles from the bowl with the chopsticks and hold it over the spoon.Eat it using the chopstick and drink the soup from the spoon.As simple as that.I could finish the noodles and the vegetables but could not finish even 1/4 of the soup.The portion size is really big!

You can catch a glimpse of Ju's Fish noodles behind my bowl.

It was a bit spicier to my liking but I enjoyed it.The next time I will ask the chef to make it a little less spicy.

Chinese 'inscription' on the bowl

On the way home,Ju told me that this restaurant has its headquarters in a place called Nanjing in China and also that it is a restaurant that showcases the dishes from the Miao minority.Miao is one of the 36 minorities found in China.

This little piece of info got me eager to know more about the Miao people.A little search on the net gave a treasure trove of interesting information.

The Miao people form one of the largest ethnic minority group in Southwest China.The Guizhou province in China is referred to as the base of Miao nationality.Read more about them here

Coming to the most interesting part of the Miao people -Food!!! Miao people live on rice, wheat ,potatoes,Corn,maize,Chinese sorghum,peanuts,sugarcane,tobacco.They like to eat sticky rice,drink sweet wine and love sour and spicy foods.They are also fond of deep-fried foods like deep-fried stuffed buns.

The meat they eat is mostly from the poultry they raise, and the most common vegetables they eat are soybeans, melons, green vegetables and carrots. Most Miao people are especially good at cooking dishes made of soybeans. Besides animal oil, they also eat tea oil and vegetable oil. Hot pepper is the main seasoning they use, and there is a saying in some places that 'It can't be a real dish without hot pepper.'! [This I understood as soon as I tasted my noodle dish!!!!]Miao cuisines are simple and often nutritious.

Most Miao people like to eat sour dishes, and every family has sour soup which is made through fermenting rice or tofu water in a crock for three to five days. Sour soup can be used for cooking meat, fish or all kinds of vegetables. In order to keep the food in good condition, Miao people usually salt the vegetables, chicken, fish and meat in a crock.Some famous and traditional dishes are Sour Fish Soup, Marinated Fish, and Chicken Congee.

Miao people also like to drink.Most of the wine is home-made-either sweet or steamed variety.They usually drink to relax after a day of hard work..Butter tea is served to guests who have to drink four bowls without stopping, representing being alive and well in all four seasons.

The Miao people are very artistic too.They create a beautiful variety of arts and crafts like cross -stitch,embroidery,weaving,batik and paper cuts.Their dress is colorful and I could see that from the sign board of the restaurant.

On the whole it is an interesting news and a wonderful dinner.I am sure to go there again.