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"Hui"-mian

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"Hui"-mian

empty stomach | Jan 21, 2003 11:24 AM

There is a popular type of noodle in Xiamen called "Hui-mian". It is made by Muslim immigrants, typically from Xinjiang, and is basically chowmein or spaghetti drenched in garlic and spattered with ground beef and zachoi (sp?).

It was my favorite dish in China.

Unfortunately, "Hui" just means "Muslim", and the term "Hui-mian", I now find out, is less than helpful in describing the dish. On a recent trip to Beijing, I found many many muslim noodle houses, but the typical response to "Hui-mian" ("Muslim noodles") was "what kind?". I tried to describe it, and often added, "the normal, popular, one", but apparently what was normal or popular in Xiamen does not hold in Beijing.

Some of these restaurants specifically said "Xinjiang-style", and yet they still didn't seem to grasp what I meant. One place did have a "hui"-mian, but the "hui" was a different character, and the dish wasn't even close.

On the last night of my visit, I began to wonder whether it might be "Lanzhou-mian". Only because the price structure seemed similar - "large with meat Y6; large no meat Y4; small with meat Y3; small no meat Y2". Something like that. None of the other dishes had these "variations", and, indeed, I recall similar on our beloved Hui-mian of Xiamen.

Unfortunately, I only noticed this my last night, after 7 or 8 failed attempts during the week. Too late to try/confirm.

Does this ring any bells with anyone? Can it be found in any US restaurants? I've heard of one "Muslim Chinese" place in LA (Torrance, I think), but it's not exactly a common niche. I half-wonder whether a Nepali or Tibetan place might actually have a better chance of having it.

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