Henrik J. Henriksen: From China with soup

Half the world eats noodle soup. Why not the rest?

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According to Chinese mythology, the Chinese man differs from uncivilized peoples, savages and barbarians, by two eating habits: He heat-treats food and eats grain. Cooking food and growing grain are the most basic prerequisites for modern man. Chinese cuisine is one of the oldest and largest in the world. Compressing it down to a few lines is impossible. Still, there is one thing that comes to mind when we talk about Chinese food: noodle soup.

The noodles probably come from Persia

But it is when they take over China at the beginning of our era that it takes off. New milling techniques made it much easier to grind the grain, and many delicacies could be conjured out of a dough with finely ground grain and water. In the 300s, the learned Shu Hsi writes an ode to the wheat dough and everything it is used for, one recipe for each season: In the spring you eat stuffed, steamed wheat buns, in the summer fleece-thin pancakes, raised doughs are put to life in the autumn, and about in winter it’s time for a steaming noodle soup!

  • Read Henrik J. Henriksen’s recipes further down in the case.

From China, the noodle soup travels on to most of the eastern hemisphere. It becomes a fundamental part of the diet in almost all regions here. The combination of power, often flavored with fermented, filling and starchy noodles, is heavenly.

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