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Wuhan Hot dry noodles introduction

Needless to say, love in words for Wuhan people have the affinity for it.


Hot dry noodles, also known as Re Gan Mian(“Re, 热” means hot, “Gan,干” means dry, and “Mian, 面” means noodles.), is a typical Breakfast of Wuhan and called "Guo Zao" instead of 'Have breakfast' in Wuhan dialect.

Due to Wuhan's central location in China, it has historically been an important commerce center. Every year, tens of thousands of business people from all over the world flocked to this metropolis, bringing both goods and traditions from their own countries. Traders or ordinary customers who rushed to the markets usually didn't have enough time to prepare breakfast for themselves, so they had to settle for snacks at local food stalls. Flavors of food and snacks have become a blending of northern and southern China styles to satisfy the varying tastes of people from different places. Nowadays, you may be astounded by the skillful performance of vendors in front of any food stall in Wuhan.

In addition, hot dry noodles are convenient, fast, and delicious, it has become the first choice for many people in Wuhan. It found all across Wuhan since these noodles were indeed popular with locals throughout the year and could be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack.


With the high summer temperatures and long span of time in Wuhan, for a long time, people have added edible alkali to the noodles to prevent spoilage, which is the predecessor of hot dry noodles - cut noodles. It was recorded in the Qing Dynasty. The noodles have enjoyed a long history within Chinese food culture spanning 90 years.

Hot dry noodles originated from Mingwei Cai who sold noodles in soup in Hankow in the early 1930s. Mingwei Cai, a native of Wuhan, made his soup noodles so popular that customers often had to wait in line to get them, and many of them couldn't wait to leave, Mingwei Cai had a talent at doing business. In order to speed up shipments, through repeated experiments, he finally worked out a process of "dusting the noodles" - that is, first boiling the noodles to medium well, then quickly cooling them down and evenly smearing oil, so that when selling the noodles, the shipments would be faster.

Once Mingwei Cai saw a sesame oil workshop and saw that after they had extracted the sesame oil from the sesame seeds, the sesame paste -- The key of hot dry noodles-- was left unattended and the aroma was so strong that he had an idea; why not add the sesame paste to the noodles and try it out? Again after many iterations, he felt satisfied and everyone around him said it was delicious, and that's when he confidently launched his new product on the street and hawked it. Hot dry noodles - the favorite delicacy of the Wuhan people - were born.

At this time Mingwei Cai gave the noodles the name "sesame paste noodles" and it was until 1950 when the business was registered that they were officially called "hot dry noodles".

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Bronze statue of the person who made hot dry noodles in Wuhan Jianghan street

Bronze statue of the person who made hot dry noodles in Wuhan Jianghan street


The basic ingredient of hot dry noodles is the alkali noodle, which itself is added with alkali, then shaped, over water, and finally to be blown off the water and smeared with oil when it is rolling. In a fundamental sense, it is a kind of semi-cooked noodles. After it is cooled, it is soaked up and down in boiling water and passed several times to make it cooked. At this time, the noodles are still tasteless, and then some basic seasonings will be added, sesame paste, soy sauce, MSG(monosodium glutamate), salt, and depending on the region, may also add red oil, sesame seeds, some auxiliary ingredients. The final product is a bowl of hot dry noodles.


Once the noodles are cold, not only do they become unpalatable, they also soggy, which simply means that they become a dry mess, which is completely unpalatable compared to other noodles with soup, and it is difficult to separate them with chopsticks. This is why hot dry noodles must be eaten while they are hot or warm so that their essence can be reflected, and it is a food that needs to be fiddled with constantly, it is not very mold-able and is always fixed in one position, otherwise, it will be easily shaped and thus unpalatable.

Because of the dry nature of hot dry noodles, it requires people to keep stirring it, then it will have more and more contact with the air and the speed of heat dissipation will continue to accelerate, plus a bowl of hot dry noodles is done in just a minute or two, which is also very time saving and extremely filling, which is undoubtedly the best choice for those who are in a hurry to go to work.

Why people love it?

Wuhan is indeed very hot, but it seems that only hot dry noodles can match this heat, it can be left for a long time, seems to encounter this hot summer day is not afraid, on the contrary, is trying to conquer the Wuhan people's tongue with more and more intense taste buds.

With the hot weather in Wuhan, shouldn't it be more normal to have raw or cold food? If you eat hot dry noodles again, isn't it hotter, but hot dry noodles have their own charm! Just like spirit, the higher the alcohol content and the drinker is warmer, so are the hot dry noodles, and so are the people of Wuhan, seemingly feisty but warm heart-ed, which is their unique attitude to life.

Needless to say, love in words for Wuhan people have the affinity for it. Furthermore, it is an integral part of Wuhan's folklore and food culture. For those who come to Wuhan from abroad, most of the time they think of Wuhan again because they remember its noodles. For Wuhan people or those who have spent some time in Wuhan, hot dry noodles are no longer just a delicacy, but a sentiment.

Hot dry noodles should be stirred at the beginning.

Hot dry noodles should be stirred at the beginning.

© 2021 delicacylandscape

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