Crossing the Bridge Noodles at Lotus Blue
As far as I can tell, crossing-the-bridge noodles has never appeared on a New York menu before. This specialty of China's Yunnan province features hot broth topped with a thick layer of oil, which keeps it piping hot until other ingredients including rice noodles are added raw, so that they cook as you eat the soup. This week's Counter Culture review recounts the fable behind the dish - which involves a disgruntled scholar and his patient wife - and explains why the version served at Lotus Blue is perhaps less than optimal. Try it and decide for yourself. Otherwise, you'll have to go to Yunnan.
What Lotus Blue's version really needs is a much richer broth, a little soy, and gallons of chile oil!