Three hours of stew and five minutes after eating, people in Tianjin will have no trouble eating noodles
In the eyes of everyone, the “formula” of Tianjin people may be as follows: 70 grams of wit and humor, 30 grams of loyalty and enthusiasm, plus two tons of “joy and joy”. Casual, open, and comfortable, it seems that the most important thing in life is whether lettuce can be put in pancake pastry.
However, only when you eat l á o noodles with them can you know how serious they can be. (The word “lao” must be pronounced twice according to the Tianjin accent, otherwise, it will not taste right when you eat it)
Tianjin’s noodles can be served as a table, and its abundance is the only one in China. When you are serious about eating, you should start with four cold and four hot dishes. Use shrimps, purple crabs, fresh shellfish, meat slices, shiitake mushrooms, mushrooms… to make a delicious and shiny brine, with four special fried dishes, plus more than a dozen crisp fresh vegetables as side dishes, and then add a touch of red powder skin to make a bowl of noodles.
Every day worth celebrating can’t be separated from Laomian: New Year, birthday, marriage, relocation, college entrance, having a happy day today, and wanting to have a good meal… Well, you can eat Laomian on any day. An ordinary day is not worth living?
If you have something to do or nothing to do, you can have a meal of noodles. This is the ritual feeling of Tianjin people alone.
01. In the bowl of noodles, there is a universe
Noodles can be found in many places – boiled noodles can be eaten as soon as they are picked up, which is convenient and fast food. The daily eating method of Tianjin Laomian is also very convenient.
It’s too hot to cook? Send the children out to buy two kilos of noodles (noodles pressed and cut by machines). After the noodles are cooked, pour some pepper oil into the cold water, and then simmer some sesame paste (dilute the thick sesame paste). Mix the cucumber shreds in the noodles, peel two cloves of garlic, and take a sip. This is the flavor of summer. In winter, when mutton slices are fried with shredded cabbage, add some bright red pepper oil, add two drops of vinegar, and add fried cooked soybeans, no matter how cold the current is, it can not suppress the warmth from the heart.
Tianjin Laomian also has a very particular aspect – once the “sense of ceremony” of Tianjin people came up, it immediately became extremely luxurious. A serious meal of noodles, including brine, fried vegetables, side dishes, and noodles, should not be vague.
Marinated Flavor | All inclusive
Marinated food, that is, the soup and toppings for noodles, is the core of Tianjin Laomian, which has a lot of patterns. Tomatoes and eggs, eggplant diced meat, eggs and beans, meat and vinegar stew… Only you can’t think of it, there is nothing that can’t be used to make brine.
Among the many kinds of bitterns, we must mention the three fresh bitterns. Following the practice in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, pork, edible fungus, and yellow cauliflower are necessary for the brine, and they are fried together. With the soup base hung from the diced shiitake mushroom or mushroom, the “salty and fragrant” background is created. Tianjin is not short of river fresh seafood, and shrimp and shellfish should be put in the brine. Two eggs should be “flown” in, and thick sauce should be added to hook up the “fresh” taste. The pepper oil should be stir-fried now. When the brine is about to come out of the pot, pour it on while it is hot. It pricks with a sound, and the room smells fragrant.
In some coastal areas, it is more abundant to eat “whole brine”. Yaozhu, sea cucumber, whitebait, purple crab, squid whiskers, dried silk, Ergu steamed stuffed buns, big fried dough twist…… Whatever tastes good, you should add something to it. Don’t treat it unfairly.
What if I can’t eat meat? Tianjin also has “plain brine”, also known as “fried dough sticks brine”. Yes, it’s the fried dough stick in the Chinese Savory Crepes. First, mix the soybean curd with sesame oil, then pour it on the pastry cut into sections (you can also pull it into sections by hand) together with the spring onion flowers and coriander, and then scoop out a spoonful of hot noodle soup just boiled. When the snow-white noodle soup meets the soy sauce and bean curd juice, the bean flavor will immediately overflow, and the pastry bittern will be finished. When eating, you should also use pepper oil to ferment sesame paste and mix noodles with pastry bittern. The sauce is rich, the carbon and water are abundant, and one mouthful of it can refresh the whole day.
Fried Vegetables | Unique
To eat noodles, you need to add “four dishes” of fried vegetables, so Tianjin noodles are also called “four dishes noodles”.
Four kinds of fried dishes are generally dried pork shreds, yellow vegetables (scrambled eggs), fried shrimp, and sweet and sour gluten shreds. Everything needs to be a little particular.
Shredded pork with parsley is a “mouth-heavy” dish, which should be filled with leek or green pepper. If you are afraid that it is too salty to eat with the brine, you can do without salt, but you’d better have some soy sauce. Shredded pork and bean curd are most attractive when they are dyed with thick soy sauce.
The key to frying eggs is to put hot oil in the pan, turn the shovel over twice, break the eggs, and quickly put them out. At this time, the eggs are not fully cooked, but the remaining temperature is enough to heat the half-cooked part, which can bring out the most tender taste.
Tianjin is home to fish and shrimp. In late autumn, the shrimps in the river are fat and the meat is the most compact and tender. This kind of live shrimp does not need to be treated too much. Peel it and remove the intestines. When it is stir-fried, it is still crystal clear when it is out of the pot. In the mouth, the shrimp is full of elastic teeth, fresh and sweet, and the lips and teeth retain fragrance.
If you eat it before or after the Spring Festival, you must replace the green shrimp with the Tianjin specialty crawfish. The time of Shaking Shrimp is very short, just in the early spring. Its skin is thin, fresh, and tender, and its meat is white and delicate, with a touch of pink. People in Tianjin also call it “baby face”. Stir fry shrimp with explosive fire. Don’t put too much seasoning to cover up their original taste. More importantly, it can be fried. The sweet taste of the crispy crust is unexpected.
Sweet and sour gluten silk is the soul of Tianjin noodles. First tear the “flesh” in the oil gluten, leaving only the most tenacious layer of skin, shred, and fry until crisp. After frying the sweet and sour juice, pour it on while it is hot, and hang the caramel color on the gluten silk, which is attractive from the inside to the outside. The gluten and noodles are still crisp when you eat them together. You can still hear a small “peep” sound when you chew them. The sour and sweet taste is tantalizing to your appetite.
Side dishes | finishing touch
There is a lot of meat and fish in braised dishes and stir-fried dishes. At this time, you must balance the dishes with fresh dishes, otherwise too much is too much, and the noodles will not taste good.
Cucumber, radish, beans, cabbage, potato, spinach, red cabbage, mung bean sprouts… whatever vegetables are fresh, it’s good to blanch them, cut them, and put them on a plate. Then prepare some boiled green beans and fried soybeans, which can be matched by the diners themselves.
On the noodles table, there is one side dish that can never be missed, that is, the red-pink peel. Pink peel is not rare. What is rare is the bright red, bright, and festive. If you get married or put on a birthday party, without it, you will lose your vitality.
The side dishes are so delicate that the noodles themselves serve as a foil, but they should not be too careless. It is impossible to buy some noodles casually. At least we should change to hand-rolling noodles. This is the time to test the chef’s skill: the noodles should wake up for a short time, and be smooth and round. Take a three-foot-long rolling pin to push, press, pull, and roll until they are rolled into pieces, then fold it and cut it with a sharp knife. When the weather is cold, it’s better to eat some “a nest of silk” noodles, which are more sinewy and cooked, and suitable for eating while hot.
02. Old Tianjin in a bowl of noodles
Ma Sanli, a famous crosstalk artist, used to eat noodles in Nanshi when he was young. At that time, he was not prosperous yet, and he was short of money. He was eager to perform. In order to save time, he ate the simplest instant noodles at the stall. Swallow two bowls of thin soup. If it is not enough, try two more bowls. I’m still hungry. I have to add another bowl. There were no fancy side dishes in the noodles, but it was white noodles after all, and it was a rare delicacy at that time.
This kind of noodles is certainly different from the “four dishes of noodles” we said before, but it has completely returned to its true colors – “civilian fast food” rooted in the old Tianjin Wei people.
Tianjin is a large city of water transport, which attracted many people to “break the dock” long before the opening of the port in modern times. The boatman and porter need to eat fast, satisfy themselves and have a long time to eat. The snack rich in carbon and water becomes the best choice. Tianjin’s pancake pastry and fried rice noodles are all developed under this background, and noodles are no exception.
It is Tianjin’s business that makes the noodles stand out from a group of snacks. The business firm has rules and should manage the lunch of employees. It’s easy to do and eat, and it doesn’t delay afternoon work. Another characteristic of the firm is that it needs to entertain customers. When regular customers come to talk business, they can’t see off the guests when they arrive at the meal, can they? Then you’ll have to stay for lunch. Laomian is not shabby when it is served with some modern fried dishes and gradually becomes popular.
At the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China, Tianjin was very famous for its “Badacheng” restaurants, which represented the peak of Tianjin cuisine at that time. It is said that the owners of Ju Qingcheng and Yi Hecheng in the “Badacheng” jointly opened a “Xiandeyue restaurant”, officially launching the only “noodle soup” in China. The noodle soup is different from today’s “four-dish noodle soup”. The dishes are luxurious and rotate four times. It really becomes a good banquet.
The luxurious noodle soup is too far away from the common people, and “fried noodles” is the common memory of most ordinary people. Today, we can only listen to Liu Baorui’s crosstalk, but it is no stranger to Tianjin people who have attended weddings in the courtyard.
The wedding in downtown Tianjin is held in the afternoon. At noon, all relatives and friends should have a meal of instant noodles together. In the old days, it was an unwritten rule to build a flat ceiling for weddings, but the “tent line” that built the ceiling was no longer available, so everyone changed to a green canvas tent. Tables, chairs, and benches are borrowed from neighbors; The chef is not a professional “cook” in any hotel, but an amateur chef who specializes in “running in the greenhouse”. The dishes are not very delicate, but the four cool four hot eight wine dishes, four dishes of noodles, more than a dozen kinds of dishes plus red flour peel, and two kinds of brine will be available, and the materials are real, delicious enough. The shed is not big, so my relatives and friends can sit full. The owner’s family will also take the sea bowl, and send it to the neighborhood that has helped and accompanied the members. They will take a bag of happy candies along the way. They will never favor one over the other.
In recent years, there have been more and more buildings, and the wedding ceremony at the entrance of the courtyard and the alley has gradually become a childhood memory. The custom of eating happy noodles at noon has not changed, but the location has been changed to hotels and restaurants. When noodles are served, the intimacy and festivity can still touch the Tianjin people’s nostalgia genes.
In this way, the noodles sprouted from the grassroots, experienced flowers and returned to nature, and finally turned into a “sense of ceremony” symbol that goes deep into every Tianjin people’s hearts.
03 . What to eat today? Laomian!
In the hearts of Tianjin people, there are countless memories related to noodles.
We have to eat noodles for the Spring Festival. “Dumplings on the first day of the lunar new year, noodles on the second day of the lunar new year”. In order to eat this bowl of noodles on time, we have to get up early on the second day of the lunar new year – every family goes out to buy noodles, but we can’t grab them when we get up late. Of course, the dumpling on the eve of the New Year’s Eve is the main character of the Spring Festival, but the second day of the lunar new year has its own special significance: it is the day when the married daughter goes home, and it is also the busy New Year’s Eve when the whole family begins to enjoy the comfort of the New Year. Only a rich meal of noodles can set off the atmosphere of reunion and the expectations of the Spring Festival.
Old people have to eat noodles to make their birthday. The dishes at the birthday party are dazzling, but no one can beat the popularity of the bowl of “one root noodles”. The child came to congratulate the old birthday star happily, and he always secretly pinched sweet and sour gluten to eat when the adults were blind.
It’s too hot. I have to eat noodles. At the summer dusk, the afterglow of the setting sun has not yet shed, and every household has already wafted out the fragrance of noodles. When eating, you don’t need to set the table, one bowl for each person, or squat or sit, and then eat when you get up. A neighbor had to greet him at the door after work: “Come to my house for noodles”
The most touching thing is the bowl of noodles when a traveler returns home. The custom in Tianjin is “long receipt and short delivery”, where long noodles are used to express long yearning and hope to keep relatives at home for a long time. Because of this, no matter whether it is late winter or midsummer, early morning or late night when the wanderer comes home, he will always eat hot noodles for the first bite. The taste of noodles becomes the taste of home.
It is said that children in Tianjin love their families. How can they know that they are so attached to the bowl of noodles that it will never taste like that when they leave home?
Only those who love life know how to take every bowl of noodles seriously and make every solemn or trivial day feel like a ceremony.
Noodles are common, but they can never be made up to scratch; Just as life is dull, we must not make do with it. This is the pursuit of the Tianjin people.
We should eat noodles no matter whether we have something to do or not. We should seize every opportunity to create a happy moment. This is the optimism of the Tianjin people.
Their ordinary persistence and love are condensed in this dialogue:
“What do you eat today?”