As’salaamualaikum, peace be upon everyone!
酿皮 . Niangpi . Cold Noodles . Mee Sejuk
One of the first items that made it into our menu was “Niangpi“, which we roughly translate as cold noodles. If you were to Google it online, it is often written as “cold rice noodles” or “cold-skin noodles”, and described as “thick and flat noodles” or “noodle-and-tofu cold dish.”
Ironically, the noodles do not contain rice nor tofu.
In Malaysia, most of the time you can only find niangpi at China Chinese Muslim restaurants, and the taste differs from one restaurant to the other. Since there is practically no China Chinese Muslim restaurants in Johor Bahru (well, not that we know of anyway), most of our customers have never seen or heard of niangpi. Most thought the noodles looked like chunky squid strips or a thick version of the local kway teow (rice noodles). And they often think the mianjin (gluten sponge) is tofu, tripe or fish.
Occasionally, our clients would ask how do we make the noodles. To make niangpi requires supernatural amount of patience. as the entire process is time-consuming and complex. We practically have to spend hours washing the flour to get the gluten out, draining out the water, steaming it in batches and manually cutting it into thin strips. On top of that, we have to prepare the dressing, which involves at least 5 different types of condiments, each with its own distinct preparation styles.
One thing is for sure, we certainly have that sense of accomplishment each time we successfully create a fresh new batch. We are usually the first to sample each batch because Kai Kai is extremely particular in achieving the al dente texture.
According to Kai Kai, niangpi is commonly found at his hometown and people eat it throughout the day. Due to its cooling nature, the noodles are also often taken during summer, making it perfect for the weather in Malaysia which is pretty much summer all year long.
So how does a plate of niangpi taste like?
Well, you will have to taste it to find out. 😀
Kai Kai & Jia Jia