Food has always been a big part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of helping my mom cook in the kitchen. I have always loved trying new foods and exploring different cuisines. Food is a way to connect with other people and cultures. It can be a source of comfort, or a way to celebrate a special occasion.
In this food memoir, I want to share some of my favorite food memories. I hope to inspire others to explore new foods and cooking techniques, and to create their own food memories.
Mung rice noodles are a kind of noodle. There are several types of food in our long-term memories for everyone of us. These foods are distinct from others since they not only include what we consume, but also what we experience. When my teacher asked me which meal I could remember having in my childhood, the first thing that came to mind was Mung rice noodles. I’m a Tujia Chinese person who lives in China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Tujia people have their own unique customs and habits, which are different from those of the Han nationality. One of these differences is that we like eating Mung rice noodle.
Mung rice noodle is a kind of food made from mung bean powder and glutinous rice powder. It is very soft and glutinous. When eating, you can feel the slippery and chewy texture in your mouth. Each time my mother cooked Mung rice noodle for me, I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to eat it. And every time I ate it, I felt very happy. When thinking of Mung rice noodle, I also think of my family because it is associated with the warmth and happiness of my family.
Every time I go back to my hometown, the first thing I want to eat is Mung rice noodle. And every time I eat it, I will be filled with the warmth and happiness of my family. It is not only the food in my deep memories but also the happy memories of my family.
Mung rice noodles have been produced by the Tujia people and are commonly made for breakfast. Simply put, it’s a marriage between mung and rice that gives its name. However, the Tujia people add soybeans to their mung and rice mixture. To be honest, I’ve never tried making it myself; instead, I saw my grandmother do it when I was in primary school.
It was really a laborious work because my grandmother needed to wash and soak the beans for a night, and then cook it in the next morning. After that, she would use a stone mortar to pound the beans into a paste. Finally, she would add water into the mixture of mung and rice and put them into a pot for boiling. The whole process is time-consuming but my grandmother did it every day.
When I was young, I always ate rice noodle for breakfast with chili sauce. The chili sauce was made by my grandfather. He would fry chili, garlic, and salt in a pan until they became fragrant. Then he would add some water and boil it for several minutes. The final step is to pour it into a bowl. Simple as it is, the chili sauce tastes really good.
It goes well with rice noodle and fried eggs. I still remember the scene that my grandmother and grandfather were making breakfast together in the kitchen. My grandfather was responsible for frying eggs while my grandmother was boiling water for rice noodle. When everything was ready, they would call me to have breakfast.
Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day. It provides us energy and strength to start a new day. For Tujia people, mung rice noodle and chili sauce are two indispensable parts of our breakfast. They not only taste delicious but also represent our culture and tradition. Whenever I eat them, I cannot help but think of my grandparents who always made breakfast for me when I was a child.
The most important thing to remember is that my grandmother soaked the soybean, mung, and rice in water for one day before cooking them. She ground them into a slurry with a millstone after one day. Then she coated the iron pan with tiny colza oil and spread the slurry uniformly throughout it. That was when I learned how to make Mung rice noodles, and I still recall how lovely the fresh scent of it was.
Secondly, my grandfather always picked up fresh vegetables by himself in the morning and then went to the market to buy some pork. At noon, he started to cook for us. The most memorable thing was when he put the lid of wok on one side and continued to fry the ingredients inside. I have never seen anyone do that except him. Lastly, my aunt always made a big pot of soup every day and she said that the soup must be boiled for three hours at least in order to get rid of fishy smell and make it tasty.
Food has always been an important part of my life. As a child, I remember spending a lot of time in the kitchen with my grandmother, watching her cook and learning from her. From her, I learned the importance of using fresh ingredients and taking the time to prepare food properly. I also remember spending time with my grandfather in the kitchen, watching him cook and learning from him.
He taught me the importance of cooking with fresh ingredients and taking the time to prepare food properly. Lastly, I remember my aunt always making a big pot of soup every day. She taught me that soup must be boiled for at least three hours in order to get rid of fishy smell and make it tasty.
My grandma added ginger, scallion, garlic, pepper, chilli oil, and meat sauce after it was cooked. “Babe! You’re going to finish it!” she said smiling at me. I understood why my grandma was so sure that I could finish it when I finished it. There is a lovely story behind Mung rice noodles. My mother usually got up half an hour earlier than me to make Mung rice noodle for my breakfasts when I was in primary school.
I remember the first time she did it. It looked like a big mess because she had never made it before. However, it tasted great. From then on, every time I came home and saw the Mung rice noodle, I would be so happy because I knew my mother had cooked it just for me.
Nowadays, there are many different ways to cook Mung rice noodle, but no matter how it is cooked, it will always bring back memories of my mother and grandmother – two amazing women who have always been there for me. Thank you for everything, and I hope you enjoy this food memoir!