History It is said that the first person who ate braised noodles was Li Shimin, the first emperor of the Tang Dynasty. When he was still just a poor soldier he became sick. It was a snowy and windy day and he had nothing to eat. He had no choice but to walk into a cottage and beg for some food. The hostess was very kind-hearted and prepared something immediately. However, her family was also very poor, so she made some wide noodles and boiled them in pure water. She put the boiled noodles out into a bowl and added some bone soup. Li Shimin liked the noodles very much. When he had finished, he was full of energy and didn't feel cold any more. After he became the emperor of the Tang Dynasty, he ordered his cooks to record the way those noodles had been made so the recipe could be passed to future generations.
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Styles and preparation
Henan braised noodles can be divided into three kinds: noodles with beef, noodles with mutton and noodles with seafood. Noodles with mutton is the most common variety. First, prepare a ball of wet wheat powder containing salt and oil and pull it into 2cm wide slices by hand, then boil them. After 3 minutes, pull them out and put them into a big bowl, add beef (mutton, or seafood), Chinese onion, a little kelp, and a little vermicelli made from starch. Finally, add some hot soup (traditionally made from the bones of goats).