How exactly did Wantun Noodles develop to be the most loved and prized favorite of the Cantonese? The process is truly a remarkable one. According to folklore, Wantun Noodles evolved as a snack amongst the Hunan folks – white meat wontons with water noodle strips. After many twists and turns, it was finally introduced to the Guangdong Province when scholars traveled to major cities for imperial examinations. Improved upon by successors and finally achieved widespread recognition. The word “wonton” was later pronounced as “wantun” (cloud swallowing); an integration of the looks of the food and the way it is eaten, forming a more lively, distinctive, enticing and mouth watering expression.
After many years of study and modification, water noodle strips have evolved into today’s flavorful egg noodles that are cooked al dente, soft yet smooth. Noodle chefs back in the day held the “personal touch” in very high regards, from making the flour well, mixing, kneading, riding the bamboo log to flatten the dough and finally to noodle cutting, were all part of a handmade process. These noodle chefs were meticulous and breathing so much life into their noodles, they won the respect and appreciation of eatery patrons. The modern day, crudely made bulk, made for quantity instead of quality, is far from comparison. Wantun fillings require the use of river shrimp and semi-lean pork; succulent and luscious together but not without one or the other. Stewing dried flounders, pork bones and shrimp roes for hours create the bouillon. It is aromatic, savory, and tantalizes eaters to revisit again and again. Wantun noodles’ becoming the celebrated cuisine among Cantonese folks was definitely not a matter of luck.