Americans have proven they'll go to extreme lengths for outstanding noodles -- take the line at your city's latest hot ramen joint as exhibit A. But on the off chance China's a little far for you to trek, here's a virtual trip to Lanzhou, the cultural and culinary epicenter of Northwest China and the birthplace of hand-pulled beef noodles.
The capital city of the Gansu province, Lanzhou is also home to one of China’s significant populations of Hui Muslims, whose rich history influences an array of food specialties unique to the region -- the most celebrated of which is beef lamian, or hand-pulled stewed beef noodles. Halal beef is stewed in a clear broth, highlighting the robust flavor of the meat. Fresh cilantro, scallions, chili oil, and radishes round out the party. The result? An aromatic, hearty bowl of springy, fresh noodles you’ll likely slurp down in record time.