Yunnan Clay Pot Rice Noodles Recipe

Yunnan Clay Pot Rice Noodle Recipe

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This recipe is featured in our Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit which is available daily, and is also included in our Eat Your Way Through Yunnan’s Tea & Horse Caravan Road from Dali to Lijiang 8-day trip. Come join us!

The Story of Yunnan Rice Noodles

If you’ve joined one of our multi-day trips in Yunnan, you know that we love our rice noodles. Most commonly eaten for breakfast, it’s the go-to comfort food for every Yunnanese, regardless of social or economic status. The streets are littered with rice noodle stalls throughout the entire province, yet each region (and sometimes each individual shop) has their own take. This recipe is from Fancy, a local Naxi minority woman who runs a cooking studio in Lijiang. You can join a cooking class with her on our 8-day trip from Lijiang to Dali!

This particular version (Yúnnán xiǎo guō mǐxiàn) is prepared in small clay pot. Each eater will get their own pot, but don’t worry – if you don’t have a clay pot sitting around your kitchen a small saucepan will do.

Rice is the primary staple food in Yunnan, but its high altitude made it quite difficult to cook thoroughly in ancient times (without a pressure cooker). The solution? Grind it up and turn it into noodles which are much easier and quicker to cook. The must-have ingredient added to all rice noodles bowls in Yunnan, regardless of region or shop, is Chinese pickled cabbage. 

Recipe Notes

While some of the ingredients used in this recipe are unique, they are commonly found in Asian grocers around the world. Fermented soybean paste is perhaps the most unique ingredient, but the photo above shows a popular brand that can be found in Asian grocers.  Typically, the rice noodles used in Yunnan are round – just a bit thicker than spaghetti.

Serves 1

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins


380ml / 13oz water

15g / 1 Tbsp soy sauce

3g / 1/2 tsp oyster sauce

16g / 1 Tbsp salted and fermented soy paste

20g / 1.5 Tbsp vegetable oil

60g / 3oz ground pork

50g / 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

15g / 1 Tbsp pickled Chinese cabbage

200g / 7oz fresh rice noodles (or soaked according to package directions)

40g / 1.5oz leeks cut into 1-inch strips

40g / 1.5oz bean sprouts


  1. Preheat a small clay pot or saucepan over medium high heat. Add water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salted and fermented soy paste, and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add pork, tomatoes, and pickled cabbage and bring to a boil again.
  3. Once boiling, add the rice noodles and wait for 1 minute.
  4. Add leeks and bean sprouts and boil for 20 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat, stir, and enjoy!

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