From China’s Far North, a Paradoxical Noodle Lands in Queens

The first thing you notice about roasted cold noodles, a favorite street food in the far northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, is that they are not cold.

We are not dealing here with a dish that will give you relief from swampy August days, like cold sesame noodles; or like Korean mul naengmyeon, a bowl of beef broth in which spaghetti-like strands of vegetable starch lie below shards of floating ice; or like buckwheat soba coiled on a bamboo mat beside their chilled dipping sauce, tsuketsuyu. Roasted cold noodles are meant to be eaten hot, right off the griddle.


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Juicy Chicken, Bright Green Dumplings, and One Really Long Noodle

Jason Wang, owner and CEO of Xi’an Famous Foods, is accustomed to small holidays. Even before adjusting to a worldwide pandemic made celebrating from a distance necessary, his Lunar New Year festivities were intimate. “My family [in the United States] is pretty small,” he told me recently by phone. “It’s basically just me and my father, so the two of us will usually get together and have a meal.”

Some years, there have been larger festivities. When he’s in China to visit extended family, he says he attends a lot more events; the family “will always get together to

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