Beginner’s guide to Crossing the Bridge noodle soup

A piping hot bowl of broth, ingredients you get to add at the table and a fascinating origin story make this style of soup a must-try.

Hunkering over a bowl of steamy bowl of broth and slurping back noodles is one of life’s great pleasures and Dagu Rice Noodle on Jasper Avenue knows noods.

Soups here are served two ways: traditionally and in a method called Crossing the Bridge.

If you select one of the traditional soups, it will be served in a bowl containing bubbling hot broth, vegetables, and a protein of your choice (braised beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, or fish). Rice noodles are served on the side and are added by the diner.

Crossing the Bridge soups come with a tray full of ingredients you get to add to your piping hot broth and a fascinating story.

The soup takes its name from a legendary love story from Yunnan, China. The husband travelled across the bridge from his home to an island for a quiet place to study. Knowing he’d be too preoccupied to remember to eat, his wife brought him a hot, nourishing meal of soup. By the time he opened the container, the noodles had soaked up all the broth. The next time she brought him dinner, she kept the components separate so he could assemble the meal after she made her way across the bridge to his place of study.

Tomato Flavoured Crossing the Bridge Rice Noodle Soup

Problem solved. This solution to soggy noodles found its way onto menus across the Yunnan province and became one of the region’s best-known dishes. Even though you’re getting a freshly prepared soup at Dagu no matter what, ordering Crossing-the-Bridge-style is a fun, interactive way of enjoying the soup. Plus, you’ll get to watch your ingredients cooking right in front of your eyes.

There are six Crossing the Bridge soups from which to choose, each served with beef or lamb slices. Noodles and additional ingredients including ham, fish tofu, ground pork, quail egg, crab stick, lettuce, bamboo, black fungus, corn, and sour cabbage arrive on the side for diners to add as they go. Add the proteins in first, and you can add things like noodles and corn to cook to your desired texture.

A meal at Dagu can be as involved or as easy as you choose. In a rush, or just in the mood for a snack? The salty crispy chicken, lamb skewers or duck wings from the appetizer menu will do the trick, especially when paired with a guava lemonade or the strawberry panna cotta, a popular choice in the creamy drink category.