Tips for having Tibetan noodles

A Tibetan woman is having Tibetan noodles in a sweet teahouse in the morning. (Photo/People's Daily)

In the ancient city of Lhasa, many Tibetan people start their day with a bowl of fragrant noodles.

At 7am, sweet teahouses lying in streets and lanes are already bustling. Yak bones soup is tossed up and down in shiny iron woks while black tea leaves bubble around in the boiling water of another pot; Tibetan girls with blue aprons are busy cleaning tables and placing benches, getting ready to open for business.

Those slightly humble teahouses, most of which are located at the corner of streets and built with stones in a typical Tibetan style though, are often crowded with people who are attracted by their fragrant noodles and tasty sweet tea.     

“The essence of Tibetan noodles is its soup made of yak meat without any additives. The fragrant taste lingers after one mouthful.” said Yire, owner of a sweet teahouse in a lane near the mosque.

As a kind of traditional dish, it’s too complex and time-consuming for a family to make both the soup and noodles, only teahouses make it.

Chodron, a Tibetan waitress, told visitors that it would be tastier to eat Tibetan noodles if mixing some peculiar Tibetan chili in it and with a plate of Tibetan pickled radish.

At around 8:30 every day, people arrive in the tea house one after another to have some sweet tea, a mix of black tea, sugar and milk, to warm up before eating Tibetan noodles. 

Nowadays, it’s still a living habit for many Tibetans to spend their morning in drinking sweet tea and eating Tibetan noodles.  In fact, you can also drink sweet tea and eat noodles in other parts of Tibet, but the Lhasa people will tell you in earnest that Lhasa has the most authentic and also the greatest emotional appeal.


Where to eat: Tibetan noodles in sweet tea houses located on small streets and lanes are more authentic and delicious compared with large restaurants.  

How to eat: it’s more delicious to have a bowl of Tibetan noodles together with local fried potatoes and pickled radish at the cost of three to five Yuan.