From high in the terraced hills of SW China, Money Bowl brings you a cuisine inspired by the traditions of those who have farmed the region for centuries. Drawing on recipes dating back as far as 2,200 years, Money Bowl creator and chef Mandy King, a native of SW China, put together a selection of dishes that are truly exciting and unlike anything you may have had in America.
Our menu is inspired by the many culinary discoveries, recipes, and meals shared during nearly 30 years of Mandy's travels throughout China as a tour guide.
"Money" was a nickname Mandy had, a nickname thought up with a bit of tongue-in-cheek that Western travelers could easily remember. The desire to share a passion and love for the food and culture from her travels can be found in a simple steaming bowl of Mandy's traditional noodles.
"Money Bowl" comes from Mandy’s experiences but best describes the wealth of flavors you'll experience when you try her food!
Based in Portland, Oregon, Money Bowl can be found weekly at the local and regional farmers markets we attend.
Legend of the
Guilin Rice Noodle Dish
The dish known throughout Southeastern Asia as Guilin Rice Noodles is a unique noodle dish from Southwest China that has it's origins dating back over 2200 years. Not to be confused with Vietnamese Pho or Cantonese Chow Mien, Guilin Rice Noodles came about from a very interesting history.
During the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) an extensive effort was made to unite all warring tribes into one greater China. In 214 BC, Emperor Qin Shi Huang ordered the historic construction of the world’s first canal connecting two river valleys, the Xiang (Yangtze River) and the Li (Pearl River), in order to attack the Baiyue tribes in the south. The Lingqu canal (now a UNESCO site) took over 60 years to build ultimately providing a continuous waterway connecting Beijing to Hong Kong, a travel distance of over 2000km.
The Emperor’s troops, transported and supported by this revolutionary waterway system, were stationed all along the way to maintain the occupation and rule of Southern China. When the northern troops traveled south of the Yangtze River, the first major city they came to was Guilin. To the troops, Guilin was immensely beautiful but came with the common problems experienced when traveling to distant lands: adjusting to something as simple as the food and water. As legend has it, a special cuisine was developed by the people of the area to help the troops be more comfortable while they lived away from their homes in the north.
The northerner's staple was noodles made from wheat, while the southerner’s ate what they could grow there, rice. This presented a particular challenge. It wasn’t easy to make noodles from rice but these resourceful people perfected a noodle with a desirable taste and texture that ultimately became renowned far and wide.
Most importantly to the northern occupiers, these new rice noodles were presented in a special sauce made by combining dozens of medicinal herbs in secret proportions with other ingredients and simmered for hours to brew a rich, brown, magical sauce designed to aid in digestive comfort. Much in appearance to soy sauce but with a unique and desirable flavor, the result was both healing and delightfully savory. When dressed with this sauce, Guilin Rice Noodles became a legendary dish all over Southeast Asia.
Today the legend lives on. The recipe is a closely guarded secret and people travel from all over greater Asia to get a bowl of this unique dish, found only in the Guilin area. A yearly festival celebrating the history of Guilin Rice Noodles is held at the village of Xing'an near Guilin where the Lingqu canal splits off the Yangtze River.
Money Bowl brings you this legendary dish much as it's been enjoyed for centuries. Mandy dug deep to learn the secret recipe for the noodle sauce and brews it by hand from nearly 40 herbs and ingredients. Her noodles come straight from the Guilin region of Southern China for the authentic taste and texture and all of the traditional toppings are made fresh from locally grown or produced ingredients.
You'd be hard-pressed to find this dish in any restaurants in North America and especially as authentic as it’s presented here - you've got to try it!
Good Food for What Ails You
What makes Money Bowl truly special? Our food is as good for you as it is tasting. Many of our carefully selected ingredients are rich in natural antioxidants, high in vitamins, and have been used in traditional medicine in China for more than 2,500 years to improve health. We use only the freshest meats and produce; when called for we use gluten-free tamari in place of traditional soy sauce; and MSG is never, ever added to any of our dishes.