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A word derived from German and meaning ‘strip of pasta’. The noodle reached Thailand along the ancient trade routes from China, where it originated. Noodles are today the second most significant food dish, next to rice, and may be consumed boiled as a soup with meat or look chin plah (fish balls), stir fried in a wok with other ingredients or simply boiled and doused with a curry. Noodle dishes come in a large variety and the basic noodle is in Thai called either guay tiyaw (rice noodles), kanom jihn (soft boiled -curry topped- rice noodles), wun sen (jelly noodles) or bamih (egg noodles - fig.), depending on the kind, which in addition may be specified according to its shape, e.g. sen bang (เส้นบาง) for thin or flat noodles, sen yahw (เส้นยาว) for long noodles, etc. Besides being a popular dish at local food stalls it also appears in dried form in shops and supermarkets all over the country (fig.), and several new brands of instant noodles have hit the market over the last decade. Today Chanthaburi is Thailand's foremost production centre for dried rice noodles which are therefore often referred to as guay tiyaw chanthabun, whereas Phitsanulok is famed for its mih sua. Instant noodles (fig.) are in most cases referred to as mama (มาม่า), after the most commonly known brand, a trade name that has subsequently passed into general use for most, if not all, instant noodles (fig.). The most recognized noodle dish is probably phad thai (fig.). In China, the city of Lanzhou is known as the City of Noodles, and is especially known for its beef noodles, which are famous across China and are served in soup with radishes, hot sesame oil and sliced beef, prepared with more than ten different spices. Also popular all over China is chao mian (炒面), a dish of ‘stir-fried noodles’ of which there are many varieties. The word chao literally means ‘to pan-fry’, whereas the word mian is a measure word for flat and smooth objects. The largest kind of Chinese noodles are found in a dish known as Liang Pi (凉皮), literally ‘cold skin’. These noodles, made from wheat or rice flour and served in a flavoured sauce, are obtained by letting starch from dough saturate in water and left to rest overnight at a cool place, to allow the dissolved starch to solidify and precipitate into large flaps, which are reminiscent of rawhides.