Grilled Sweet Potato Noodle (Kao Shao Pi)

grilled sweet potato noodle

Grilled sweet potato noodle, known as “Kao Shao Pi” (烤苕皮) in Chinese, is a delectable snack crafted by grilling noodles made from sweet potato starch. The term “苕皮” refers to the use of sweet potatoes, also known as “红薯” (Hong Shu), where “苕” is derived. These noodles are made from high-quality starch extracted from sweet potatoes, refined through advanced processing techniques. As the name suggests, Kao Shao Pi involves the grilling of these sweet potato noodles to create a popular street food, particularly common in the Sichuan-Chongqing (川渝) region.

The taste of Kao Shao Pi is diverse, catering to various preferences. It comes in vegetarian versions, mixed with beef and tripe, or even with a Thai twist featuring chicken feet. The preparation method shares some similarities with the Northeastern Chinese dish, Kao Leng Mian (烤冷面). Once grilled, the surface of the sweet potato noodles forms numerous small bubble-like protrusions. It is crucial to enjoy Kao Shao Pi while it’s still hot, as the exterior is crisp, and the interior is soft and chewy, offering a delightful combination of textures with a hint of the fried flavor.

The preparation process involves several steps:

  1. Prepare the Sweet Potato Noodles: Purchase ready-made sweet potato noodles available online or in local markets.
  2. Brush Oil on a Pan: Coat the bottom of a flat pan with edible oil and place a sheet of sweet potato noodles on it.
  3. Pan-Fry Until Golden: Pan-fry until the noodles take on a golden color and slightly puff up with air bubbles. Flip to cook the other side, ensuring both sides are golden with slightly inflated air bubbles.
  4. Brush with Seasonings: Brush the grilled sweet potato noodles with a mixture of red oil, barbecue seasoning, chopped green onions, pickled vegetables, and minced onions.
  5. Roll and Skewer: Roll one-half of the noodles over the other and secure the roll with bamboo skewers.
  6. Customize Seasonings: Tailor the seasoning according to personal taste preferences. Add more spice for those who enjoy a spicy kick, and reduce it for those who prefer a milder flavor.

Kao Shao Pi represents a delightful fusion of flavors, embodying the rich culinary heritage of the Sichuan-Chongqing region. Whether enjoyed as a street snack or a flavorful treat, this grilled sweet potato noodle dish showcases the creativity and diversity found in Chinese cuisine.

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