Liangpi – a chilled dish in Xi’an

liangpi in xi'an

Liangpi (凉皮), also known as “cold skin” noodles, is a popular dish in the city of Xi’an, China. It is a type of noodle dish made from wheat or rice flour that is served cold with a variety of sauces and toppings. Here’s an introduction to liangpi in Xi’an:

History

Liangpi has a long history in Xi’an, dating back to the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). It was originally a food for the wealthy, who enjoyed it as a refreshing summer dish. Over time, liangpi became a popular street food in Xi’an and is now a staple dish of the city.

Ingredients

Liangpi is made from wheat or rice flour that is mixed with water to create a thin batter. The batter is then steamed and cooled to form a thin, translucent sheet of noodle-like skin. The skin is then cut into thin strips and served cold with a variety of sauces and toppings. The most common toppings include shredded cucumber, bean sprouts, sliced tofu, chili oil, and sesame paste.

Preparation

Preparing liangpi is a multi-step process that requires skill and patience. The wheat or rice flour is first mixed with water to create a thin batter. The batter is then steamed for several minutes until it sets into a thin, translucent sheet. The sheet is then removed from the steamer and allowed to cool. Once it is cool, the sheet is cut into thin strips and served cold with a variety of sauces and toppings.

Serving

Liangpi is usually served cold in a bowl or on a plate. The thin, translucent noodles have a slightly chewy texture and a mild flavor that pairs well with a variety of sauces and toppings. The most common sauce is a mixture of vinegar, chili oil, soy sauce, and garlic, which gives the dish a spicy, tangy flavor. The toppings add texture and flavor to the dish, with the shredded cucumber and bean sprouts adding a fresh, crunchy texture, and the sliced tofu adding a soft, creamy texture. Liangpi is often eaten as a snack or a light meal on hot summer days.

Conclusion

Liangpi is a refreshing and flavorful dish that is a must-try when visiting Xi’an. Its unique texture and flavor make it a popular dish among locals and tourists alike. Whether you prefer the wheat or rice version, the combination of sauces and toppings can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Liangpi is a true Xi’an classic that should not be missed.

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