Oil Sweet Fermented Rice (You Lao Zao) – a traditional snack in Fuling

Oil Sweet Fermented Rice (You Lao Zao)

Oil Sweet Fermented Rice, known as “You Lao Zao” (油醪糟) in Chinese, is a renowned traditional snack hailing from Fuling City, now a district in Chongqing. This delectable treat is crafted from glutinous rice, forming a fermented rice paste that is pan-fried with a mixture of sesame seeds, orange peel, walnut kernels, oil-roasted peanuts, honey dates, and white sugar. The final touch involves boiling the mixture in hot water. The result is a dish with a distinctive taste – sweet, fragrant, and not overly greasy – offering a rich nutritional profile. This delicacy is particularly popular among local residents, often prepared for postpartum women to aid in a speedy recovery.

The preparation of Oil Sweet Fermented Rice involves several steps:

  1. Prepare Ingredients: Grind black sesame seeds into powder, and crush peanuts and walnuts into coarse particles, maintaining some texture for a delightful crunch.
  2. Sauté Nuts: Heat a suitable amount of pork oil in a pan and stir-fry the crushed peanuts and walnuts until fragrant.
  3. Combine with Rice Paste: Pour rice wine lees (酒酿) into the pan, and mix well with the peanuts and walnuts.
  4. Add Sweeteners: Incorporate rock sugar into the mixture, stirring until it melts. Follow this by adding red sugar and continuing to mix until fully dissolved. Maintain medium to low heat, stirring continuously to prevent sticking.
  5. Introduce Sesame Powder: Finally, add the black sesame seed powder to the pan, stirring and blending thoroughly.
  6. Cool and Store: Allow the mixture to cool completely before transferring it into a clean, water- and oil-free glass container. This Oil Sweet Fermented Rice can be stored without refrigeration for 2 to 3 months.

Oil Sweet Fermented Rice is not only a delicious snack but also a symbol of cultural tradition and local culinary expertise. The use of regional ingredients and the meticulous preparation process contribute to its unique flavor profile, making it a cherished treat in the culinary landscape of Fuling City and beyond.

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