Shuicheng Luo Guo (Shuicheng Iron Pan)

Shuicheng Luo Guo (Shuicheng Iron Pan)

Shuicheng Luo Guo (水城烙锅), or Shuicheng Iron Pan, is a distinctive snack originating from the Liupanshui area of Guizhou province, boasting a rich history and unique culinary craftsmanship. Its roots trace back to the Qing Dynasty when troops led by General Wu Sangui were stationed in Shuixi (now Shuicheng County). Facing a shortage of provisions, soldiers resorted to cooking wild game and foraged vegetables on makeshift stoves crafted from roof tiles and broken ceramic jars scavenged from local homes. This improvised cooking method unexpectedly birthed a delicious dish, which gradually became popular throughout the Shuicheng region.

Traditional Shuicheng Luo Guo is prepared using convex-shaped black sand iron pans, allowing excess oil to naturally flow to the edges, preserving the authentic flavors of the ingredients. Modern adaptations often utilize flat-bottomed cast iron pans heated on gas stoves for convenience.

When it comes to ingredient selection, Shuicheng Luo Guo prides itself on a diverse array of options including potatoes, various leafy greens, meats, tofu, and more. These ingredients, meticulously paired and cooked, result in a tantalizing blend of flavors and aromas. Key to its preparation is the careful crafting of chili powder, where roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, chili flakes, and Sichuan peppercorns are ground together with salt and MSG to create a rich and multi-layered seasoning.

For serving, the cooked ingredients are dipped into a specially prepared chili sauce mixed with pickled vegetables, which adds the finishing touch to the Shuicheng Luo Guo experience. There are three distinct flavors of chili sauce to choose from: spicy and numbing, fragrant and spicy, and tangy and spicy. Each sauce offers its own unique characteristics, tantalizing the taste buds and enhancing the overall enjoyment of the dish.

In summary, Shuicheng Luo Guo, with its unique historical origins, culinary craftsmanship, and delightful flavor profile, is beloved by locals and visitors alike. It not only serves as a delicious snack but also represents an integral part of the cultural heritage of the Liupanshui region. Whether savoring its distinctive taste or delving into its rich historical and cultural significance, Shuicheng Luo Guo leaves a lasting impression on all who experience it.

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