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Asian Noodles & SpiceLiangpi (Chinese: 凉皮; pinyinLiángpí) is a noodle-like Chinese dish made from wheat or rice flour. It is a specialty dish originating from the Chinese province of Shaanxi, but has now spread to many other places in China, in particular the northern and central regions.

New York Times’ Julia Moskin describes Liangpi as served at Xi’an Famous Foods as “a dish of cold noodles in a sauce that hits every possible flavor category (sweet, tangy, savory, herbal, nutty and dozens of others).

Preparation

Liangpi literally means cold skin, although it has no animal products in it at all. There are several ways of making Liangpi:

First, wheat or rice flour is turned into a soft dough by adding water and a little bit of salt. Then, the dough is put in a bowl, water is added and the dough has to be ‘rinsed’ until the water is saturated with starch from the dough, turning into a muddy white color. The remainder of the dough is now removed, and the bowl is left to rest overnight at a cool place to allow the dissolved starch to precipitate.

The following day, there will be a kind of starch-paste on the bottom of the bowl, with a more or less clear liquid on top, which has to be discarded. Once the liquid has been removed, a small amount of the paste can then be poured into a flat plate or tray, and spread evenly in a thin layer. The whole plate is placed into a large pot full of boiling water, where it is steamed for a couple of minutes, and the resulting ‘pancake’ cut into long pieces vaguely resembling noodles.

Types

Hanzhong Liangpi (汉中凉皮)

Hanzhong Liangpi (汉中凉皮) or Hanzhong Mianpi (汉中面皮), named for the city of Hanzhong in southwestern Shaanxi, are steamed Liangpi with garlic and hot chili oil.

Majiang Liangpi (麻酱凉皮)

Majiang Liangpi (麻酱凉皮) are Liangpi garnished with julienned cucumber and a sauce made of salt, vinegar, hot chili oil and especially black sesame paste, for which it is named (Majiang (麻酱) is the Chinese name for sesame paste).

Shan Xin Gan Mianpi

Shan Xin Gan Mianpi is another type of Liangpi, which tastes a bit firmer and looks darker in color compared other to other Liangpi. It is always served with Mianjin, vinegar, chilli oil, salt, mashed garlic in water and bean sprout.

I like using a combination of the above types…

  • rice or wheat noodles (I use soba buckwheat noodle or udon noodles).
  • shredded cucumber
  • sesame sauce – make your own
  • mashed garlic chili paste – recipe below…
  • chili oil – make your own
  • brown rice vinegar/tamarind liquid – make your own
  • scallions
  • cilantro
  • bean sprouts

Directions:

Boil the noodles as directed on package, let them cool add ingredients & refrigerate!

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Here are two recipes for Chili Paste (from Charmaine Solomon’s Asian Cookbook).  Chilies can also be stored in a jar, covered with either vinegar or oil and kept refrigerated. Use as needed. 

Chili Paste (Quick Recipe) (very hot paste)

  • 25 fresh chillies
  • brown rice vinegar or tamarind liquid
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt

Put chillies, seeds, and all, into blender or food processor. 
Add enough vinegar or tamarind liquid to keep the mass moving and blend to a paste. Put into sterilized bottle and store in refrigerator.

Chili Paste with Garlic (a little milder paste)chili-garlic sauce

  • 500 gm chilies 
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup raw cane sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt 
  • ¼ cup brown rice vinegar 
  • small amount of olive oil

Remove seeds and white ribs from chilies.
Place into food processor or blender along with sugar and salt, puree to a paste, adding sufficient vinegar to keep the mixture loose but not too liquid
Place in glass jar; add a layer of olive oil on top to keep air out of paste and place lid on firmly. Keep refrigerated.

Health Benefits of Chili Peppers

Health Benefits of Garlic

Some of the health benefits of garlic are as follows:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Hypertension
  • Digestion
  • Eye care
  • Earache
  • Intestinal problems
  • Cold
  • Infected wounds
  • Acne
  • Asthma
  • Sexual problems
  • Cancer

More on This Wonderful Herb… http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-garlic.html

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