西北拉皮 Northwest Style Glass Noodles

by Chris on March 15, 2010

in Chinese

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西北拉皮 Northwest Style Glass Noodles

Pinyin: xī běi lā pí

Packed with energy and loaded with potassium and phosphorous mung beans are used in a number of healthy desserts available throughout China and Asian. Also known as green beans and mash beans, they are small green oval shaped beans that grow well in warm temperatures and loamy soil.

The beans are the most recognizable, but the sprouts are common throughout China and can even be found in the US. In addition, the beans can be made into a starch which is in-turn used to make cellophane noodles, or glass noodles.

In 2004 it was discovered that some of these noodles from Shangdong province, where traditionally glass noodles are manufactured, were contaminated with lead leading to several factories closing down. Then in 2006 the noodles were found to contain formaldehyde and additional factories have been shuttered. Let’s hope that the noodle industry has become more responsible since 2006.

This dish lives and dies by the sauce. A nice balance of sweet and spicy coupled with the unusually soft texture of the noodles that are served cold while the sauce is served hot can develop into a relaxing stroll for your taste buds unless of course an overabundance of oil drowns the life out of the dish. Unfortunately this dish was drowning in oil that could have been easily reduced without damaging the sanctity of the dish.

Mung beans are used all over Asia primarily for desserts, but the noodles made from the bean starch are used in all manner of dishes. Glass noodles are most popular in the summer months and can even be purchased from vendors on the streets of Shanghai. When you are eating Chinese give these noodles a try and think about all that great potassium and phosphorous.


Guest post provided by Chris Billman of Kung Fu Eats.  Chris has been a resident of Shanghai for many years and is continually awed by the complexity and variety of Chinese food.

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