Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Liuzhou Luosifen


liuzhou
 Share

Recommended Posts

It sometimes seems likes every town in China has its own special take on noodles. Here in Liuzhou, Guangxi the local dish is Luosifen (螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn).

 

It is a dish of rice noodles served in a very spicy stock made from the local river snails and pig bones which are stewed for hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. Various pickled vegetables, dried tofu skin, fresh green vegetables, peanuts and loads of chilli are then usually added. Few restaurants ever reveal their precise recipe, so this is tentative. Luosifen is only really eaten in small restaurants and roadside stalls. I've never heard of anyone making it at home.

 

In order to promote tourism to the city, the local government organised a food festival featuring an event named "10,000 people eat luosifen together." (In Chinese 10,000 often just means "many".)

 

10,000 people (or a lot of people anyway) gathered at Liuzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the grand Liuzhou luosifen eat-in. Well, they gathered in front of the centre – the actual centre is a bleak, unfinished, deserted shell of a building. I disguised myself as a noodle and joined them. 10,001.

 

IMG_1123Medium.jpg

 

The vast majority of the 10,000 were students from the local colleges who patiently and happily lined up to be seated. Hey, mix students and free food – of course they are happy.

 

IMG_1146Medium.jpg

 

Each table was equipped with a basket containing bottled water, a thermos flask of hot water, paper bowls, tissues etc. And most importantly, a bunch of Luosifen caps. These read “万人同品螺蛳粉” which means “10,000 people together enjoy luosifen”

 

IMG_1197Medium.jpg

 

Yep, that is the soup pot! 15 meters in diameter and holding eleven tons of stock. Full of snails and pork bones, spices etc. Chefs delicately added ingredients to achieve the precise, subtle taste required.

 

IMG_1161Medium.jpg

 

Noodles were distributed, soup added and dried ingredients incorporated then there was the sound of 10,000 people slurping.

 

IMG_1206Medium.jpg

Surrounding the luosifen eating area were several stalls selling different goodies. Lamb kebabs (羊肉串) seemed most popular, but there was all sorts of food. Here are few of the delights on offer.

 

IMG_1115Medium.jpg

Whole roast lamb or roast chicken

 

IMG_1130Medium.jpg

Lamb Kebabs

 

IMG_1128Medium.jpg

Kebab spice mix – Cumin, chilli powder, salt and MSG

 

IMG_1207Medium.jpg

Kebab stall

 

IMG_1223Medium.jpg

Crab

 

IMG_1227Medium.jpg

Different crab

 

IMG_1224Medium.jpg

Sweet sticky rice balls

 

IMG_1230Medium.jpg

Things on sticks

 

IMG_1233Medium.jpg

Grilled scorpions

 

IMG_1270Medium.jpg

Pig bones and bits

 

IMG_1267Medium.jpg

Snails

 

And much more.

 

To be honest, it wasn’t the best luosifen I’ve ever eaten, but it was wasn’t the worst. Especially when you consider the number they were catering for. But it was a lot of fun. Which was the point.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 6

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the things on sticks are smaller scorpions. They don't taste of much really; more about crunch and texture. Anyway, they come smothered in chilli, so any taste they may have had gets a bit lost.

I ate them once, but never felt the need to revisit.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 years later...

It's the end of civilisation.

 

KFC to sell stinky Luosifen in China

 

There is no such thing as "chicken luosifen"! I notice they don't announce plans to sell it in Liuzhou. They wouldn't dare!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Haha 3

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Holy sheatzou, I've never seen a soup pool before.  Outdoor no less.  Amazing.  Too many questions.  (Like why's that bone getting tossed in so late in the dish and did the pool have to meet any 'health' standards before using it this way etc, etc.)

That wasn't chicken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I read that Los Angeles based chain Qin West Noodle is featuring luosifen on its menu (stupidly labelled in English as 'Liu Zhou Soup'. In fact, all their English names are somewhat silly.)

Anyone close to one and willing to take one for the team? I'd love to hear about it. Or not.

 

1375309850_qinwestnoodles.thumb.jpg.c3ed2b7c257a82a0bf8e97dfcdcddc09.jpg

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Anyone close to one and willing to take one for the team? I'd love to hear about it. Or not.

 

I'm willing to take a look if I'm down in that area, though I could be put off by the parking situation at that Westwood location.  

I don't see any snails in this photo from their website:

507993922_Image2-28-22at8_46AM.thumb.jpeg.27615da234fa3764115a9b996f74e195.jpeg

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I'm willing to take a look if I'm down in that area, though I could be put off by the parking situation at that Westwood location.  

I don't see any snails in this photo from their website:

507993922_Image2-28-22at8_46AM.thumb.jpeg.27615da234fa3764115a9b996f74e195.jpeg

 

 

There are very seldom snails in the dish. They are used in the broth but then discarded. That said the image looks like a very underwhelming luosifen. It should be bright red from chili!

  • Like 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It woud have to be a big group of food lovers and more additiobal interesting destinations to get me to Westwood, USC , or Chinatown with the traffic/parking and Covid confusion still. No longer my stomping grounds.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by heidih (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
Posted (edited)
On 5/31/2022 at 8:40 PM, KennethT said:

I now see a couple different brands of Luosifen in my local HMart, a large Korean (and other Asian) grocery store chain.

 

Do you know which brands?

Of course, if you really want to taste it, you have to come to Liuzhou! We don't eat that pre-packaged stuff here! We have the real deal!

Head north-west from HongKong for about an hour max. 😂🥢

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Do you know which brands?

Of course, if you really want to taste it, you have to come to Liiuzhou! We don't eat that pre-packaged stuff here! We have the real deal!

Head north-west from HongKong for about an hour max. 😂🥢

I'll have to check it out next weekend when I'm there again.  I haven't paid much attention to them as I can't imagine they'd be very good.  One day when China opens up we'd love to get back to our list of Chinese destinations - quite a few of them are in the south - maybe we could take a detour!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Do you know which brands?

Of course, if you really want to taste it, you have to come to Liiuzhou! We don't eat that pre-packaged stuff here! We have the real deal!

Head north-west from HongKong for about an hour max. 😂🥢

I was wondering if there were any brands produced locally that you would recommend.   If this is trending, I fully expect the market to fill with bad knock-offs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, donk79 said:

I was wondering if there were any brands produced locally that you would recommend.   If this is trending, I fully expect the market to fill with bad knock-offs.

 

Most, if not all brands are made right here in Liuzhou. I can't recommend any - as I said we don't eat them here! Why would we when we can get the real thing on every corner less than half the price of this fake stuff?

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, donk79 said:

I was wondering if there were any brands produced locally that you would recommend.   If this is trending, I fully expect the market to fill with bad knock-offs.

 

A good friend who is from Liuzhou, but now lives in the USA (somewhere inTennessee) informs me that her two favourite instant brands are 好欢螺 (hǎo huān luó) and 螺霸王 (luó bà wáng) in that order but that both are still a pale imitation of the real thing, which she misses terribly.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...