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liuzhou

liuzhou

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.

 

liuzhou

liuzhou

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.

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