Tibetan Street Food — Laping Recipe and Video

This cool and spicy dish, especially refreshing in summer, comes to us from the kitchen of our dear friend and excellent cook, Dolkar. A cold jelly noodle dish — originally called liang fen in Sichuan cuisine — laping would not traditionally be made at home. Most people in Lhasa, for example, would buy it from little stalls on the street. Tibetans outside Tibet do make this at home, as there are no laping stalls on most of our city streets!

For 6-8 people

Note: The laping requires at least 4-5 hours to set, and can be prepared the night before and left to set overnight.

Ingredients for the Laping

  • 1 cup of potato or mung-bean starch (For the images here we used potato starch, but we’ve also made it with mung bean starch, and those noodles turn out much stiffer, which you may like, as a matter of personal taste. Mung-bean starch can be found in Korean stores and some other Asian markets.)
  • 5 cups of water

Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup crushed dried red pepper (We bought this at an Asian store. If you can’t find this, you can cut up dried red pepper, or use chili powder, or a bit of chili sauce. )

Preparing the Clear Noodles

Before heating, stir the starch and water together until you get an even texture.

Heat the mixture on stove top to medium, stirring frequently, for 8-9 minutes, or until the mixture is so thick you can barely stir it. If the mixture is boiling before it thickens, turn down the heat until it stops boiling. When done the texture will be very thick, almost like jello, but it still needs to set.

Transfer the cooked mixture into a clean bowl and let it sit overnight at room temperature. In order to shorten the time for cooling, it can also be placed in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.

After the laping has set, remove it from the bowl. It should stand up by itself, like a very firm jello.

In Tibet, people grate the laping with a very large grater, but our grater was too small and didn’t really work, so we did what many Tibetans do, and just cut the laping with a large knife into long strips.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmHtV2ZEZXA&feature=player_embedded

 

Prepare the Sauce and Combine with Noodles

  • Mince 7 cloves of garlic
  • Chop 1 stalk green onion
  • Chop ¼ cup cilantro
  • Combine garlic, onion and cilantro with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, ¼ cup sesame oil, ¼ cup soy sauce, and ¼ cup crushed dried red pepper in a small bowl and stir well. This amount of pepper makes it VERY spicy. If you’re not accustomed to spicy food, just add the pepper in very small increments until you hit the right amount for you.)
  • Drizzle the sauce over the laping, then mix gently with a spatula or other flat utensil until the laping is well-coated with the sauce.

Serve as a side dish with any meat or veggie entree, or as a tasty snack on its own.

Note:

  • Strips of cucumber make a fresh, crunchy addition.
  • Some readers have reported success also with using corn starch and potato starch if you don’t have mung bean starch.

As always, we love to hear what you think and how this recipe worked for you in the comments section below. Please share with us your experiments with traditional Tibetan foods or your ideas for Nouveau Tibetan ;-) recipes.

If you’d like some help with more traditional Tibetan cooking, check out our Tibetan Home Cooking eBook and video series.

And if you found this post useful, we would really love it if you share it with your Facebook fans or Twitter followers today. All it takes is a simple click on the “like,” “share,” or “tweet” buttons to the left of the post. Thanks!

 

By Lobsang Wangdu

 

Comments

  1. Bimala Chapagain says:

    Hi can we use normal vegetable oil instead of sesame oil?

  2. Actually someone already requested earlier but still I just want
    ask again, can you please help us to get the simple recipe for
    yellow laping? Will be looking forward to hear from you.

  3. Tenzin Sangmo says:

    Tashi Delek – I have been attempting to make yellow and white laphing numerous times these past few days. Unfortunately, my culinary skills seem to have a mind of it’s own. Though white laphing is relatively easier to make and I use corn flour, it did not quite set right. I have tried again and have one sitting to cool right now!

    Yellow laphing has been a challenge – i have found the recipe on someone’s blog but I keep stuffing it up.

    http://sammaso.blogspot.co.nz/2010/07/yellow-laphing-photo-guide.html

    Would it be possible for you to have a go at this – I have noticed it to be a big hit and many requests on your You Tube channel as well :)

    Cheers,

    Tenzin Sangmo (New Zealand)

  4. How to make yellow laping..plz upload how to make yellow laping coz i love yellow laping rather than white laping

    • Hi Tsodon,
      Thanks for writing. We are sorry that we aren’t familiar with yellow laping so don’t have a recipe. However, we are asking some friends and will see if we can come up with something. All the best!

  5. I tried laping myself and i really liked it! Actually i didn’t just like it, I loved it! =D And I thought it would be a very good dinner food at my 13th brthday party and guess what, IT WAS A HIT!!!!!! all of my friends loved it! They even requested it for my next birthday party! =D………………….Many thanks!

    Auriik Habronni

    • Auriik, thank you so much for writing! This made our day :-) We are so happy that you and your friends love the laping. We love it too :-) Happy late birthday to you! How clever of you to be so young and already trying exotic dishes :-)

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