Lhaphing was originally a Sichuan cuisine called liang fen, that is universally enjoyed as delicious street food across the Tibetan plateau. This Tibetan dish has travelled via northern Nepal with the many Tibetan émigrés. Here, the taste has been kept alive by the migrants and now the cuisine is finally catching on with Kathmandu locals as well. Lhaphing has a scrumptious taste. A cold summer dish, extenuated by spices, this culinary delight is bound to twist your palate in a good way.
Laphing is a spicy cold noodle made of mung bean flour. Mung bean starch is the most important raw material for glass noodles, but costly and irregular supplied. Therefore, most people use potato starch as a replacement of mung bean starch . The gelatinous texture of the noodle itself is bland on its own, but the cold soup brings it all together. The soup is a genius ensemble of soy sauce, chilli paste, garlic, a few herbs and necessary spices. You can also opt for a dry Laphing which has everything in it, besides the soup. The taste aside, lhaphing also makes for a delicious social food. It is light and spicy and you don’t necessarily need an empty stomach to enjoy the dish. It is easy to prepare (thus quickly served) and easier to devour over gossiping and merry making with good company.
Ingredients for the Laphing
- 1 cup of potato or mung-bean starch
- 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
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 laphing has set, remove it from the bowl. It should stand up by itself, like a very firm jello.
- Cut the laphing with a large knife into long strips.
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 laphing, then mix gently with a spatula or other flat utensil until the laphing is well-coated with the sauce.
Laphing is not only delicious but it could also be beneficial for health because research have shown that hot chilies are good for health and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It also helps to prevent diabetes and boost metabolism. Likewise, spicy food has the capability to prevent cancer. Moreover, spicy food like Laphing will raise your body te