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Liangfen or lianfen

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Liangfen or lianfen

Adam Stephanides | Apr 27, 2001 09:53 PM

In the small city where I now live, which is severely lacking in good restaurants, there is a small Chinese grocery which also cooks fresh food, mainly for takeout but there is a table where you can eat. It's simple food, but good. I went there today for dinner and asked what the special was. The co-owner, who is also the cook, said something that sounded like "liangfen" or "lianfen" (she wrote it down for me, but in Chinese). I'd never heard of this, but she told me it was a cold dish for summer, real family cooking that all Chinese ate in the summer, and that I would love it, so I ordered it. What I got was a cold salad-type dish. The main ingredient was nothing I'd eaten before, in Chinese cuisine or elsewhere. It was a translucent white substance, somewhat like very firm gelatin in texture, cut up into thick julienne-like strips. It had no real taste that I could detect, so it might possibly have been tofu, but it wasn't like any tofu I'd eaten before. It was served with bits of raw garlic and green peppers in a thin brown sauce. It was very good and refreshing. I'd like to know if anyone else has heard of this, and what the main ingredient was. (I'm not sure if liangfen, or however you say it, is the name of the entire dish, or of the main ingredient, but I suspect the latter.)

--Adam

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