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A traditional Chinese street food that’s bursting with the flavors of a savory spicy sauce, liang fen is just what you need to bring a taste of China to your own kitchen this weekend! {Gluten-Free adaptable, Vegan}

Mung Bean Curd with Chili Oil Sauce (Liang Fen, 凉粉)

5 from 1 vote
A traditional Chinese street food that is bursting with the flavors of a savory spicy sauce, liang fen is just what you need to bring a taste of China to your own kitchen this weekend! {Gluten-Free adaptable}
To make the dish gluten-free, use rice vinegar (you might need to use a bit more) to replace the Chinkiang vinegar.
This recipe is from Xi’an Famous Foods Cookbook by Jason Wang. I made small changes based on my personal preferences, such as increasing the sauce and using cucumber instead of peppers to serve with the bean curd.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: street food
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

Curd

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic , sliced
  • 2 tablespoons homemade chili oil , including the oil and the chili flakes, or to taste
  • homemade black bean sauce (*Footnote 1) (Optional)

Toppings

  • Chopped cilantro and/or green onions , for garnish
  • A handful of shredded cucumber (Optional)

Instructions

  • Add 2 1/2 cups of water to a medium-sized pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Then turn the heat down to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, combine the mung bean starch and 1/2 cup of water. Stir until the starch is fully dissolved.
  • Prepare a rectangular or square baking dish that can hold at least 4 cups of water but is small enough, so the mixture is at least 1” (2.5 cm) thick. (*Footnote 2)
  • Slowly pour the mung bean mixture into the simmering water, while stirring gently with a ladle or a whisk. Continue to stir until the mixture in the pot starts to thicken and small bubbles start to form. It should start turning somewhat translucent. Simmer for another 6 to 8 minutes while stirring, until the mixture thickens further, like a thick sauce texture. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  • Let cool at room temperature until solidified. It takes about 2 hours if you use a shallower dish, but up to 3 or 4 hours if using a deeper dish. Once congealed, you can store the jelly covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To serve

  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, stir to mix well.
  • Place a large cutting board over the baking dish and flip it. Jiggle the dish slightly so the jelly falls onto the cutting board. Slice the jelly into 1/2” (1 cm) by 2 1/2” (5 cm) sticks, or any bite-size shapes you prefer.
  • Transfer the sliced mung bean curd into serving bowls, drizzle with a few spoonfuls of the sauce, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. The black bean sauce is totally optional because the dish tastes great without it. If you happen to have homemade black bean sauce, you can add 1 to 2 teaspoons to further boost the flavor of the sauce. It also thickens the sauce a bit so it will coat the mung bean curd better.
  2. I find that it’s easier to remove the mung bean curd from the baking dish if dish is made of glass. Alternatively, you can also use a heat-proof container that is large enough.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 195kcal, Carbohydrates: 31.7g, Protein: 0.6g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 607mg, Potassium: 28mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 3.2g, Calcium: 11mg