Luosifen — a smelly noodle dish — experienced an unexpected boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Group buy Li Ziqi Liuzhou Luosifen today!
Known for their pungent smell and acquired taste, luosifen (螺蛳粉), or river snail noodles, are a food specialty of Liuzhou in southwestern China. It has been served from street food stalls as an affordable snack since the 1970s before its pre-packed ready-to-eat counterpart gains popularity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in China.
Luosifen is made from simmering snails, pork bones, and several spices for many hours, resulting in a spicy broth that is served with rice noodles, fermented bamboo, dried beancurd, peanuts, and vegetables. Despite having the word “snail” in its Chinese name, this unique dish is typically not served with snails. They are just used to add flavour to the broth.
While you can’t get a steaming bowl of luosifen in Singapore (yet), pre-packed versions are available in many places, including EstateJio. Group buy today!
1. Pre-Packed Li Ziqi Luosifen (李子柒螺蛳粉)
GROUP BUY PROMO:
Group Buy Price:
$24.50 $16 (A bundle of 5 packets)
Group Buy Target: 4 Units
Offer Period: 4/3/2021 – 31/3/2021
Visit the offer on EstateJio for more information.
1.1 What’s in the packet?
Each packaging weighs about 335g and comes with the following ingredients:
- 100 g of Liuzhou rice noodles
- 235 g of 7 different seasonings
- soup base
- chilli oil
- sour bamboo shoots
- dried beancurd
- vegetables (black fungus, preserved long beans and turnips)
The rice noodles are made from aged rice that has already lost its fat and gelatin component.
The star of the packet – the soup base – took eight hours to stew and is made from river snails, pork bones, black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, white pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise.
The ingredients provided are also of good quality. For example, the bamboo shoots are carefully selected then fermented with mountain spring water and aged pickle juice.
1.2 How to prepare this dish?
- Boil the rice noodle for 8-10 minutes then drain the water. To give the noodles a more QQ texture, you can add two drops of vinegar into the water.
- Pour the soup and ingredient packets into the noodles and add 400ml of cold water. Cook for at least another minute.
- Finally, pour into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and seasoning packets. Adjust chilli oil, vinegar and bamboo shoots seasoning packs according to your taste. You can even add a slice of lettuce!
1.3 How it tastes like?
Thought to be smellier than stinky tofu and durians, luosifen‘s taste is best described using words like sour, spicy and umami. While the snail may stand out as the most unusual ingredient, what truly makes luosifen so unique (and fetid) is the sour bamboo shoots.
Often referred to as the soul of luosifen, sour bamboo shoots are a type of fermented food unique to Guangxi Province. Its strong odour comes from the pentanone produced during fermentation.
Fun fact – the smell of blue cheese is also from pentanone!
1.4 About Li Ziqi (李子柒)
Li Ziqi – birth name Li Jiajia – is a video blogger, entrepreneur, and Internet celebrity. She is famous for creating food and handicraft preparation videos in her hometown of rural Pingwu, Mianyang, Sichuan.
Besides raking in view counts on the web, Ziqi also started a food company. In 2018, she launched her namesake food brand and sold prepackaged food* through e-commerce. The brand sells a variety of traditional Chinese food, namely luosifen, lotus root powder, cakes, pastries and chilli sauce.
*The products are not made by Li Ziqi nor are they her recipes.
2. Why luosifen gains popularity in 2020?
Even though luosifen has existed in Liuzhou for hundreds of years, it only garnered the attention of China in 2013. After it was featured on an episode of the documentary a Bite of China, manufacturers in Liuzhou had the idea to mass-produce and package them, resulting in its rising popularity across China.
In 2020, luosifen became a subject of chatter on Chinese social media. The Guangxi government had promised to dispatch 31,000 boxes of luosifen to Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. However, due to the high demand, there was a shortage.
The dearth became one of the highest trending topics on Sina Weibo, generating as many as 350 million views on the social media platform. Jiemian, a news portal, then titled the rice noodle as the “most popular food item during quarantine”.
“Download the EstateJio app on Apple App Store or Google Play today. If you find this article (Li Ziqi Luosifen (李子柒螺蛳粉) – Group Buy The Food Craze of 2020 on EstateJio!) useful, do click Like and Share. Thank you!” – EstateJio