Welcome to another post from my Xizhou Food Guide series, where I highlight different specialty foods from Xizhou, Dali, Yunnan.
I tried to find a good translation for this snack, but I really struggled. The Chinese name is 漾濞卷粉 (yàngbì juǎn fěn), which is literally translated to “yangbi roll powder.” What.
A lot of dim sum restaurants in southern China offer ‘steamed rice rolls,’ which are quite similar to these. Both are made from a large rolled-up steamed rice “noodle.” Whereas the steamed rice rolls in traditional dim sum are filled with shrimp or pork and served with a healthy amount of soy sauce, the steamed rice rolls in Yunnan are filled with peanut sauce, pickled vegetables, and a little chili sauce.
These rice rolls are heavenly, especially in these hot summer months. Served cold, the plain smooth noodles pair well with the acidic crunch of the pickled cabbage and savory peanut sauce. It is filling but still light.
A bonus of these rice rolls is that they are sold by perhaps the cleanest vendor in all of Xizhou. Or maybe even China. When I ordered the rolls, he first rinsed his hands, then cleaned the (already clean) counter of his stand. When I handed him the cash, he pointed to a money bucket in front of his stand – he didn’t want to dirty his hands. In a country where people don’t hesitate to hold money after holding a raw chicken drumstick, to say I was impressed is an understatement.
I will be back, my clean vendor friend.