Here’s a big noodle cup I found at the 99 Ranch Market in Edmonds, WA. You might wonder – what’s Luosi mean? Here’s something from Wikipedia –
Luosifen (Chinese: 螺螄粉; pinyin: luósīfěn; lit. ‘Snail rice noodle‘) is a Chinese noodle soup and specialty of Liuzhou, Guangxi. The dish consists of rice noodles boiled and served in a soup. The stock that forms the soup is made by stewing river snails and pork bones for several hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, white pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. It usually does not contain snail meat, but it is instead served with pickled bamboo shoot, pickled green beans, shredded wood ear, fu zhu, fresh green vegetables, peanuts, and chili oil added to the soup. Diners can also add chili, green onions, white vinegar, and green peppers to suit their taste.
The dish is served in small “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants, as well as luxury hotel restaurants. In the late 2010s, many luosifen restaurants have opened in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, as well as in other countries such as the US.
Also mentioned in the article are three legends!
The origin of luosifen is not certain, but many believe it originated in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There are three legends that attempt to explain its origin.
According to a legend in the 1980s, some starving tourists traveled to Liuzhou in the evening and came across a rice noodle restaurant that was closed; however, the owner still served them. The bone soup, usually the main soup, was out of order, and only snail soup was available. The owner poured cooked rice noodles into the snail soup and served the tourists with vegetables, peanuts, and a bean curd stick side dish. The tourists liked the dish, which led to the owner improving the recipe and production process, slowly shaping the prototype of snail noodle soup.
There is not much information about the snail soup rice noodles, the cradle of the snail soup rice noodles, or its exact origin. It is known that it has a strong Luosifen complex and rice complex of Liuzhou, which accidentally created luosifen.
In the mid 1980s, there was a dry cut powder grocery store on Jiefang South Road in Liuzhou. After studying in the morning, the shop’s clerk decided to boil rice noodles with snails for breakfast. It is speculated that the old woman’s snail stall is inside the goldfish lane of Jiefang South Road.
The lady thought the noodle soup was delicious, so she started to sell it as the “snail noodle”. After years of improvement by local operators, the authentic Liuzhou snail noodle soup was created.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the folk commercial trade in Liuzhou began to recover slowly from the Cultural Revolution. The Liuzhou workers’ cinema was very popular during this time. Driven by the strong audience of these films, the night market of gubu gradually formed.
Some people came up with an idea for a second night market: spiral lions and rice cooked together as food. After a film was over, customers accidentally asked the shopkeeper to add oil, water, and snail soup powder to the mixture. Over time, the recipe was perfected to suit the needs of customers, and the snail noodle dish gradually took shape. As the first original snack in Liuzhou, snail noodle soup has gradually become a landmark food in Liuzhou and even Guangxi.
Mass production of packaged luosifen started in late 2014, making it a nationwide household food. The yearly sales of packaged luosifen reached 6 billion yuan in 2019. Sales of packaged luosifen increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So there’s a bunch of info, but basically, we’ve got river snail noodles here. Let’s check ’em out!
Sichuan Baijia Luosi Rice Noodles – China
A distributor/import sticker (click to enlarge).
Detail of the side panels (click to enlarge). Looks to be meat free but check for yourself. To prepare, Add in all sachets and fill to line with boiling water. Cover for 5~6 minutes. Finally, stir and enjoy!
Detail of the lid (click to enlarge).
A package of rice noodles.
A liquid base sachet.
Another liquid base sachet.
A dry base sachet.
A dry sachet.
Another pickled something.
Finished (click to enlarge). Added marinated egg, spring onion, coriander, sesame seed. Rice noodle came out well – nice gauge and hydration. The broth had a decent flavor strength, however Luosi just isn’t a flavor I truly savor. The included garnishes were really nice and quite plentiful though, and of good quality. 3.0 out of 5.0 stars. EAN bar code
Watch me cook on Instant Noodle Recipe Time!