Jiaotuan(stirred paste) is named for the way it is made, that is, a paste made by stirring flour in a wok. The birthplace of Jiaotuan is in Shaanxi province, especially in Guanzhong area(refers to Xian and surrounding areas). According to the main material used differently, there are buckwheat Jiaotuan, corn meal Jiaotuan and potato Jiaotuan. In the northeast of China, a folk saying has spread like “Whether you marry a good wife or not is somewhat measured by if she can make good Jiaotuan”.
As for how this meal came about, it is difficult to prove. However, there’s a story about it. When Zhuge Liang garrisoned in Xiqi(currently means Qishan county in Shaanxi), he attacked the central plains for a very long time but failed, and didn’t want to retreat. Thus the soldiers vigorously developed agriculture to provide adequate supplies, instead being idle all day. The soldiers then got bored of eating local pasta, therefore, Zhuge Liang invented this meal to relieve the their homesick mood. But at that time, the name is not Jiaotuan, but called “water siege”.
To make good Jiaotuan, the stirring is of vital importance. The strength of stirring and heat control are the two key factors to ensure its excellent taste. The way of cooking it is actually simple. Add flour to boiling water and stir it with a long rolling pin, one end in the bottom of the pot and the other in the hands of the housewife. When a string of bubbles come about in the pot, the flour paste is gradually becoming thicker, it is time to cover the pot then and cook over a low heat to make it done.
The method of making Jiaotuan is simple, but the method of eating is not monotonous. It can be eaten cool, or hot with soup, or stir-fried. Try this special Xian snack supplied in Yongxingfang – Shaanxi Intangible Cultural Heritage Food Block, and have a nice strolling over there, which will add more flavor to your Xian trip.