Liangpi – Cold Skin Noodles: Types & Famous Restaurants in Xi’an

Liangpi (cold skin noodles), together with Yangrou Paomo (Crumbled Flatbread in Mutton Stew) and Rou Jia Mo (Chinese Hamburger), is the symbol of Xi’an food. The noodles are chewy and smooth, and the special saucer can be the soul of cold skin noodles, which adds a refreshing taste mixed with sour and spicy flavors. No matter if you are a foodie or not, you should never miss Liangpi when you travel in Xi’an.

A Traditional Dish with Over 2,000 Years of History

Liangpi has a long history tracing back to the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, that is more than 2,000 years ago. It was a year of drought and the poor harvest made it impossible to deliver enough crops to the court. To avoid punishment, peasants came up with a great idea. They ground rice into rice milk and then steamed the rice milk in boiling water to get the cold skin noodles. Emperor Qin Shi Huang greatly applauded the taste of Liangpi and then appointed it as a royal tribute.

Xian Food Liangpi
Xian Food Liangpi Mipi

Different Types of Shaanxi Liangpi

Majiang Liangpi (Cold Skin Noodles with Sesame Sauce)

Majiang Liangpi is a traditional dish in Xi’an City and is available in a lot of restaurants in the Muslim Quarter. As its name implies, this kind of cold skin noodle uses sesame sauce as the major seasoning accompanied by vinegar, chili oil sauce, and sliced cucumbers. Its rich texture really hits the spot.

Gan Mianpi (Wheat Noodles)

Gan Mianpi is a traditional snack unique to the heart area of Shaanxi Province, especially in Baoji. The way to make Gan Mianpi is quite different from other kinds of Liangpi which require cooks to grind wheat or rice into a paste first and then put the paste on the steamer. The preparation of Gan Mianpi is to roll the dough into thin and round pieces and then get these pieces steamed. This unique culinary skill makes Gan Mianpi more pliable and chewier.

Mipi (Steamed Rice Noodles)

Mipi is a popular snack that is specialized in Hanzhong, providing a softer taste to customers. Unlike other kinds of Liangpi only offer cold taste, Hanzhong Mipi also has a heated version with more sauce over more than half of the rice noodles. Mipi is a popular breakfast food for people in Hanzhong and they usually order another local snack – Cai Doufu (porridge of tofu with chopped vegetables) to go with Mipi.

Xian Food Majiang Liangpi
Majiang Liangpi

The Popular Way to Eat Liangpi – Sanqin Set Meal

Liangpi, Rou Jia Mo, and Bingfeng (bottled beverage like Fanta) make up the famous “Sanqin Set Meal” (Sanqin is a nickname for Shaanxi), which is served in almost all the fast-food restaurants in Xi’an.

The cold skin noodles provide a refreshing taste mingled with sour and spicy flavors, while diners can enjoy the crispy crust of Ruo Jia Mo as well as the tender and juicy meat with every bite. Besides, a sip of the iced Bingfeng can neutralize the greasy and spicy sense after the taste of Liangpi and Ruo Jia Mo. Therefore, for Xi’an natives, ordering a set meal can be a great enjoyment, especially in summer.

It is highly recommended you have a try and this could be a special culinary experience during your Xi’an food tour.

Xian Food Sanqin Set Meal
Sanqin Set Meal

Famous Liangpi Restaurants in Xi’an

1. Wei Jia Liangpi 魏家凉皮

Big Wild Goose Pagoda Branch 大雁塔南广场分店

Location: Southeast corner of the South Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda

South Street Branch 南大街分店

Location: No.3, South Street, Beilin District (100m north of Yongning Gate)

2. Yun Lao Si Liangpi 云老四凉皮

Location: Changle Middle Road, Xincheng District (near Exit C of Tong Hua Men Metro Station)

3. Xue Changli 薛昌利

Nanguan Zhengjie Street Branch 南关正街分店

Location: No.58, Nanguan Zhengjie Street, Beilin District (600m south of Yongning Gate)

Dongmutoushi Alley Branch 东木头市分店

Location: No. 176, Dongmutoushi Alley, Beilin District

4. Zhu Xuanmin 朱选民

Location: No.17, Ximutoushi Alley, Beilin District

5. Ziwu Lu Zhang Ji 子午路张记

Fenxiang Alley Branch 粉巷分店

Location: No.46, South Street, Beilin District (400m south of the Bell Tower)

Cuihua Road Branch 翠华路分店

Location: No.227, Cuihua Road, Yanta District

6. Qinzhen Shi Yu Lin 秦镇史玉林

Location: B1, West City Shopping Mall, No.118, Laodong South Road, Lianhu District

7. Shuan Ma Zhuang 拴马桩

Location: No.50, Caochangpo Road, Beilin District

Xian Wei Jia Liangpi
Wei Jia Liangpi Restaurant

How to Make Liangpi at Home

Prepare the noodles

  1. Pour flour, water, and salt into a big bowl and a quick stir will mix them thoroughly;
  2. Brush a thin layer of oil on a baking tray and pour a large spoon of paste to cover the tray;
  3. 3. Place the baking tray on boiling water and steam for 3-5 minutes until bubbles come out;
  4. Remove the noodle until it cools down and chop it into strips.

What is in the Sauce

Chili oil, black vinegar, salt, garlic, spices, MSG (monosodium glutamate), soy sauce, sugar

As people can see, Liangpi ingredients are simple and common, yet the production method is not as simple as much. Therefore, if you are planning your Xi’an tour and have great interest in Xi’an cuisines, make sure to put “Xi’an Liangpi” on your must-do list.