Lvdagunr, the taste of Manchu

Snacks in BeijingLvdagunr (glutinous rice rolls with sweet bean flour), is a traditional Manchu snack quite common in Beijing. The dish itself was hundreds of years old but is enjoying its modern popularity on the street of Beijing. Putting together only a few ingredients and the snack offers your taste buds a simple but rich feast of beans—sweet but not too sweet, glutinous but not sticky, soft but slightly chewy—it is a perfect balance between a nian gao rice cake and a bean flavour moose.

It usually takes about an hour to prepare the desert: glutinous millet flour has to be mixed with cold water, making them a hard dough; then steam the dough for 15 minutes. At the same time, stir fry the soybean flour until it gets a yellow-brownish colour (it usually takes 30 to 40 minutes). Sprinkle the flour on the kitchen board, lay the cooked dough thin upon the bean flour, then put another layer of red bean paste over the top. Making sure that each layer is stuffed evenly with clear distinctions at the edge; more sugars can be added on the top according to preference. After all is done, roll up the whole thing like making Sushui rolls, and cut it into smaller pieces.

The name Lvdagunr in Chinese means literally “the rolling donkey”. As the desert is covered by a thin layer of yellow soybean flour, it looks like a donkey covered by dirt after taking a roll on the ground. But do not let these scenes affect your appetite, because the Lvdagunr tastes neither like dust or donkey.  with the fragrance of beans goes all the way to the throat and the texture of glutinous rice gives a tender massage to the tongue, it is one of the many delicate legacy left deep in the Hutongs of Beijing by the once so glorious Manchu regime.

To find the best Lvdagunr in Beijing, go to the Huguosi Xiaochi (护国寺小吃, Huguosi snack) at No.93, Huguosi Jie, Xicheng District, Beijing, and enjoy a bite of Manchu China!

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