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Chinese green bean starch salad (liang cai)

How to make green bean starch salad Chinese recipe
Chinese green bean starch
Chinese green bean starch salad

A friend requested this recipe — actually I am very surprised and glad that almost every friend who tried this dish really liked it. Friends have been asking about this for a long time, but I have been lazy, sorry… :))

Chinese green bean starch salad

It is an other ‘Liang Cai’ (salad) dish — the most traditional and popular one in the Northeast of China, not only just for summer, but also for any time of the year, it gives a fresh taste on the dining table, either for a relaxed dinner at home, or when you are having guests over — I can almost ensure you that your guests will like it.! :))

It is originally called ‘Liangbanlapi’ or ‘Liangbanfenpi), means cold mixed green bean starch. But in most of the restaurants in Northeast, you would have to order ‘wucailapi’(五彩拉皮), a very fancy name which means “five colours green bean starch” — chefs usually work very hard on the presentation of this dish.:)) But you can see in the picture here, I am preparing a home made version, you know, just like quick sketch for art, I did not go into the details on the canvas. ha…

Green bean and potato starch

I say it is green bean starch, but actually, potato starch, sweet potato starch, corn flour starch all can be used in the dish. I prefer green bean (mung bean) starch though, while the others are good for the soup or stir fry … I think. It is normally sold very fresh in China, they are like a block of jelly, ‘transparent’ white. Just I thought I would never be able to have it here, I saw similar ones being sold in a pack - a dry version — not bad either.

In some restaurants here, which claim specialising on Beijing or Sichuang food, you usually can find it on the menu as a starter; but, of course, it looks different and it tastes different.

Different regions have different ways of preparing this dish, for example, in Sichuan this dish comes in a spicy seasoning sauce. In Northern China, the sauce uses sesame paste as main ingredient along with vinegar and sugar. (sweet and sour again :))

The recipe: green bean starch liang cai

I told a friend the ingredients roughly once, but he later told me that taste was not totally right…. so…:)) this is the first recipe in which I have carefully measured each ingredient and recorded the measure, but you can improvise to your own taste. :))


(I made a big bowl of this salad, but if you are only cooking for 2 or 3, cut all the given amounts to half.)

Green bean starch (There are two types of green bean starch sold in Chinese supermarkets  here, one is a package of round sheets, and the other is flat strips,  like flat noodles. I think the round one is better, its texture is more close to the ‘original dish’, and taste is better for this salad, but they both do. On the left top photo, it is made with round sheet, where the right photo and the following ones is made with flat strip ones.)

Cucumber, coriander (if you are not s big fan of the taste of coriander, you can leave it out, but it does give the dish a very fresh smell and taste), carrots (optional)

Sesame paste, vinegar, white sugar, salt, sesame oil, garlic (optional)


1) Soaking two round sheets of grean bean starch (or half pack of the flat stripped greanbean starch) into hot water for 20 -30 minutes, until they are completely soft, which can be checked by touching it, or see the change of the colour (they will turn to more ‘white’ and ‘transparent’ ). Stir every 5 minutes to prevent them from sticking together. Then chop them into smaller pieces.

Chinese liang caiChinese recipe: starch salad

2) Mash the 3 gloves of garlic.

3) Cut one cucumber and carrots into slim strips.


1) Put prepared greanbean starch sheet, cucumber, coriander and garlic in a salad bowl.

2) In a bowl, put 4 big tablespoon sesame paste, mix in with water to make it thinner. (I found it is a bit difficult to dissolve it just by water, so I pour in a few drops of oil, then water.)

Healthy chinese saladLiang cai

3) Then put 3/4 table spoon of salt, 3 table spoon of rice vinegar, just a bit less than 2 table spoon of white sugar, 1 and half table spoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and mashed garlic into the sesame mix.

4) Pour the mixed seasoning into the salad bowl, and mix everything together.

Chinese green bean starch liang cai
Chinese green bean starch liang cai

—– Start eating, otherwise the greanbean starch could be soaked into the sauce too much, getting sticking, and will lose the original texture.

Good to have it with rice, either boiled or egg fried, and.. try with beer, if you drink. :))

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One Response to “Chinese green bean starch salad (liang cai)”

  1. >Wow, that's a nice coincidence. I actually liked the dish very much, so today we went into a Chinese supermarket in Cowley and I looked for what I assumed were noodles, but the only thing I could find that ressembles your "noodles" where bean starch strips. I couldn't imagine that this is the right thing, so didn't buy them and I actually wanted to call you and ask :-)

    Posted by Birte | May 14, 2011, 8:54 pm

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