beijing, china, mandarin

Pea jelly: a bite of Shigatse


Photo shows the Tibetan styled pea jelly “pengbi” of southwest Tibet’s Shigatse prefecture.

Either on the streets of downtown Shigatse or at the entrance of Tashilhunpo Monastery, there are always Tibetan ladies carrying large aluminum pots, with a group of people gathering around her. They are the peddlers moving about selling a kind of food called “pengbi”.

“Pengbi” is a kind of pea jelly of Tibetan flavor. Since this Tibetan name has the same pronunciation with the words “friend” and “must” in Chinese, Tibetans would like to say that “pengbi” is a must-eat food when good friends come, in order to make it remembered.

The pea juice used to make “pengbi” is extracted from the juice to make bean starch vermicelli. When making bean starch vermicelli, peas will be ground into powders, and then water will be added to make it juicy. After sedimentation, the supernatant can be used to feed stocks, and the subsided amylum on the bottom is the material of bean starch vermicelli, while the thick juice in the middle is for making “pengbi”.




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