Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yellow Laphing: A Photo Guide

As you may have seen, yesterday I failed at making Yellow Laphing. Today, fortunately, I have redeemed myself.

And so, I present you with an Illustrated Guide to Yellow Laphing
White all purpose flour
a few pinches of salt
a few pinches of MSG (as always, optional)
soy sauce
chili paste

Large pot or clean bucket
Mixing bowl
circular cake pans (2 or 3)
Wide pot with a lid.
Trays or pans

Before making the Laphing
peel a few cloves of garlic.
Drop these into a bottle of water to soak and flavor the water.

The Night Before
Yellow Laphing is a two day procedure.
The night before, in a large mixing bowl, mix flour and water. The amount is up to you, but 4 cups of flour will make about 10 laphing pancakes, in my experience.
Knead this into a nice dough ball.

Set up a large pot and place a screen type strainer over the top. It must be fine or else it wont strain appropriately.

Now pour water over the dough ball and start kneading the dough in the water. The water will turn milky white.

When the water is white, strain it through the strainer, holding back the dough and catching any dough bits in the strainer. Put the dough and bits back into the bowl. Repeat the process.

The dough will start to break apart and change consistency. You are extracting the gluten from the flour. As this happens, you will start getting little gluten bits at the bottom, which seem to act a bit differently from dough, this is a good sign.

Continue kneading and squeezing the gluten. It will start to feel rubbery and squeaky. It may even squeak (mine does!) this usually means the gluten is nearly ready. Keep repeating the kneading and straining until the water runs mostly clear and you are left with a nice clump of gluten, which you can mold together with your hands and squeeze out any remaining water.

knead a pinch of baking soda into your gluten, cover and leave that for tomorrow. Cover your big pot full of white water and let that sit until tomorrow.

Day of Serving

THIS is where I made my epic fail yesterday. Open the pot, the water should be settled. Mostly clear on the top and white thick goop at the bottom. Bring the pot CAREFULLY over to the sink. POUR the water out into the sink until the white goop is about to pour. This should leave a thin layer of water over a thick layer of goop. This was where I failed yesterday! I scooped out the water instead of pouring it and so I didn't get out enough water and made icky jelly instead of pancakes.

Add a few pinches of salt, a pinch or two of MSG, a small pinch of tumeric and a tablespoon of vegetable oil into your white goop and stir it together with a ladle.

Put an inch or so of water in your wide bottomed pot and bring this to a boil. On your counter, put the trays and partially fill them with water and maybe an ice cube or two.

Stir the goop and ladle one spoonful into the cake pan. It should just barely cover the bottom if you tip the pan around. Maybe a ladle and a half. Float the pan in the boiling water. Tip it around a bit until the bottom is coated and the coating has started to solidify. Also, make sure a bit tips up onto the sides.

Cover the pan and let the water come back to a boil. When it's boiled for a minute or two, the pancake should be a translucent yellow. Carefully pull the pan out and float it in your cooling bath on the counter.

Wait until the pancake is cool to the touch, then run your fingernail (please wash your hands first) along the sides (this is why you have to get some up on the side) until you get it to start peeling. Then carefully peel off the pancake.

ooh! A pancake! Look! I made a pancake!!!

I find that a 3 pan system is best. One boiling, 2 cooling. Stack the pancakes in a tray or dish.

On a clean cutting board, cut a piece of your gluten into centimeter by centimeter pieces. Roll a pancake and slice it into half inch wide coils.

Put the noodles in a bowl and top it with the gluten. Sprinkle salt, msg, and chili to taste. Pour soy sauce over that and then water the soy sauce into a "soup" with your garlic water and stir. Serve! mmmmmmmmmmmm


  1. Did I never notice the gluten chunks before?

    Are they always there?

  2. almost always with yellow laphing. Never with white. Make sure you knead the gluten a LOT. Otherwise it becomes VERY rubbery. It should have a faux meat texture.

  3. wondering if wheat starch flour that is available in chinese stores would suffice in making the starch mixture. will try this and experiment with off the shelf products. I suppose gluten chunks would also be available in those stores. Thank you enlightening me on the yellow colour... turmeric!

  4. I think it might work, Nima. I know that white laphing is made with bean flour. As for the gluten, I am sure you could find it but it probably wouldn't have the same fresh texture. Give it a try and let me know!!

  5. I am gonna try to make it, thnx for the guide.

  6. do you not do anything to cook the gluten?

    1. I'm also hearing that you can steam the gluten...

    2. how long do we need to store the gluten? room temperature or cooler, in a fridge?

  7. Nope! the gluten is left as is.

  8. Oh, that looks very tempting. Didn't I have that in Dharamsala (or was that the White Laphing)?

  9. Yep! You had the yellow down by the main temple. You might have tried one of each. I'll try to post a white laphing recipe. This one is a lot of fun to make, but definitely challenging. White Laphing is easy.

  10. New here! What a wonderful blog! Had a delicious Tibetan meal at Yeti last week and that got me searching for recipes. . .

    This is such an interesting dish! I am going to start by sourcing some ingredients first. Not for this dish though; I have all the necessary ingredients.

    Would you know where I can get mung bean flour in Delhi?

  11. Hi! Glad you like the blog. I'm in the midst of moving, hence no kitchen and not much updating, but that will change very soon.

    Regarding Mung bean flour, I assume you are making the white laphing. If you want to make white laphing, try to find a chinese or korean grocery in Delhi. There are apparently a few. If that fails, ask the Tibetan laphing sellers.

    If you haven't tasted both white and yellow laphing, so you aren't sure which to make, you're in luck! Go to Majnu ka Tilla in Old Delhi (the Tibetan district) and go the the temples. There is a nice courtyard surrounded by two temples and a few tea shops and there are always stalls with women selling both white and yellow laphing. Eat to your heart's delight!

  12. I will go to Majnu ka tila and eat my fill!

  13. it would be really awesome if you can make a video of you making the YELLOW -laphing!

    :) THanks

    1. Good idea. I'll need to find a camera person willing!

  14. Yes!!! A video will be great

  15. My gluten is soooo sticky. how am i suppose to make it like yours? do i have to mix that thing in water until it becomes less?

    1. Probably need to knead it in the water longer. It actually takes a pretty long time to get it into the rubbery/spongey stage.

  16. Will you please make a video of this? Would greatly appreciate it!!

  17. @madteaparty, to look for mung bean floor anywhere in a hindi spoken hood, visit a store where they sell rice, flour, sugar etc and ask for ararord (pronounced as a-ra-ror) hope you find this helpful...happy laphinging....

  18. Hi Amalia,
    I love your blog posts on Tibetan food! My husband and I run YoWangdu Tibetan Culture, where we blog on Tibetan food, and have gotten a million requests for yellow laphing. Our friend Dolma makes it but says it takes just too much time -- like the last time she made it, it took all night -- and she just can't bring herself to do it any time soon. We were so excited to find your recipe! We love this post and wonder if you would consider making a version of it as a guest post on our site. We would of course put your name and credit and link (assuming you want all that) up front and center on the guest post. Please let us know at And please keep up the great work :-)