Suan la fen recipe
Sichuan cuisine

Suan la fen recipe

Suan la fen, literally translated, it means “Hot and Sour sweet potato vermicelli”.

I watched the vendor peel the sweet potatoes and then, using a potato peeler, he spiralized the potato flesh, which was flash-boiled and then sauteed. It was then immersed in a spicy chilli broth mixed with seafood. I thought this was such a clever dish, using ingredients that were in abundance in Sichuan province and providing a great alternative to wheat noodles.

Ingredients for Suan la fen

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 spring onion(scallion), finely chopped

200g/7oz white fish fllet, cut into small chunks

8-10 scallops

8-10 raw king prawns(shrimp), peeled and deveined

1 sprig of coriander(cilantro), finely chopped

3 tbsp Sichuan pickled vegetables, chopped, or 3 tbsp crushed peanuts, to garnish


1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns

1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

1 tsp chilli oil

1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt

Suan la fen recipe

Cut the sweet potatoes into thin strips, using a spiralizer if you have one. Alternatively, cut the potatoes into long, thin strips. Set aside,

In a small bowl, mix all the flavourings together and set aside,

Cook the sweet potato strips in a large saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes, until softened. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Heat a wok over a high heat, add the vegetable oil, then add the the spring omion, fish and seafood and the coriander and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, When the seafood is fully cooked, add the cooked sweet potato and the flavourings, Mix well and toss for a further 3 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped pickled vegetables or crushed peanuts.

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