Liang pi, also known as cold skin noodles, are prepared from dough, though in such a curious fashion that some writers call this a "noodle-like" dish. Rather than being pressed flat and cut, the dough (made from wheat, in this case) is set into a bowl and rinsed with water, which becomes saturated with starch. The dough is removed and the water is allowed to rest; over the course of hours, the starch precipitates into a paste; a shallow layer of the paste is steamed in a broad pan until it sets; and the resulting floppy, shimmering disk, about 16 inches across, is added to the stack at the counterside. Each disk, when prepped, serves one.
The proprietors of this stall hail from Shaanxi province, near Xi'an, namesake city of a celebrated New York mini-chain that also makes cold skin noodles. These liang pi ($5), by comparison, are thicker and less slippery. They also win bonus points for a mise en place right up front, where customers can ask for a little less of this, a little more of that. Provided they ask fast, that is: Including time required to slice the noodles (or "noodles"), prepwork takes all of three minutes.
Liang Pi Wang
New York Food Court, stall 10
133-35 Roosevelt Ave. (Prince St.-College Point Blvd.), Flushing, Queens