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Fuqi feipian (literally 'Married Couple's Slices of Lung') is a popular Sichuan dish - often served cold - which is made of thinly sliced beef, beef lung/stomach/tongue, and a generous amount of spices, including Sichuan peppercorns. True to its roots, the desired taste should be both spicy and mouth-numbing. Despite its name, actual lung is rarely used.

               
History
As early as the late Qing Dynasty, there were already many vendors selling beef slices served cold in the streets of Chengdu using cow organs because they were relatively inexpensive. Because of its low cost, the dish was popular among rickshaw pullers and poor students.


In the 1930s, there was a married couple in Chengdu famous for making beef slices. The husband, Guo Zhaohua, and wife, Zhang Tianzheng, were particular about the beef slices they made, and often experimented with new ingredients. As a result, their beef slices had a distinct taste from the other beef slice vendors, and their business boomed. Often though, mischievous children would pull a prank on the couples and stick paper notes that read 'Fuqi feipian' (Married Couple's Offal Slices) on their backs, and sometimes people would yell the words out. Later on, a merchant tried the married couple's beef slices and was so satisfied he gave them a gold-lettered plaque that read 'Fuqi feipian', and the name has stuck ever since.


To suit their customers' tastes, the couples made many improvements on the dish. And offal slices were eventually replaced by various beef or lamb slices. Many people still preferred calling the dish fuqi feipian, thus the name is still used today.


The meaning of Fei is waste parts or offal. The lung could be a part of this offal but fei is not lung by itself in this dish's meaning.

 

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