There was/is a takeaway place for late night fried thingies in HK a short distance from my usual hotel in HK. Next door to it was a small shop that specialized in stinky tofu.
It is hard to explain my thoughts on the initial contact with my nose, then over the weeks and repeated visits to HK, I still regularly walk down that street. (it is directly between the hotel and my friends studio) It is still hard to explain my thoughts. I would have thought "Oh no, that poor lady is eating dog poo" but then, I am not as nice a guy as Newbs.
I have vowed to try it one day, but the rest of my body appears to be in no hurry.
CON'S FLY IS OPEN added:
Headmaster took us out tonight to suck up for the extra summer workload. Our hotpot was graced with a turtle, brought to the table intact. They tore off the shell, and Mandi couldn't even look from that moment on. They had to turn the pot around so that the side without turtle was facing us.
No one else had tasted turtle before, either. The word on the street is that, since turtles live so long, eating turtule will help you live longer.
TIFC- I've heard worse logic.
So my piece had a back leg on it. Accustomed as I am to eating disgusting things in China, I tried it. The meat is splendid. The fat:
Instant gag reflex; one of the most foul, unnatural tasting things I've ever put in my mouth. The meat, as delicious as it was, will never pass my lips for fear that a crumb of turtle fat might tag along.
I would eat a turtle TURD before turtle fat. Consider yourselves warned.
2 more dishes for youse....Huang2 Gua2 La4 Pi2
is shreds of cucumber with a little shredded pork (enough to add a little flavor), and a little garlic. Some bites were spicy hot. Everything is shredded very fine so it's hard to tell if there are other ingredients too. The pork is fully cooked, of course, but the whole thing seems to be either only lightly stir-fried or somehow marinated. The cucumber was a bit limp as if it had been cooked, but the dish was served slightly cool. Anyway, it was quite good.
I had dinner tonight in Suzhou's Ya Ke Xi Xinjiang restaurant- the one we went to May Day- with my friends Sanjeev and Sophie. I was late (try getting a Suzhou taxi from the Dong Gang in the rain!) and when I arrived they were already elbow-deep in a dish the waitress told me was called Le1 Shi2 Kao3 Rou4
. It was thinly sliced and deep fried potatoes, somewhere between potato chips (crisps for you Commonwealth types) and home fries. The potatoes were covered liberally with some kind of highly spiced ground meat mix with onion and garlic, with a crumbled-sausage-like effect. VERY spicy and rather hot. This dish rules and comes especially highly recommended.
Next time I may take along a little grated cheddar to put on it...
A few of my faves;you1rou4
...literally 'oil meat.' Cuts of pork with about an inch of fat left on them, and usually the skin, served in a thin garlicy sauce. It sounds disgusting but it's so good. The fat is creamy, not gristly like bacon fat. Supposedly it was Chairman Mao's favorite dish but he had to stop eating it when his health went downhill. Certainly not something you'd want to make a habit of eating. Pao4 Mo3
is the famous 'bread soup' of Xi'an, but I've seen it in other central Chinese cities. Bits of flatbread with lamb broth, served with pickled garlic and cilantro. For some reason it's served in a ridiculously large bowl, like noodle dishes tend to be. If you can eat a whole bowl of it, you are a better man than I. In Luoyang a gigantic bowl of it was 8 kuai, a smaller one (but still huge) was 6. xiang2chang1
(literally translated as 'fragrant intestine'!) are those little red sausages, I loved them. I think they're made sweet with baijiu but they don't taste like baijiu to me.
In central China open-air grill restaurants seem to be popular. I went to a lot of them in Luoyang, but I didn't see any in Hangzhou. Raoul mentioned the grilled lamb bits, which are awesome. I wish I knew what spices they put on those things, I'd make it every day. I once went to one deep in the Muslim part of town where all parts of a lamb were grilled on sticks with that certain spice mixture. Eyes, tongue, kidneys, stomach, you name it. The eyes were chewy.
Grill restaurants in the summer, hotpot in the winter.
There was also a rumour going about Luoyang that another local specialty was mouse fetus soup.
Hopefully my pinyin numbers are right...I keep getting 1 an 2 confused. MR. NOBODY
I have an inordinate fondness for stuffed chillis, stuffed fried tofu,
stuffed mushrooms and so on. Yummy.
Stuffed chilli = la4jiao1 niang4
mushrooms = mo2gu1 niang4
tofu = to4fu4 niang4
hope i got it right.
Can buy them fried, or buy them uncooked, then steam, fry or deepfry to your hearts content. I am going to try baking them sometime, also, to reduce the fat content.
Eating them fried will definitely interfere with any diet plans.ILUNGA
Fortunately I haven't come across the 'mouse faetus' (sp?) soup.
The outdoor bbq places are everywhere in Luoyang. Love 'em! Yang rou chuar washed down with zha pi mmm. One thing I saw a lot of in Wei hai was man tou - grilled and seasoned. In Luoyang we have shao bin but it's not as good. The eyes are a bit chewy for me. Never been brave enough to try the 'ji ji/ yin jing/whatever you wanna call it'
Two of my favourite dishes are 'tie ban shao zhi qie' (really good eggplant and meat dish. The eggplant has black skin and it comes wrapped in tin foil) and 'yu wong su pai' (very tasty ribs) MR. NOBODY
Yeah, I like the 'fried steak' (But i would call it fried spare ribs - any flesh will do). shuan4 xiang1 gu3
Congo and I hit the wonderful little DongBei restaurant here in the DongGang last night. We had the usual run of dishes listed in here. However, to mark the honor of having _2_ members of this forum in the restaurant, the laoban brought us samples of the things they were eating. These are very much DongBei specialties, so only look for them with any hope in one of those restaurants.
We were both blown away by both of these dishes.Sa1 Zhu1 Cai4
is pig's blood soup with cabbage. (Get over it, newbies, this stuff kicked ass!) Cubes of pig's blood, and perhaps bits of other thankfully anonymous organelles, joined about 20 kilos of shredded cabbage per small rice bowl, all in a wonderful rich broth. Neither of us are exactly big fans of pig's blood, but we lurped this stuff down with enthusiasm. Conelrad said he'd had the same dish in DongBei...but not this good. This soup is full of the rich hearty nutrition you need to go back out in the cold and grow more cabbages.Jiu3 Cai4 Huar1
is a thick grass-green paste. It appears to contain cucumber, loads of garlic, perhaps a bit of chive, maybe a dash of chili oil, a ton of vinegar, and about 2 tons of salt. The effect is somewhere between pickle relish and wasabi. More a pickle or palate-cleanser than a dish, it was absolutely luscious. 2 thumbs up from the Dong Gang.RUTH
Was taken out to dinner last night by the parents of a private student.
Amazing 12 year old chatters away in English non-stop. Great little translator she is.
Anyway, we had 'fish skin' as one of the 9 main dishes. We were very leary of what it could possibly be before it arrived. Sure enough, it was fish skin, in small strips. No scales. No idea what kind of fish. It was fried and spicy. Lots of garlic and hot peppers and something else we couldn't identify. Too spicy for me, but Lei Shan liked it. The texture was chewy and not very fishy tasting. I'll edit in the name of it when I get it. <No, she won't...>ARLIS
Some additions around my area in Qingdao. Please note that the tones may not be 100% correct as my listening sucks and I can't confirm it with any chinese people I trust.Ga2 La4
A Shandong cuisine (or so I'm told) of fresh clams boiled in a light broth with plenty of red peppers and a bit of ginger. The result is a spicy burst of seafood that's heavenly when chowed down with a cold Tsingtao by the beach. Long lunches often result in my consumption of about 40-50 of these suckers (and I'm the one with the smallest pile!)Suan2 La4 Tu3 Dou4 Si1
Another spicy favourite to be consumed outside with a cold one while a refreshing breeze rushes through you. The dish consists of a multitude of very thinly sliced potato slivers that's been cooked with red peppers, vinegar, and garlic. A friend I know orders one at every meal and whines if there is none.Ba1 Xi1 Kao4 Rou4
Brazilian BBQ. This particular pork bbq variety is very localised and is not presented on sticks but on a plate surrounded with mantou that's been cut into slices and quickly deep fried in oil. The bbq pork itself is spiced (with unknown heavenly spices), tender, and scrumptious to eat. However, an additional spicy (and slightlys sweet) sauce on the side allows for dipping of the meat or/and bread to really elevate this from a normal bbq dish. (may be a restaurant specialty)San1 Xian1 Yun1 Do4
Fried Green Beans. Strangely enough, every chinese student/colleague/friend that I've sat down to eat this with has never eaten this dish before in their life. Yet it's the first dish to be completely and utterly finished before others. Green beans are stir-fryed together with minced meat, clams (without the shell), century eggs, soy sauce, and possibly garlic. The result is amazing and as I stated, it is the first to be devoured before other dishes whenever I order it at a particular restaurant. (may be a restaurant specialty)Ga4 Li1 Fan4
or Ga4 Li1 Niu2 Rou4 Fan4
Curry Rice. Hasn't really been mentioned, not so much a Chinese dish but I've noticed a number of small, hole in the wall restaurants offering this so I'll say it anyway. One of my favourite non-chinese dishes that I've tried for the first time in my life (though I found them China). The curry is not so much Indian curry but similar to japanese-style curry without the mind blowing spice (yes it's spicy, but spicy in a delicate way). Anyways, found with a few varieties including a potato pancake variety I found at a japanese curry restaurant in Qingdao (see the Qingdao post in city specific info).
It's great, it's fantastic, and every person I've taken there for the first time (chinese and foreign) has liked it tremendously.
Bon apetit! RAOUL
I have a new one.Mu4 Shu1 Rou4
is pretty good stuff. It's pork shreds stir-fried with leek, scrambled egg, and wood ears. You may recognize it as "Mu Shu Pork", a popular favorite at least in the States, except that here it's generally served without the pancake and sweet hoisin sauce that generally accompany it there.
Aaaaand another one. Kind of an odd dish but good if you can figure out how to eat it.Ba2 Si1 Xiang1 Jiao1
are a sort of caramelized banana fritters. Banana chunks are battered and fried and placed in a dish. Caramel is poured over them, and the whole thing is sprinkled with sesame seeds. They are served with a small bowl of cool water...dip your bite in the water to solidify the caramel and keep it from stringing everywhere.
The same treatment is given apples (ba2 si1 ping1 guo3
) and potatoes (ba2 si1 tu2 dou4
). All are pretty good but the banana is my favorite.
Problem is, this is a hard dish to eat. It's served at a precise temperature of 1450 degrees Celsius...the caramel is pliable enough but Westerners need to wait about 45 minutes for it to cool. When it actually IS cool enough to eat, the caramel has hardened to the consistency of granite. You need a hammer and cold chisel to eat it.
Anyway, if you can sort out the puzzle, it's a pretty good dish. It's a definite favorite in the Northeast; my local Dongbei restaurant does it really well too. RUTH
We had all of those during bootcamp - apples, bananas, sweet potato.
VERY popular. The trick is to get the pieces dipped into the water before they all harden together.RAOUL
Sweet potatoes...haven't seen that yet but sounds good. Ba2 Si1 Nan2 Gua1
Ruth hits on the problem...this dish must be eaten quickly upon
serving. But it's served at the temperature of molten lava... LOTUS EATER
If you ask for ba si nan gua up in my neck of the woods you will end up with caramelised pumpkin! Sweet potato up here is gan1shu3
Why is tomato called different things in different places as well?DR. GONZO
Mao's favorite: Hong2 Shao1 Rou2
Thre's no real recipe. Just buy a few pork hocks, with hair removed. Place in a liquor of around a cup of dark soy sauce, a few big spoons of sugar and a smattering of star anise [cloves work too. Fill with water until the hocks are covered. Bring to the boil, then simmer covered on very low for several hours, topping up the liquid if needed. The meat should be very tender. Good, basic [well off] peasant tucker! RAOUL
Yeah, a good one.
I usually see it cooked with a lot of ginger and hot peppers along with the ingredients that The Gone One lists.
My biggest problem with this dish is that it's usually made with fat pork...as in pork pieces that are about 90% fat and skin, with a tiny bit of real meat. These pieces are eaten whole. Sometimes you can convince the cook to substitute lean pork in this dish, but they will look at you like you're crazy.
There's a great variant that will also guarantee you a place in the cardiac ward: whole shelled hard-boiled eggs are cooked in along with the meat. Anything this dangerous HAS to taste good, right? DRAGONSAVER
I do chicken wings in this first. I don't put in the sugar but I do add about a 1" piece of ginger. Then do the pork in the same liquid as a second cooking. Been making this in Canada for Years and Years. Super GOOD Got the receipe from some Hong Kong students when I lived in Calgary (>1979).
Here's a delicious dish, a great winter warmer...and a definite challenge for some of you. This dish may strike some as a good exhibit in your kid's school's Halloween Spook House. It contains things I normally won't touch...but they're great here.Chuan2 jia1 fu2
is served in a giant crockery or metal dish, sometimes over a brazier. It starts with a basic white cabbage soup, but is heavily laden- and I do mean PILED- with some combination of most if not all of the following: sliced pork, sliced beef, chicken breast, pink ham slices, various meatballs and fish balls, whole shrimp, quail eggs, egg dumplings, tofu-skin dumplings, brown mushrooms, wood ears, bamboo shoots, green onion, pork tripe, beef tripe, pork intestines, pork blood, chicken feet... and who knows what else.
The whole thing presents as a thick, complex soup that you can eat with chopsticks. It's definitely extremely nutitious and will keep you vigilantly guarding the People's Revolution against the forces of reactionaryism long into the night.
This stuff is really good despite some ingredients that might strike many as a bit repugnant. The squeamish might be able to get the chef to edit the ingredients a bit. Ya wussy. CHEEKYGAL
Will share one simple recipe - when you dont have much time, tired, lack creativity and want to *feed a man*.
Cut beef into pieces and soak it in a decent amount of Maggi seasoning sauce, mixed with some black pepper and 5-spices powder. Put it in microwave for 2 mins (medium heat).
Cut onions, garlic, broccoli and potatos.
Heat up some oil in a pan and put in the meat. Stir it occasionally for 17 mins, then add garlic and onions, stir it again for another 5 mins. Then add some water with salt in it and let it simmer for 15 mins. Add broccoli and potatos. Add a bit more water, cover up and let cook on low fire for 15-20 mins (till meat gets all tender and soft and other ingredients are cooked). If you have dry or fresh dill - throw it in in the end. TA-DA! Simple and yummy. Instead of Maggi seasoning you can use soya sauce and teeny bit of vinegar.