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Miscellaneous China food photos


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#1 Kent Wang

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 02:01 AM

In addition to the ones I've already posted I have a number of miscellaneous photographs that individually do not warrant a thread of their own, so I thought I would combine them together in this thread. Perhaps others can also use this thread to share their food photos from China. To facilitate organized discussion more detailed, "un-miscellaneous" photos should have a thread of their own.

#2 Kent Wang

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 02:21 AM

A Sichuan-style restaurant in Shanghai.

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Fish in hot chile broth. The broth is not intended to be eaten, you're only supposed to fish out the pieces of fish.

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Roasted pigeons.

A small meat market in Shanghai.

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A cheap and dirty restaurant in Beijing, mostly for the working class.

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Youtiao. Fresh from the fryer, extremely fluffy.

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Dumplings.

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Steamed pork buns, soy milk. There appears to be some confusion in Beijing with the term xiao long bao. In Shanghai this is widely understood to be the classic steamed soup bun while in the north xiao long bao may also refer to this type of small pork bun with more dough with no soup in the filling.

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A makeshift steamer.

Seven Treasure Old Town in Shanghai.

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Rice flour desserts. Rice flour is like the marzipan of China, used to sculpt any manner of designs.

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Jugs of rice wine.

Edited by Kent Wang, 11 May 2006 - 02:22 AM.


#3 muichoi

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 06:40 AM

Yum!

#4 Chris Cognac

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:13 AM

Wow.....
Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!
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#5 Toliver

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:22 AM

How is the rice wine sold? Do you buy an entire jug? Or do you provide an empty bottle and just buy that amount or do they provide the bottle?
Thanks for posting thses great photos.

edited to ask: Regarding the fish (swimming!) in the hot chile broth, is the heat of the chilis imparted to the fish and is it mild or intense?

Edited by Toliver, 11 May 2006 - 09:24 AM.


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#6 hzrt8w

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:55 AM

How is the rice wine sold? Do you buy an entire jug? Or do you provide an empty bottle and just buy that amount or do they provide the bottle?

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I am not sure about modern days. In ancient times, as you can see the depictions in movies or novels, the buyers of wine would bring their own instruments to carry the wine. For travellers, it could be a water jug made of the dried shell of "woo lo" (a melon that shapes like a figure of 8). For domestic villagers, it could be a ceramic container of some sort. The shopkeeper will ladle the amount you order for you.

Edited by hzrt8w, 11 May 2006 - 09:56 AM.

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#7 Kent Wang

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 09:59 AM

How is the rice wine sold? Do you buy an entire jug? Or do you provide an empty bottle and just buy that amount or do they provide the bottle?

edited to ask: Regarding the fish (swimming!) in the hot chile broth, is the heat of the chilis imparted to the fish and is it mild or intense?

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Don't know about the wine, I just snapped the photo and didn't go into the shop. Now you've made me curious too.

Each individual chili is very strong but since the fish is swimming in a lot of water the flavor is very mild for a Sichuan dish.

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Dragonfruit. I occasionally see these in the U.S. for $20/lb. In Hong Kong we bought 3 (about 1.5 lbs) for HKD 10 (USD ~1.20).

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They're very easy to peel but the flesh is not that sweet. The texture is similar to kiwi.

Chuk Yuen Seafood Restaurant, Hong Kong.

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Sawfish nose, shark mouth.

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Ground shrimp wrapped in tofu skin and seaweed. A fairly original dim sum item.

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Soup with black-skinned chicken, seahorse, cordyceps. Cordyceps are a kind of vegetable that looks like a worm, you can see a few in the lower right. This of course is not the actual soup but rather the remains, sans broth.

Shenzhen "restaurant row".

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Geoduck clams.

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Sea urchins.

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Not sure what these are but they are meant to be eaten.

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Baby octopus.

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Live squid.

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Vietnamese jackfruit. It supposedly looks and tastes like durian but not quite as "bad" or as much of an acquired taste. I like it a lot. The dried ones you can buy in bags are really good too.

#8 Seitch

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 12:45 PM

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Not sure what these are but they are meant to be eaten.

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Those are water beetles.

#9 aznsailorboi

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 01:16 PM


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Not sure what these are but they are meant to be eaten.

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Those are water beetles.

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How does one eat a water beetle? :wacko:
...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

#10 hzrt8w

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 01:53 PM

How does one eat a water beetle? :wacko:

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Cut open the shell, squeez out the protein, then make omlette???? :blink: :raz: I am only guessing.

How does one eat sea urchin?
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#11 docsconz

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 02:53 PM

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What kind of crabs are those in the lower right of the photo and how are they prepared? Nice pics. I can never get too many market photos. They are the next best thing to being there.
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#12 Seitch

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 04:13 PM

How does one eat a water beetle? :wacko:

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As I understand it, one removes the hard bits such as the legs, heads and the hard carapace, leaving the soft belly portion. This is chopped up with pork and steamed sorta like the pork patty that is sometimes cooked with salt fish. The taste for this dish is an acquired one.

#13 herbacidal

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 07:45 PM

How does one eat a water beetle? :wacko:

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As I understand it, one removes the hard bits such as the legs, heads and the hard carapace, leaving the soft belly portion. This is chopped up with pork and steamed sorta like the pork patty that is sometimes cooked with salt fish. The taste for this dish is an acquired one.

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The one time I had it (if it is what I had last year) I thought we were just supposed to bite into them like anything else.

That's what I did, and wasn't told by any family or others that I was wrong, so I assumed that was it.

At any rate, I didn't think it was particularly interesting or good.
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#14 Dejah

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 07:48 PM

In my youth living in HK, these beetles were roasted and sold in little bags like roasted peanuts. I vaguely remember eating them. You are supposed to nip off the "rear end" of the beetle, then pop them into your mouth. Can't remember what they tasted like other than crunchy.
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#15 Ben Hong

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 11:10 AM

In my youth living in HK, these beetles were roasted and sold in little bags like roasted peanuts. I vaguely remember eating them. You are supposed to nip off the "rear end" of the beetle, then pop them into your mouth. Can't remember what they tasted like other than crunchy.

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Crunchy, with a bit of peppery taste. As a very young kid in the village, it was a favourite treat. We called the sui kooui, water something or other.

#16 miladyinsanity

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 11:26 AM

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Ground shrimp wrapped in tofu skin and seaweed. A fairly original dim sum item.

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They are?

If they are deep-fried, they are pretty much a staple in dim sum restaurants here. I love these.
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#17 Artichoke

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 11:51 AM

user posted image
Soup with black-skinned chicken, seahorse, cordyceps. Cordyceps are a kind of vegetable that looks like a worm, you can see a few in the lower right. This of course is not the actual soup but rather the remains, sans broth.


These pictures are awesome. I have a question about the soup. Do seahorses add a particular flavor or body to the soup, or are they added simply for health/medicinal value. I see them sold in the Chinatown markets here in Manhattan, I was always curious how they are used.

#18 hzrt8w

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 12:23 PM

Ground shrimp wrapped in tofu skin and seaweed. A fairly original dim sum item.

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They are?

If they are deep-fried, they are pretty much a staple in dim sum restaurants here. I love these.

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I think wrapping the tofu skin around with a seaweed ribbon is original. A bit following Japanese food decorations. :smile:
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#19 aznsailorboi

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 12:35 PM

I would try it...but only if its fresh :hmmm: I've only seen these at one store here in chicago and its frozen. not so sure if i wanna try frozen insects, i dunno if they freeze well like chicken, haha :raz:
...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

#20 Kent Wang

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 04:23 PM

What kind of crabs are those in the lower right of the photo and how are they prepared?

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Not sure, but there seems to be a variety of colorfully striped crabs in that area. They're also a bit bigger than your average Gulf of Mexico or Chesapeake blue crab. Here's another striped one I had in Hong Kong:

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These pictures are awesome.  I have a question about the soup.  Do seahorses add a particular flavor or body to the soup, or are they added simply for health/medicinal value.  I see them sold in the Chinatown markets here in Manhattan, I was always curious how they are used.

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I believe their primary value is medicinal but they did not seem to contribute much flavor to the soup. It's fun to eat the remaining bodies as the bones become very brittle.

I think wrapping the tofu skin around with a seaweed ribbon is original.  A bit following Japanese food decorations.  :smile:

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Yes, that's what I was referring to.

#21 Kent Wang

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 10:30 PM

Guilin.

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Still not sure what these are. I started another thread attempting to identify them.

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A local specialty breed of chicken. The way they kill the bird is by smashing its head on the sidewalk right in front of you.

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Chicken soup. This breed of chicken is known for its flavor but is not very meaty.

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Stir-fried chicken.

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Candied taro. Note the threads of melted sugar. Once dipped in the bowl of water the sugar hardens and forms a sweet, crunchy layer around the taro.

A riverboat on the Lijiang River, going from Guilin to Yangshuo.

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The galley.

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Clockwise from top: freshwater shrimp, freshwater crabs, fish.

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Steamed freshwater fish.

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Sea snails.

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Shrimp.

Yangshuo.

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Sea snails stuffed with ground pork, a local specialty.

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Fish in beer, another local specialty. Honestly, because it's so spicy you can't really taste the beer used at all.

#22 mizducky

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 10:41 PM

These photos are fabulous, Kent. Many thanks for sharing them.

#23 hzrt8w

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 11:15 PM

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Still not sure what these are. I started another thread attempting to identify them.

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Porcupine?

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Candied taro. Note the threads of melted sugar. Once dipped in the bowl of water the sugar hardens and forms a sweet, crunchy layer around the taro.

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Did the waitstaff leave the candied taro with you to separate? When I served this dish (candied apple) while working as a waiter in San Diego, I always had to pull the candie apple pieces apart and dipped them in iced water for the customers. If we just left them with the whole dish, they usually didn't know what to do. After 3 minutes, the melted sugar cooled down and all the pieces glued together and they would have one big piece of candy (then they really didn't know what to do with it). :laugh: :laugh:
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#24 jo-mel

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 11:42 AM

Great pictures, Kent! Thanks!

Those 'furry things' in the cage. Did they move? Was there a front and back?

It is amazing what they can do on those galleys on the river boats! I just looked at my food logs on those boats, and the menues were pretty good!

On my first trip there, I was on a culinary tour with Hugh Carpenter (teaches, writes cookbooks and knows his Chinese food). As we were going down the pier, there was a fishing boat with some caught fresh fish - Li River Carp. Hugh bought some and asked the cooks on the tour boat if they would cook them for us. They did -- steamed with tomatoes, scallions and ginger. Couldn't be more fresh! There was another group on the boat and they were annoyed that we had the fish. (long story there)

#25 hzrt8w

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 12:02 PM

[...]
As we were going down the pier, there was a fishing boat with some caught fresh fish - Li River Carp. Hugh bought some and asked the cooks on the tour boat if they would cook them for us.  They did  -- steamed with tomatoes, scallions and ginger. Couldn't be more fresh!  There was another group on the boat and they were annoyed that we had the fish.  (long story there)

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Really? Tell us the story anyway! :biggrin:

My wife and I joined a packaged tour visiting Guilin. We did the Li River cruise like everybody else. But the meals were pre-packaged. Just common stuff... stir-fries... little bit of meat, lots of vegetable kind of dishes. It is typical of those tour packages run by Hong Kong companies. I am trying to have one of those tours in the future where we can take advantage of the low transportation and hotel rates (collective bargaining), but we will get our meals on our own. I wonder if that would be possible...

Edited by hzrt8w, 14 May 2006 - 12:04 PM.

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#26 Ben Hong

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:26 AM

The "special" chicken is the common Chinese ringneck pheasant which after being transplanted to North America from their native western and north China origins multiplied in their millions, especially in the great plains of Canada and the US. We in our region of east coast Canada have our own population. It is the most hunted of upland game, and I have travelled all over the continent hunting them.

#27 Kent Wang

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:10 PM

The "special" chicken is the common Chinese ringneck pheasant which after being transplanted to North America from their native western and north China origins multiplied in their millions, especially in the great plains of Canada and the US. We in our region of east coast Canada have our own population. It is the most hunted of upland game, and I have travelled all over the continent hunting them.

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So it's a pheasant and not actually a chicken?

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Kunming is known for its wild mushrooms.

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Pick out a few mushrooms...

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...and they'll make a big pot of soup.

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Tea from undried tea leaves. It has a pleasant greener, more chlorophyll taste.

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My dad being poured tea from a very long kettle.

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Yunnan Flavor Restaurant, also in Kunming.

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Dragon claw vegetable.

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Turtle stew.

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Qiguo chicken. The chicken is placed into the bowl without adding water, placed on a steamer and the steam flows in through the hole in the middle of the bowl and condenses to form the broth.

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Custard with Yunnan ham and scallions.

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A restaurant in Lijiang.

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Fried caterpillar and dragonfly.

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Fried sweet rice flour sticks.

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Yunnan ham.

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Fried fish.

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Another restaurant in Lijiang.

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Roasted Yunnan ham.

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Rice flour sheets.

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Fried silkworms.

#28 Pan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:54 PM

Great photos, Kent! What kind of floor show was that in that beautiful restaurant in Kunming?

#29 divalasvegas

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:20 PM

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Dragon claw vegetable.

Spectacularly gorgeous photos Kent. Thanks for your descriptions as well. BTW, what exactly is "dragon claw vegetable" and can you describe the taste? It kind of looks like the stalks from a rainbow swiss chard.
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#30 hzrt8w

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:54 PM

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My dad being poured tea from a very long kettle.

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:shock: :shock: :shock: How good was their aim? The water being poured was boiling hot, right? Wouldn't the water spill over the rim under high pressure?

The floor show looks like a dinner show on Yunnan's folk dances?

Also... was the Yunnan ham slices steamed? Would you characterize the taste? (My first thought was that they seemed a little dry but hopefully the taste was just right?)

Edited by hzrt8w, 15 May 2006 - 11:55 PM.

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