Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

eG Foodblog: nakji (2011) - Gong Xi Fa Cai - goodbye Tiger; hello Rabb


nakji
 Share

Recommended Posts

OMG all of that food looks so good!!! The pork....droooooling....

:biggrin: That's why I was so confused about the time difference there...I kept trying to calculate why New Year's there was so much earlier than here :laugh: :laugh:

Well, you were one up on me.

Shelby, I didn't see any more of those Lemon Iced Tea chips today, although I will admit - I didn't look too hard.

I really wasn't....I'm not very good at math :laugh:

I suspect that they've removed that flavor from the shelves. :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Truc to release dirt clinging to greens: try this. Fill sink with water adding 2-4 drops of anionic detergent, wetting agent or DAWN liquid dish detergent [not soap]. Add greens, swish a bit, and let them lie around a tiny while. Drain & rinse. Don't think the word "chemical" = evil, & the label "green" = benign. NO WAY!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone, somewhere recently posted that they prefer this recipe for RCP to the one provided in Revolutionary Cuisine: I agree - this one came out the best I've ever done. Although I also used palm sugar, which may have made a difference.

That was me again! :laugh: I do think the Sichuan Cookery one tastes better (more syrupy and sticky) but the biggest attraction was not having to make a caramel first like the Revolutionary one has you do, which I kind of hate as it's hard to get right in the claypot I use.

Where do you get the duck sausage? Is it with all the other sausages? I've always thought they were all pork.

The two kinds of sausages I always see sold together (both in Chinese BBQ shops and Chinese supermarkets), in Sydney anyway, are 1) pork and 2) duck liver.

So duck liver lup cheong are pretty common but usually a little darker than the ones nakji showed - these may be liver-less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday it was really cold here in NYC, I was chilled to the bone and I really needed something to warm me up. Then I saw that photo of those potato chips, including the ones with MaLa flavor, so I took it as a sign. I ordered up some Ma Po Dofu (called Ma Paul Tofu in this particular restaurant), and ate it as I continued to enjoy the blog. It definitely did the trick. (fwiw- those are the only flavor of chips from that shelf that I'd probably get if I had the chance).

Great job so far, I'm really enjoying it- especially the shots in the markets.

Edited by TongoRad (log)

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OMG all of that food looks so good!!! The pork....droooooling....

:biggrin: That's why I was so confused about the time difference there...I kept trying to calculate why New Year's there was so much earlier than here :laugh: :laugh:

Well, you were one up on me.

Shelby, I didn't see any more of those Lemon Iced Tea chips today, although I will admit - I didn't look too hard.

I really wasn't....I'm not very good at math :laugh:

I suspect that they've removed that flavor from the shelves. :laugh:

I may go out today to find out. They're too crazy to be missed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Truc to release dirt clinging to greens: try this. Fill sink with water adding 2-4 drops of anionic detergent, wetting agent or DAWN liquid dish detergent [not soap]. Add greens, swish a bit, and let them lie around a tiny while. Drain & rinse. Don't think the word "chemical" = evil, & the label "green" = benign. NO WAY!!

I'm not sure the ionic charge of Chinese dish detergent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone, somewhere recently posted that they prefer this recipe for RCP to the one provided in Revolutionary Cuisine: I agree - this one came out the best I've ever done. Although I also used palm sugar, which may have made a difference.

That was me again! :laugh: I do think the Sichuan Cookery one tastes better (more syrupy and sticky) but the biggest attraction was not having to make a caramel first like the Revolutionary one has you do, which I kind of hate as it's hard to get right in the claypot I use.

Where do you get the duck sausage? Is it with all the other sausages? I've always thought they were all pork.

The two kinds of sausages I always see sold together (both in Chinese BBQ shops and Chinese supermarkets), in Sydney anyway, are 1) pork and 2) duck liver.

So duck liver lup cheong are pretty common but usually a little darker than the ones nakji showed - these may be liver-less.

You're right about the recipe. Making caramel in my claypot is tough, too, as you can see it's really dark, so it's difficult to tell what stage the sugar is at. And the palm sugar was a real keeper.

As for the sausage, there were darker sausages next to these balls - I probably just grabbed the wrong ones. But I liked the ball for its unusual shape.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday it was really cold here in NYC, I was chilled to the bone and I really needed something to warm me up. Then I saw that photo of those potato chips, including the ones with MaLa flavor, so I took it as a sign. I ordered up some Ma Po Dofu (called Ma Paul Tofu in this particular restaurant), and ate it as I continued to enjoy the blog. It definitely did the trick. (fwiw- those are the only flavor of chips from that shelf that I'd probably get if I had the chance).

Great job so far, I'm really enjoying it- especially the shots in the markets.

Glad you're enjoying it! Mapo doufu is perfect for cold weather, and when you get a sign like that, it's time to act. You're right about the chips. Although I'd probably also give the lamb-cumin a go, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lily bulbs that I have seen (through gardening rather than cooking) are more segmented, like a head of garlic. I know, you want to know what your bulbs are, rather than what they aren't.

Re Diana Kennedy: I grabbed my well-worn Art of Mexican Cooking to see where the pages fell open.

Bricklayer’s eggs (huevos al albanil) are a revelation. The recipe tolerates chile substitutions pretty well, although the sauce is best with pasilla chiles in the mix. Potatoes fried with chile sauce (papas chirrionas) are also wonderful if you can find tomatillos.

If you can spare a few hours and can find raw pumpkin seeds or something similar, chicken in red country mole (pollo en mole rojo sencillo) is delightful and relatively simple for a mole. Ms. Kennedy also blesses using the sauce with pork loin, although I think it would be killer (if apparently non-traditional) with slow-cooked cubes of pork butt.

Thanks, Bruce! I've got Diana Kennedy out, and dog-eared to those recipes. Today, I attempt the mole, the bricklayer's eggs, and the potatoes with tomatoes on the other side of the page from the papas chirrionas, since I don't think I can get tomatillos, somehow.

Wish me luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Bruce! I've got Diana Kennedy out, and dog-eared to those recipes. Today, I attempt the mole, the bricklayer's eggs, and the potatoes with tomatoes on the other side of the page from the papas chirrionas, since I don't think I can get tomatillos, somehow.

Wish me luck.

Consider luck sent your way. We made the potatoes with tomatoes a long time ago – my notes say “not bad”, which is faint praise. We did use a similar sauce for the last two meals and quite enjoyed it, so I will be very interested to see how it works for you. Thin the sauce with chicken stock if it seems too thick and starts to stick or burn.

So, out of the billion or so people in China, how many others do you think will be cooking a Mexican feast tonight? :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I don't know...ten or so? :biggrin:

Someone said in China, even if you're one in a million, there are still a thousand people just like you!

Or something like that. As I've proven, math is not one of my stronger skills.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're right about the recipe. Making caramel in my claypot is tough, too, as you can see it's really dark, so it's difficult to tell what stage the sugar is at. And the palm sugar was a real keeper.

Oooh, what kind of palm sugar is it? Is it dark? Where did you get it?

As for the sausage, there were darker sausages next to these balls - I probably just grabbed the wrong ones. But I liked the ball for its unusual shape.

I used to think all Chinese sausage was the same but recently I got some from Carrefour that reminded me of good dry Spanish chorizo, a little spicy, not sweet at all like most Chinese sausages. It comes in a large diameter log (about double the usual) and looks a little red from the spice. I'm thinking about getting a meat slicer and eating it raw like chorizo—though I've also cooked with it and it's delicious. The ham here would be good for that too, as it's similar to jamon serrano. Ah, charcuterie, I miss that even more than the cheese.

So, out of the billion or so people in China, how many others do you think will be cooking a Mexican feast tonight? :smile:

Maybe a few hundred. I know at least a handful of Mexican families, including one whose daughter goes to the school that my girlfriend teaches at. They had an international day where all the students brought food from their native countries and they brought tamales and tacos, all very good and they were from Veracruz. Boy was I (pleasantly) surprised.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oooh, what kind of palm sugar is it? Is it dark? Where did you get it?

I brought it with me from Canada - I bought it bulk at a health food shop, so not sure exactly what kind it was.

I used to think all Chinese sausage was the same but recently I got some from Carrefour that reminded me of good dry Spanish chorizo, a little spicy, not sweet at all like most Chinese sausages. It comes in a large diameter log (about double the usual) and looks a little red from the spice. I'm thinking about getting a meat slicer and eating it raw like chorizo—though I've also cooked with it and it's delicious. The ham here would be good for that too, as it's similar to jamon serrano. Ah, charcuterie, I miss that even more than the cheese.

I'll have to experiment - there's a smoked pork loin that I use for soups all the time.

Maybe a few hundred. I know at least a handful of Mexican families, including one whose daughter goes to the school that my girlfriend teaches at. They had an international day where all the students brought food from their native countries and they brought tamales and tacos, all very good and they were from Veracruz. Boy was I (pleasantly) surprised.

Yes, there's a sizable community in Beijing, too; isn't there? Of course, they could all be going out for Chinese tonight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sky is lit up...like the fourth of July, I guess.

Happy real New Year!

First thing, I decided to run out to my local wet market to pick up some fresh tomatoes for my Mexican Chinese New Year feast.

On my way out the door, my neighbours were putting up their "antithetical couplets" for luck. The diamond has the character "fu" - "luck" on it. I'm not sure why it's posted upside down. Anyone?

gallery_41378_6890_131345.jpg

gallery_41378_6890_493005.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted to swing by a local baozi window for lunch, but they were shut - the only baozi available on the street were from the convenience store, which are worst-case-scenario-on-your-way-home-from-the-pub-Mr.Dibbler-sausages-baozi.

So I just carried on to the wet market.

I was a bit worried after that that it would be shut, but fortunately it was quiet but open.

gallery_41378_6890_755910.jpg

I have a particular booth I always go to - I think as a market shopping strategy, you really need to be faithful and establish relationships.

There was a window selling sesame cakes and egg pancakes, but they weren't hot off the grill, so I decided to wait for home.

gallery_41378_6890_189332.jpg

It was nice to see my regular vendors and wish them "Happy New Year" - before I started the vegetable delivery, I saw them every day, but I still see them most weekends. It's becoming fairly obvious to me just from writing this blog that I spend a lot of time sourcing vegetables. They were very gracious and agreed to pose for photos, although halfway through the Missus' she shouted, "Wait!", and when I jumped and said, "Sorry." she said, "No - no - I was wearing my apron - let me take it off" and we had a good laugh and tried again.

gallery_41378_6890_602482.jpg

The Laoban - As you can see, they're a reliable source for beansprouts.

gallery_41378_6890_448266.jpg

Their beautiful selection:

gallery_41378_6890_284201.jpg

gallery_41378_6890_315870.jpg

Some more pickles for Helen. Kent, do you know what this is?

gallery_41378_6890_14522.jpg

And when I got home: lunch. A different sort of pickle: Cheddar and Branston sandwich.

gallery_41378_6890_214971.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been inspired by our old-fashioned cake topic to make dessert for dinner tonight. I'd picked up a fresh pineapple yesterday at Carrefour with the intent of making it part of my five-a-day, and what better way to pad your five-a-day than with cake? I'm pretty sure this is the intent of that program.

I found this elegant little recipe online that called for fresh pineapple. I really liked how half the pineapple is the topping, and the other half is juiced for the cake. I didn't have a seasoned cast-iron pan, so I baked it in a regular pan.

gallery_41378_6890_16319.jpg

The recipe called for dark rum, so I substituted bourbon, which is pretty much the only liquor I reliably have in the house. (And a crusty bottle of Cointreau I use for cooking - but I didn't think that would strike the right note.) With ground cardamon and fresh vanilla bean in the cake, I was having second thoughts about even getting it into the oven.

What can I say, cocktail guys? I drink wine.

The finished product:

gallery_41378_6890_415758.jpg

Actually, kind of reminds me of the pork from yesterday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And to dinner prep: I finally cracked the spine on Diana Kennedy, which I've been hanging on to since my birthday last July. I bought chilies in Toronto before I even had the book, and hand-carried them, along with raw pumpkin seeds back into China. Never mind packing, you know clothes, or anything in my luggage; I have my priorities in order.

Thanks to Bruce, I chose pollo en mole rojo sencillo, from "Art of Mexican Cuisine"; Huevos al albanil; and papas guisadas.

Prep:

Roasting tomatoes:

gallery_41378_6890_154913.jpg

Well-travelled chilis and pumpkin seeds:

gallery_41378_6890_248921.jpg

gallery_41378_6890_253409.jpg

I'm beginning to think I should invest in some oven pans, too - after seeing all these tin pans in my pictures. Hmm.

The wok becomes comal:

gallery_41378_6890_144300.jpg

I really am going to get that Vita-mix. I've sold myself on it already. Seed paste together with chili paste:

gallery_41378_6890_39774.jpg

The final sauce, ready to be cooked down.

gallery_41378_6890_72834.jpg

Thanks to the mole, my range now looks like an out-take from Dexter. Spatter analysis says: guajillo with traces of pasilla.It definitely got wiped down today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Friends from last night showed up again tonight for a re-take on our New Year's meal. I rounded out the dishes with some other additions.

First, I have to flog Jaymes' salsa, which I first read about in our Diana Kennedy topic. It is simplicity itself, takes all of three minutes to make, and usually sends people I make it for into flights of superlative. What I like best about it is that it doesn't have pesky chunks, like those bottled salsas from the 90's, that end up littering the landscape around the rim of the bowl with sad little chunks of discarded bell pepper.

gallery_41378_6890_128041.jpg

So yeah, I served that with lime tortilla chips /shame/

(Everyone is seeing every dish I own - over and over. That's the pork claypot from last night.)

The star of the night: the potatoes - Bruce, you only had faint praise for this? Day-um. I need to cook more from this book. This recipe has the benefit for me of not having any ingredients that I have to hand-carry into the country in it. Well, I substituted Holland chilis for serranos. Please, no one tell Diana. I'll be making these again.

gallery_41378_6890_12651.jpg

I shall not make again: (as I used up my complete chili supply on it - except for a small bag of cascabels)

The mole:

gallery_41378_6890_267436.jpg

Hmm. I expected it to have more heat. Since I've never tried a mole before, I was surprised. The process reminded me a lot of putting together African Chicken, which - being honest - I think I like a lot more than this particular mole. I'll have to try a range of different moles.

A salad from vegetables I had in the fridge:

gallery_41378_6890_84345.jpg

Dressing made with blended onion, lemon juice, sugar, garlic, salt, and oil.

The Huevos:

gallery_41378_6890_133740.jpg

This recipe threw me. She says break up the eggs, but not to beat them. But then to stir them into the chili sauce? Are they supposed to remain whole eggs? Or are they more of an omelet? I semi-scrambled them, then let them set. I'd appreciate any guidance. They were delicious, either way - this proportion of guajillos to pasillas made an excellent sauce.

And the mahogany red of everything makes this quite an auspicious meal, from a Chinese standpoint. Ahem.

No hope of masa, so I served the lot with white rice rather than corn tortillas. We're only now getting comfortable enough to consider dessert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some more pickles for Helen. Kent, do you know what this is?

gallery_41378_6890_14522.jpg

Pickled mustard greens, I believe. Perhaps the most consumed (in terms of quantity) of the pickles in China. You'll often just chop it up and toss it into various stir-fries.

Hmm. I expected it to have more heat. Since I've never tried a mole before, I was surprised. The process reminded me a lot of putting together African Chicken, which - being honest - I think I like a lot more than this particular mole. I'll have to try a range of different moles.

I took a cooking class in Oaxaca on how to make moles. So once you get that Vita-Mix (or Blendtec, that may be cheaper and/or better) I'll come over and tell you if it tasted right. :wink:

The big variant of course is which chilies you get. I think you could even do fairly well if you just use dried Chinese chilies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The freshness of even dried chiles can make a difference. I just made some chile colorado over the weekend with what I knew were old pods, but I wanted to clean out the cabinet and make use of them anyway. In the end the flavor definitely needed a bit of punch. Also- I am not familiar with Diane Kennedy's recipes (definite mea culpa on that, but my other resources haven't been too bad) but most moles that I have made needed more salt than the recipe has called for, and that can make a big difference.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . .

And when I got home: lunch. A different sort of pickle: Cheddar and Branston sandwich.

gallery_41378_6890_214971.jpg

Now we're talking! One of my favourite lunch sandwiches. But I am so jealous of all the amazing food you are buying and preparing. Thanks for taking us all along.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some more pickles for Helen. Kent, do you know what this is?

gallery_41378_6890_14522.jpg

Pickled mustard greens, I believe. Perhaps the most consumed (in terms of quantity) of the pickles in China. You'll often just chop it up and toss it into various stir-fries.

Hmm. I expected it to have more heat. Since I've never tried a mole before, I was surprised. The process reminded me a lot of putting together African Chicken, which - being honest - I think I like a lot more than this particular mole. I'll have to try a range of different moles.

I took a cooking class in Oaxaca on how to make moles. So once you get that Vita-Mix (or Blendtec, that may be cheaper and/or better) I'll come over and tell you if it tasted right. :wink:

The big variant of course is which chilies you get. I think you could even do fairly well if you just use dried Chinese chilies.

You know? I was thinking that when I was prepping them. Which ones, do you think?

I've seen Vita-mixes on Taobao. Hmm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The freshness of even dried chiles can make a difference. I just made some chile colorado over the weekend with what I knew were old pods, but I wanted to clean out the cabinet and make use of them anyway. In the end the flavor definitely needed a bit of punch. Also- I am not familiar with Diane Kennedy's recipes (definite mea culpa on that, but my other resources haven't been too bad) but most moles that I have made needed more salt than the recipe has called for, and that can make a big difference.

Yes! I salted aggressively throughout, thinking that would help. I added some lemon at the end, too.

I'm thinking the age of the chilies was a factor - even though I had them in the freezer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and led us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By FoodMuse
      Hello everyone,
      eGullet was nice enough to invite me to write a food blog chronicling what I've made or eaten out for one week. I'm so excited about it! Thanks guys.
      About me:
      I dream about food, I wake thinking what's for dinner and I'm so excited to share it with you. I'm part of the food world in New York. By that, I just mean that I'm so fortunate enough to be invited to great events where I get to eat great food. I'm also a nerd and a part of the technology world. I produce, edit and sometimes host food related web videos and I'm also a part of the tech world.
      I'm launching a website called Please, Pass the Gravy. www.pleasepassthegravy.com We let you create a menu, invite friends and then collaborate on that menu. Never host another potluck with 8 pasta salads. You could use it now, but we're alpha launch, it works but it's ugly. It's my ugly baby. So, if you use it be kind and message me if you have improvement ideas. I thought it would be ok to write about it here because it is food related.
      I live in Brooklyn with a lovely guy who likes to eat and a small corgi mix dog. I cook pretty much every night and do a nice brunch on the weekend. I am not a crazy dog lady, but I do admit to cooking food for the dog. I have an excuse, beyond doting, he had seizures that have stopped since not feeding him dog food.
      Foods I cook:
      Spicy foods! If you look at my blog I have a simple papaya ketchup with habanero that is pretty darn good.
      I love great cheese. This may be the week for Beer Cheese Soup.
      I try to limit carbs, though I do cheat.
      In any given week C. and I probably eat cauliflower, broccoli and green beans as a side.
      Tonight's dinner will be Vietnamese inspired. We'll see how it goes. I'll post about it as soon as I can.
      Any requests? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.
      -Grace
    • By Duvel
      In these challenging times, a full summer vacation is not an easy task. For the last 1.5 years we have been mostly at home with the clear plan to visit Catalonia (or more precise my wife’s family) latest this summer. And it looked good for a while. Unfortunately, the recent rise in case numbers in Spain have resulted in …
       
      OK, let’s skip this part. Long story short - my wife and me are fully vaccinated, as are >90% of the people we care about in Catalonia. After some discussion (after all, Germans tend to prefer to be on the safe side of things) we simply fueled up the car, got each a test (for the transit through France) and started to drive …
       
      After a leisurely 11h drive we arrived at a small fishing town somewhat north of Barcelona around 3.00am. We unloaded the car and my wife an the little one went straight to bed. 
       

       


      I found an expired beer in the elsewise pretty empty fridge and enjoyed the cool breeze on the terrace. Holidays, here we come …
       

    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By shain
      It's been more than a year in which international travel was challenging to impossible, but gladly this is changing, as more countries are able to vaccinate their population.
      Greece had managed to return to a state of near normality, and opted to allow vaccinated individuals to enter. And so I decided to go on a slightly spontaneous vacation (only slightly, we still had almost a month for planning). To the trip I was joined by my father, to whom I owed some good one-on-one time and was able to travel on a short-ish notice.
       
       
      Many people are yet unable to travel, and many countries are suffering quite badly from the virus, and therefore I considered if I should wait some time with this post. However, I hope that it will instead be seen with an optimistic view, showing that back-to-normal is growing ever closer.
       
       
      We returned just a few days ago, and it will take me some time to organize my photos, so this is a teaser until then.
       
       
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...