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basquecook

China, a Year of Dining

149 posts in this topic

BC: hope your understand how Lucky you are to have been able to attend the event you described.

worth the 2d hand smoke that cut off about 6 M off your life, maybe then only 4 M.

and i dont think its just the food, but the "Good Times had by All " puff puff.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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even better. truth be told, I bet it was High.

then again the CofP was there !

fantastic

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I bet you never saw anyone pay the bill.

Yes, but what is the problem that you are alluding to? if you were at that dinner, you would know who is footing the bill, and if you dont then you should not have been there. Chinese etiquette when it comes to paying the bill at official or even families dinning out is quite different from the practice in the western countries, although it is changing.

Is Shark's fin soup still popular?

dcarch

yes it is, although not in official government functions. I wish it would be less popular, because then it would be cheaper for those of us who do not see it any different from any other seafood, or foie gras, etc Better control to limit catches so that it is sustainable,yes, as in cod. anyways, this is getting off topic.

BC: i wish i could have the patience and perseverance or whatever to produce such a blog or thread of my trips to china which are usually more personal than business.

anyways, i look forward to reading more.

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It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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Chinese etiquette when it comes to paying the bill at official or even families dinning out is quite different from the practice in the western countries, although it is changing.

Yes, I am well aware of that, thank you.

I have a friend who runs a popular restaurant in a very popular tourist destination in China. You may even have been there. I won't name it for now. Every week the local police chief, his friends and various local government big shots turn up, eat the place out, get blind drunk and walk out without paying. There is nothing she can do. If she makes a fuss, she loses her licence to trade. End of story.

Another friend was opening a restaurant in another city and needed a fire certificate. The entire fire department turned up (about 20 people), ate dinner and walked out. What could friend do? Nothing. She needs the fire certificate.

Now, I'm not saying that is what happened in this case. Just that the stories you hear about corruption in China aren't exaggerated. If anything, they are understated. Corruption is everywhere.

I work closely with the restaurant business in China and hear this kind of thing almost every day.

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I may have missed it, but you seem not to have had two of Xi'an's signature dishes.

 

Apart from the cumin meat on sticks (which is available in every Chinese city, but particularly in Xi'an) almost everywhere sells 羊肉泡馍; yáng ròu pào mò, a dish of sliced mutton (Yangrou) which has been boiled with scallion, ginger, pepper, star anise, cumin and cinnamon served in a mutton soup with scallion, sliced cabbage, rice wine, bean noodles, to which hand torn pieces of a local flat bread (Paomo) are added. It is usually served with raw garlic and a chilli dipping sauce.

 

Yangrou_Paomo.jpg

Yang Rou Pao Mo

 

The oher is 肉夹馍; ròu jiá mò, affectionately known as Chinese hamburger to many people. 

 

It consists of an approximately 12-15 cm diameter circular flatbread, similar to a pitta but denser, which is halved and stuffed with a mixture of pre-stir- fried meat, usually lamb or beef, and chilli peppers, all heavily seasoned with cumin powder. They are eaten in restaurants or taken away. I lived on these when studying in Xi'an. They are still the first thing I go for when I go back. THey are available all over town, but of course, I have my favourite place - a tiny no name restaurant just outside the ancient city walls.

 

Rou_jia_mo.jpg
 


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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Unfortunately, the photos you had shown were not very appealing examples. But, i know the dishes you are referring to.

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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I have a friend who runs a popular restaurant in a very popular tourist destination in China. You may even have been there. I won't name it for now. Every week the local police chief, his friends and various local government big shots turn up, eat the place out, get blind drunk and walk out without paying. There is nothing she can do. If she makes a fuss, she loses her licence to trade. End of story.

Another friend was opening a restaurant in another city and needed a fire certificate. The entire fire department turned up (about 20 people), ate dinner and walked out. What could friend do? Nothing. She needs the fire certificate.

tries

agree it does happen, but as a good citizen perhaps you could use your hand/mobile/cell phone to record such events and post them on Weibo? This seems to be a popular form of ‘vigilante’ justice nowadays in china, and elsewhere.

corruption exists in every country and sociiety. Go watch cbc.ca on your PC or whatever, and see corruption being exposed at various levels of the government, the number of mayors in Montreal that had to resign in the past year, the scandals of the current mayor in Toronto, and the ongoing scandals of the senators expense claims in the canadian political system.

Sorry if this is totally out of topic, but may be relevant if you are attending official dinners involving public figures. In 3 words, there is ; no free lunch, as everyone on this forum would know..

Unfortunately, the photos you had shown were not very appealing examples. But, i know the dishes you are referring to.

yes the photos may not be very appealing and are terrible photos, but they do convey what i know of those 2 common and very popular street foods. They are actually better than what i have taken, and that is why i dont post photos in my postings here. There seems to be an obsession with photos of food porn quality in this forum

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It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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Peashoots:



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Ants climbing a branch.. made with sweet potato bean really, delicious



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Twice cooked pork



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Spicy goat or something with sichuan peppercorns, dried chile.



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Pork belly with some sort of preserved greens.. When asked the name of the vegetable, it only translated as Chinese Greens



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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Another dinner with the Chief of police:

We went to this fancy restaurant, this guy has three places.. He is about 40 years old, worked in the Shangri La hotel in Beijing and some other place.. He is a trained Malayasian, Thai, Chinese and Italian Chef. His restaurants are super fancy. One is Thai, one is Malay and this one is his newest Chinese Place.. The food is super fancy and pretty delicious.

We started with BBQ Pork Riblets and that sugary fried fish

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Then these greens with two dipping sauces:

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Lotus and seeds and fresh water chestnuts.. Water chestnuts were like nothing i have ever had in the US.. It was more like a dense yucca than those crunchy coins that come in cans.

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Spicy Eggplant

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Shrimp ground and served in like a fried bread with a mayo sauce:

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We were given the honor of cracking the shell with a spoon and drizzling the mayo sauce on top

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Happy Family Soup:

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Beef slices in the pickled, peppery sauce with mushrooms.. Third day in a row.. this was my favorite version

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Chicken stuffed inside pork stomach

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Durian pastry:

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Now the chef owner comes over with a box of various homemade chile condiments

there is chile oil with bacon, chile oil with dried shrimp and shredded beef, there is chile oil with pickled vegetables, chile oil with mushrooms, chile oil with ginger, peanuts and garlic.

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He brings out buns and he is filling these buns with his chile mixtures

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The he brings over a dish that he is working on. Pork elbow slices with a shit load of peppers.. super spicy.

that is a thyme branch

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People from other tables are coming over.. we are drinking whiskey, and beer and this guy is roaming around chugging full glasses of red wine.. Chugging red wine is a thing here.. The night ends with him bringing over a bottle of Vodka. An expensive one, maybe grey goose.. I tell them about bloody mary's and i tell them about screw drivers.. no one has had one.. i tell them, it's for breakfast.. we end the night slamming down a glass with half vodka, half watery, yellow looking oj..


Edited by basquecook (log)
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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Back to Yangzhou for lunch

I have had that shredded tofu dish in a few places around China.. Nothing comes close to how good it is in Yangzhou. Even like 1.5 hours away, they can't make these tofu strips..

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Bean Curd

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Crepes

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Sichuan fried chicken.. They had these mushrooms that looked like sticks.. Fried pieces of bone in chicken, tons of peppers and onions, brow sauce.

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Crispy duck with plum sauce and pancakes.

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Duck Soup:

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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A quick breakfast in Guangzhou

My first attempt was a good one at this dumpling stand.. Guy had a big wok with a little pool of oil.. He was selling 10 dumplings for 3 or 42 cents, roughly.. They were delicious, i would say along the lines of a prosperity dumpling

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Next we found this little store front.. They were making pork shumai and these little mini bao tze, filled with juicy pork. This was closer to 8 rmb for the pair.

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One guy made the shumai, one guys made the bao

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A good way to s tart the day for sure

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The buns were my favorite as i have never seen them so little before.. super juicy.

here are the shumai close up.. sorry if i am spelling it incorrectly.

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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This was a Hunanese Restaurant that we found walking around one day in Guanzhou. My friend and I who I met over there, we both don't speak Chinese so, we were happy they had photos of some of the items.. we managed to bang out a really nice meal. We were the only Americans and there was a 25 minute wait, we figured it was a good sign.. The food was really lovely.

On the table they provided seaweed or some type of kelp in a very spicy sauce..

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We then had fried peanuts in Black Vinegar

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Cold spicy pig ears.. This was exceptional.. Lots of cilantro that added a nice freshness.

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This is actually a Cantonese Dish but, hey, we are in Canton. I love this dish and am happy that i had a chance to eat it. Super garlicky bean thread noodles over steamed scallops

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Spicy chicken with bamboo over a sterno.. super spicy oil was frying. the table next to us started coughing from the fumes.

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Greens with pork

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Ribs with gelatinous rice flavored with lotus leaf. the ribs were cooked with the rice.. the rice soaked up all the fat from the pork. there were parts of the rice that were super fatty and just delicious. This was really great too.

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This is one of my favorite hunan dishes.. Fish head.. The fish head is split down the middle so, one side gets green the other side gets red.. The sauce is this wine, sauce and hot chile oil. It's rich and sweet, spicy and sour. So great.

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i think there may be like an eyeball left in there.. one can ask for noodles at this point to have them tossed in the sauce but, we were out of room.

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with 4 22's of beer, lunch was less than 50 dollars.


Edited by basquecook (log)
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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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I was picked up and taken to a group dinner at a very traditional, village type restaurant, it was described by my host as.



The company was strange. Some weird dude from Copenhagen named Lars, his "female companion" and a few sales people.. Many people were drinking wine and sprite.



Food starts flying out..



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I think that is roasted goat on the left.. a big thing of muddy fish in the middle with noodles, which was excellent.



Then comes that really barnyardy meatballs in a strange green soup.. I ate it and enjoyed it this time. A time when red wine actually went well with chinese food.



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Meat dumplings in a broth.. Lots of chicken skin mixed in with the broth and the dumplings.



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There was dish that had beef slices over french fries.. It was actually pretty good.. the beef was good and it was in this thickened beef sauce that was served over the fries.. I really liked it. There was dried fish, there was these glutinous things that at first i thought were razor clams in this pesto type dressing.. it was not basil but, a green herb with oil and garlic that also went well with the red wine.. I was switching between red wine and beer. They kept filling my drink so, guy to my right gave me wine, person to my left gave me beer. There were local greens mixed with 1,000 year old eggs, stewed greens, rice with greens, spicy cabbage with pork, steamed shrimp with corn.. Lots of food, it just kept coming..



Good food. Not the best company but, sometimes, not be able to speak the same language is a good thing.




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Edited by basquecook (log)
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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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yup, sunflower seeds. Normally there are peanuts, this was one of the first times we were given sunflower seeds.

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Wow! Wow! Amazing. Stupendous. Just keep it coming, basquecook and we'll all keep watching and reading.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I requested we go for some Sichuan Food:Thick gluttonous noodles with the classic Sichuan Combination of hot and a little vinegar

This was one of the better dishes of the night:

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Interesting.. there were a lot of pine nuts in this dish: Little pieces of lamb

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Sliced fish in spicy broth:

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This was my favorite dish of the night.. It was little bits of chicken on the bone served with something similar if not exactly like yucca.It was served in a spicy and fatty chicken broth..

This, chinese rice wine, airborne and nyquil make for a lovely cold remedy.This dish was awesome.

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Fried live shrimp on a skewer.. This is just like the little shrimp I get in chinatown. The were sweet and delicious.

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Cumin lamb ribs with peanuts and peppers.. Amazing too

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A little cold goose never hurt nobody

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Spicy tofu:

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Not a bad dinner for 4,I think it came out to something like 35 dollars:

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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We started with some spicy duck web:

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Shredded bean curd: In a sesame oil

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Spicy pig stomach: served with some chinese vinegar.

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This is interesting.. It was beef with noodles in a Coconut Broth. I asked my guy if this was Chinese and he was pretty adamant about saying yes. Though, these guys are pretty nationalistic. There was some sort of pause during the conversation when I was telling them that Dodge was an American Company . I think they were like, yeh, right, let this stupid American think they invented everything.

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Pork Buns: steamed and then browned on the bottom with sesame seeds:

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More of the reddish green greens.

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Beijing Duck: It was not the best but, it was not bad. Crispy skin, juicy meat, what's not to like.


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Sliced fish with fresh bamboo.. One thing I missed about Chinese Cuisine in China is the access to Fresh Bamboo.. Nothing beats it, it is so awesome.

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Everyone full yet?

But wait, there's more:

Clear rice noodle with crab.. The crab was cooked in the noodles in such a way that much of the flavor of the crab was imparted in the noodles. Kind of like a crab rice. there is also mushrooms in the sauce. Crab meat was wonderful.. i love dipping crab into the vinegar.

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More duck soup. Lots of duck soup..

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This was one of the more complete Yangzhou rices I have had so far. Little pieces of thousand year old eggs, little shrimp, bits of eggs, peas, carrots, some onions.. Delicious. Best fried rice I have had by a long shot. The egg was ribboned through out the dish. I don't know how they could have done that.

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Tell me about the duck web. What part of the duck is that? I have a guess, but I don't want to look silly lol.

Or, rather, sillier than normal ;)

You can buy duck web (uncooked) here in stores in NYC. They are like chicken feet except boneless.

I have no idea how they manage to remove the bones.

dcarch

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basquecook, I am curious about the amount of vegetarianism in China. Although you have been treated to some lovely vegetarian dishes, I am surprised by the amount and variety of meat in some meals. Is meat considered a sign of prosperity, a necessary menu item when entertaining a 'foreigner?' Do the Chinese really eat that much meat in their meals? And yes, I realize that there are various religious limits on food, such as with the Muslim district.

I'm not sure about the proportion of Buddhists or Daoists in China, but are there many people who join in these meals but do not partake in the meat dishes? And perhaps this is a question that I should address to others on this forum as well, but I am curious about your experience while being in China.

I love all the photos you have posted and you still have notes to identify the food you ate over so many meals! Wow. I admire your organization or your memory.

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