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basquecook

May 2014 China Trip

82 posts in this topic

Enjoying this thread immensely.

 

Thanks for posting.

 

dcarch

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Thanks everyone.. I appreciate you following along..   Unfortunately, i do not have access to the NY Times in China..  But, on a search, i noticed the article as well.. The last link you sent, is exactly what it was.. I did not notice the flavor as it was masked by the heavy ginger dressing.   it was more textural than anything..  I also have been fighting a cold for the last week.  

 

I vaguely remember the Chinese name being something like Bingcao, or Bingao.   I always get excited to try something new.  

 

I don't know if i mentioned this or not but, i am heading to Chengdu in the next week.. I leave on June 3rd.  I am fortunate enough to have been in touch with another egullet member, Peter Green, who put me in touch with a guide for that portion of the trip!  Really looking forward to 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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Thanks everyone.. I appreciate you following along..   Unfortunately, i do not have access to the NY Times in China..  But, on a search, i noticed the article as well.. The last link you sent, is exactly what it was.. I did not notice the flavor as it was masked by the heavy ginger dressing.   it was more textural than anything..  I also have been fighting a cold for the last week.  

 

I vaguely remember the Chinese name being something like Bingcao, or Bingao.   I always get excited to try something new.  

 

 

Ah.  Well, the pinyin for "冰菜" ("ice vegetable") (see my post above) I believe would be bīng cài (Liuzhou might confirm that if it is correct) so that would seem to be consistent with what you remembered.

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Incredible work basquecook - both the eating and the reportage. Keep it up, please!

 

Dumplings will henceforth always be "chaos" in my world… nice one.

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Well, the pinyin for "冰菜" ("ice vegetable") (see my post above) I believe would be bīng cài (Liuzhou might confirm that if it is correct)

 

Confirmed. 

 

It is also known as 冰 叶 (bīng yè), literally 'ice leaf'.

 

Mesembryanthemum crystallinum


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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worked through lunch

 

basically, these are peking duck pancakes (pinyin ?) filled with various things. from chinese sausage, to chicken, to duck.

 

14103384127_e5a066c1c5_z.jpg

 

I had a sausage and a like a bean curd string one.  

 

14289918795_540477ac5b_z.jpg

 

Hot tofu.

 

a little cilantro makes it pop

14103282418_82d716a7b6_z.jpg

 

Sweet bean.. Not a fan of this stuff. it's not bad but, it's not good either.  not good for me, that is

14103281368_c758a59613_z.jpg


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 don't understand:  does a peking duck pancake have peking duck included with the other things, i.e. peking duck, sausage and bean curd string?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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no, they are essentially, like wraps..  I was saying, the wraps are similar to what you would find served with Beijing or Peking Duck. each wrap contained vegetables and sauce.. The only variant was whether it had, duck, sausage, chicken, or bean curd strings.   It was from like a fast food healthy place supposedly.. last day at this one factory.. we gotta get things done. tons of tea, a few beers.  


Edited by basquecook (log)

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

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Got it. 

 

I have to love a factory where a few beers are acceptable at lunch or after.  I remember those days here, before zero-tolerance kicked in. 


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Yeh, I pretty much drink beers, eat pistachio nuts and Sichuan Peanuts while having a glass of tea every 20 minutes though out the day.. We get here around 730 am leave close to 730 at night.  lunch is at like 11:30..  I try to rattle them and tell them I am not hungry. they hold out as long as they can.  But, like 12:30 lunch for them is bordering on obscene.  I like to start negotiating around lunch time.  They will often just fold in order to get to lunch.  

 

I do this for however many days I spent at each place and then go to the next factory and it starts over.  


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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another lunch.   It's kind of cool, kind of disconcerting to my Western sensibilities.. It's kind of like tapas except, entire bowls of food that then make up smaller dishes are sitting out in 90 degree weather with the local insects buzzing about.... Have I mentioned yet, it's hot as hell here yet?


 


No, that's not Matzah Ball Soup.. More lion head meatball soup..   


 


14109296277_e73ede1de7_z.jpg


 


fried vegetable fritters.. there was onion, lotus root, carrots, a few other things..  my Americaness reaches for salt, there is none. but, it was really tasty.. 


 


14109205250_586f59a4e2_z.jpg


 


Fried tofu in hot chicken broth with some scallions


14109202560_b2f61d8426_z.jpg


 


pieces of pork rib surrounded by glutenous rice.. always delicious.. my wife would swim to China for this.. 


14295290204_d769cefa00_z.jpg


 


fish.. this was super salty.. i think they may have messed up.. but, good none the less.


14295836025_87a4b3c68b_z.jpg


 


a plate of mushrooms in a hot broth and also some more water spinach was not photographed. 


 


14295832925_c10cdc90ce_z.jpg

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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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The chaos translations are interesting.

 

I can't quite make out the Chinese in the 'Banana' example, but it certainly doesn't say 'banana'. It seems to say "炸春卷" which would make sense. It means 'fried spring rolls'. How they got from that to banana is anyone's guess. Maybe they have been smoking the banana skins.

 

It's the same with the Peach Juice. The Chinese clearly reads 'Fragrant Spicy Little Fish'. The jump to peach juice is inexplicable.

 

"Bean brain", on the other hand, is explainable. 豆脑 (dòu nǎo) does literally translate as 'bean brain'. However, the first character is an abbreviation for 豆腐 (dòu fu) or tofu. A better, though still imperfect translation, would be Tofu Brains. This is the name frequently used in northern China for what is more often known as 豆花 (dòu huā), or Tofu Flowers. It is a sweet dish made from very soft tofu (the northern variety is often served with soy sauce making it more savory.) It is usually sold by street vendors as a snack food. The 'tofu brain' variation comes from the dish's supposed resemblance to a dish of pig's brains. 

 

doufuhua.jpg

My local 'bean brain' vendor (although we use the 'tofu flower' name instead)

 

I can't make out the Chinese in the "Stir-fried Broccoli" example, other than the two characters, 玉米 (yù mǐ) which mean 'corn'. I'm guessing the Chinese is correct and they've been on the banana spliffs again.

 

and, finally the "Chaos". Actually, for once, they have got the translation absolutely perfect. 混沌 (hùn dùn) does indeed mean 'chaos'. What they have got wrong isn't the translation; it's the Chinese. What they meant was the superficially similar characters 馄饨 (hún tún), meaning 'wontons', as pictured. I'm so glad the Chinese language confuses the locals, too.

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Thanks for added information Liuzhou.   That is really interesting..

 

 

So last night in Zhangjiagang.. leaving for Yangzhou shortly, then off to Chengdu

 

 

The lawyer guy owns a piece of this Hunan Restaurant so we went there last night.. I stayed away from Rice Wine,, it was a lot more tame, to say the least..

14278601956_785496df8f_z.jpg

We worked late and shut the restaurant down.. 

 

14115187237_e329ece3e7_z.jpg

 

We drank wine from various fruits.. it was a low alcohol percent.   You can see that large bone display.. That is half a steer head, to display that we were eating a large plate of cow head.. 

 

My two favorite dishes were the fish head with spicy green peppers and spicy pork kidney.. Apparently, it is vary good for men's virility.  

 

Spicy bamboo

 

14301730625_038c7ccf48_z.jpg

 

This had a fried egg on the bottom of the pan and then bean noodles, various peppers and red onion.

 

14298378181_2827e638c8_z.jpg

 

This was the pork kidney

 

14115092750_7b8cd603fd_z.jpg

 

you can see to the right of the peanuts another interesting dish.. Stinky, stanky tofu. It was pretty extreme for me.  It was covered with ginger and garlic which helped mellow the taste.. I enjoyed it a lot like that.. I tried another piece on it's own and it was a lot more strong... When i thought of it as it was a blue cheese, it helped me enjoy it like that as well..  

 

I would not seek it out but, i don't mind it either.. 

 

14278583086_1124614ce8_z.jpg

 

There was an author dining with us and he bagged up the leftovers.. that made me feel good

 

 

8 more days!  off to yangzhou

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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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When I got back from the book store today at noon, the 'bean brain' woman was at the end of lane where I live, so I bought a small bowl of her brains, mainly to take a picture. 1.50元 ($0.24 USD / 14 pence UK). The bowl is 4½ inches in diameter and 2 inches deep.

 

douhua.jpg


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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that looks really good.. do they ever top that with Cilantro.. Is that similar to what i was served at lunch with the wraps?  

 

 

 

So I got to roll with Robyn again tonight... How cute is this kid?  I brought him his teenage mutant ninja turtle hat this afternoon and he met me for dinner wearing it tonight

 

14303427862_6aa16cd65c_z.jpg\\\\

 

He's my buddy for sure. 

 

14118792977_9d27c091e4_z.jpg\\

 

Went for BBQ tonight on Yummy Restaurant Street in Yangzhou

 

14118796727_70cfa7f151_z.jpg

 

Yang means lamb.. So, it's very fitting.

 

14118794807_a76fc30d66_z.jpg

 

This is serious business

 

14303416802_ca0aaffa43_z.jpg\\\

 

 

This was one of my favorites.. Wheat something or others..

 

14118779727_b1cfe2b6dc_z.jpg

 

Then came lamb, fish, garlic, bread, broccoli, banana, chicken wings

 

14118777717_1efd5a8b8b_z.jpg\

 

14303405382_cb0128d3cf_z.jpg

 

 

14325496993_7d26e53e3c_z.jpg

 

A whole bone in leg of lamb.

 

14301977381_e848995802_z.jpg

 

All covered in cumin and pepper and a really lovely spice mixture.. 

 

14325521383_7df1d58ae6_z.jpg

 

they gave us these long knives to carve the meat.. 

 

14118629409_4998f469da_z.jpg

 

i am so full.. geeze.. awesome though.  

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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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Thanks everyone.. I appreciate you following along..   Unfortunately, i do not have access to the NY Times in China..  But, on a search, i noticed the article as well.. The last link you sent, is exactly what it was.. I did not notice the flavor as it was masked by the heavy ginger dressing.   it was more textural than anything..  I also have been fighting a cold for the last week.  

 

I vaguely remember the Chinese name being something like Bingcao, or Bingao.   I always get excited to try something new.  

 

I don't know if i mentioned this or not but, i am heading to Chengdu in the next week.. I leave on June 3rd.  I am fortunate enough to have been in touch with another egullet member, Peter Green, who put me in touch with a guide for that portion of the trip!  Really looking forward to that.  

Awwwww!  I miss seeing Peter Green post.  Tell him I said "hi" if you speak to him again, please.

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that looks really good.. do they ever top that with Cilantro.. Is that similar to what i was served at lunch with the wraps?  

 

I've never seen it with cilantro myself, but as I mentioned before, in northern China they do savory versions. It certainly looks like the stuff you posted earlier, but you mentioned that one was hot, as I recall. I've never known it hot here in the south. 

 

I'm no expert, though. I don't really like it. In fact the pot I bought and pictured was then donated to my neighbor's kid who thought his birthday came early!

 

 

Then came lamb, fish, garlic, bread, broccoli, banana, chicken wings

 

Are you sure the banana was banana?

 

P.S. The 'yang' in Yangzhou doesn't mean 'lamb'. Totally different character. The 'yang' in Yangzhou means 'scatter' or 'spread'. Crazy language! 


Edited by liuzhou (log)

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yeh, it was banana.. it was strange, i didn't eat it as i have already had three bananas today..  But, it was peel and all on the grill.. they ordered three of them and I passed..   they peeled the banana and it had a nice caramelization.   maybe you can see on the menu sheet? you can see it in the photo above the fish skeleton on the furtherest part of the pan. i can assume it was rubbed with oil and grilled. 


Edited by basquecook (log)

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

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It's the same with the Peach Juice. The Chinese clearly reads 'Fragrant Spicy Little Fish'. The jump to peach juice is inexplicable.

 

I Google translated a recipe for Vin de Pêche the other days - and got the following  - I suspect it's because the fruit and the fish are spelled similarly in french.  

 

"

 
 
Rating: 3/5 (132 votes) Wine Fishing add3.jpg
Ingredients for 20 people
ajouteringredient.jpg glass d ' eau-de-vie   ajouteringredient.jpg 30 pieces of sugar caddy2.gif ajouteringredient.jpg 100 sheets of cute fish  

ajouteringredient.jpg 100 cl white wine

 

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lunch today at the hotel attached to our office.


 


 


tofu with pork bone sauce. 


 


14124766909_19f27da040_z.jpg


 


Spicy bamboo with hot green peppers,tiny shrimp and some mushrooms.. It's so rare to find fresh bamboo in new york.  It's awesome.. 


 


14306770431_76b854f9ab_z.jpg


 


Beef with dumplings and pickled and regular hot peppers.. 


 


14308084791_17faf8ac54_z.jpg


 


Clams with cucumbers in a broth. there were also some pickled peppers in this i believe.  


 


14124879828_76a8d52fd6_z.jpg


 


they ate here two nights prior to my arrival and the waitstaff forgot to bring out this pork dish.. So, as we were eating here for lunch they brought out an extra dish.. Pork belly with bean curd..The bean curd was twisted into knots.. My first thought was they were serving tied intestines but, it was bean curd.. sweat rich sauce..  very lovely.. 


 


Rice was served at the end of lunch.. It's 8 pm, i asked to skip dinner tonight and may just grab some bbq on the street later. it also wouldn't kill me to skip a meal either.


 


there was also more greens but, no photographed. 


 


14288494126_33f055bb38_z.jpg


 


 


bean curd knot. 


14308437511_960e6e4e3e_z.jpg



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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Those bean curd knots are commonly available in Chinese groceries in the USA, alongside various other forms of bean curd skin that you presumably know of.


Edited by huiray (log)

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I can't quite make out the Chinese in the 'Banana' example, but it certainly doesn't say 'banana'. It seems to say "炸春卷" which would make sense. It means 'fried spring rolls'. How they got from that to banana is anyone's guess. Maybe they have been smoking the banana skins.

 

It does seem to be 炸春卷 on blowing up the pic w/ some resolution enhancement.

 

I can't make out the Chinese in the "Stir-fried Broccoli" example, other than the two characters, 玉米 (yù mǐ) which mean 'corn'. I'm guessing the Chinese is correct and they've been on the banana spliffs again.

 

Looks like 香--玉米粒 from a (still fuzzy) blow-up/res enhanced pic, with the second character still unclear...does that help?

 

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I Google translated a recipe for Vin de Pêche the other days - and got the following  - I suspect it's because the fruit and the fish are spelled similarly in french.  

 

Rating: 3/5 (132 votes) Wine Fishing add3.jpg
Ingredients for 20 people
ajouteringredient.jpg glass d ' eau-de-vie   ajouteringredient.jpg 30 pieces of sugar caddy2.gif ajouteringredient.jpg 100 sheets of cute fish  

ajouteringredient.jpg 100 cl white wine

 

 

That recipe you translated (readily found from a Google search) does translate out as you show - but other recipes translate just fine, with "feuilles de pêcher" being rendered as "peach leaves" and "eau-de-vie" being rendered as "brandy" (true, somewhat generic there). 

 

Typing in "feuilles de pêcher mignon" into the dialog box in Google Translate Tools gives "peach leaves cute" (better than "cute fish", at least) with the alternatives for "mignon" being "pretty", "lovely" or "nice" from the drop-down contextual menu when one clicks on "cute".

 

trans1.jpg


Edited by huiray (log)

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