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liuzhou

Filming Dinner

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I was going to post this in the Dinner topic, but I realised it was going to be a long story and didn't want to hijack the fine entries over there.

Dinner last night was interesting, but strange.

 

For reasons known only to themselves, the local television station decided to make a short program highlighting the local food specialities. They took over this lovely organic restaurant in a forest park area to the north of the city.

 

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We climbed up to the the third floor passing various dining rooms.

 

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until we reached this large room at the top.

 

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These people are not eating. They are working. This is apparently how many people it takes to make a short television program. Lighting people, food stylists etc. Cameramen, too. They were taking still shots the time. It became apparent that I wasn't needed at this point, so I went for a walk around the restaurant grounds.

 

The restaurant is right beside the river which is in itself a symbol of the city. An old name for the city was 龙城 (lóng chéng), which means Dragon City, so-called because the river is said to resemble a dragon's tail looping through the city. I don't know. My local bakery is still called Long Cheng Bakery, for example.

 

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The restaurant is at the red dot top right.  I live at the blue dot in the centre.

 

The river is also the source of the restaurant's fish and one other important ingredient that I will come to.

 

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The chickens and ducks live right beside the restaurant.

 

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As do the vegetables

 

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and the fruit.

 

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Then I went back inside to see what, if anything was happening.

 

 


Edited by liuzhou typos (log)
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Back upstairs, I found that a load of food ingredients had arrived and were spread out on various tables. One glance and I knew exactly what they were for.

 

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The yellowish stuff is dried tofu skin. This is formed when making tofu and the bean and water mix is heated then left to cool. This skin forms on top like skin on boiled milk, and is scooped out and dried. The box front left holds the unprocessed skin, while top right is another box of the same stuff fried. The red bag contains the other ingredient from the river.

 

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River Snails

We also have:

 

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Dried rice noodles

 

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Garlic, ginger and chilli. The holy trinity of local food.

 

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Spices

 

There were also chickens , pork and green vegetables on other tables.

 

In a corner a large pot was bubbling away on a portable burner. It contained a bright red stock containing

 

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Meaty Pork Bones

 

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Chicken

 

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River Snails

 

and the holy trinity, spices and pickled bamboo shoots.

 

This is the stock for Liuzhou's signature dish - Luosifen (Snail noodles) 螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn.

 

Dinner was almost ready.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I sat chatting with a young woman who spoke excellent English. During the conversation she mentioned she had studied in Beijing, but then did a master's degree in St. Andrews. I was so surprised. She is the only Chinese person I know who has even heard of the place. Then I surprised her by telling her that I was born in St. Andrews. Small world, indeed.

 

Then we noticed that two tables had been set for dinner and food had appeared from the restaurant kitchen below.

 

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Cauliflower with bacon.

 

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Braised Tofu Skin

 

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Beef with baby lotus roots

 

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Stir fried green chilli with salted black beans.

 

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Poached chicken

 

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Chicken Soup

 

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Pickled vegetables and jujubes

 

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Garlic scapes with tiny river shrimp

 

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and of course snails.

 

The television crew descended on our table and I was presented with a bowl of Luosifen

 

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and some stewed ducks feet.

 

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I was given strict instructions not to eat any until the director said the Chinese equivalent of "Camera! Action!" This took a while, although I was permitted to sample the other goodies on offer in the meantime.

 

Finally I was Instructed to take a mouthful of luosifen and make suitably appreciative noises. I was given the go-ahead and dived in. Three second later the director shouted "Cut!"

 

This went on three or four times until he was satisfied. Then he moved on to other people eating other dishes.

 

Finally, he decided he was hungry and went off to join another table and we got on with enjoying our meal.

 

I realise I was being the token foreigner again, but hey, a free dinner! Delicious and a lot of fun.

 

 


Edited by liuzhou typos (log)
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17 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Yes. It was 37ºC/98.6F and very humid. It always is here.

 

That's about what we had yesterday.  I did not eat outside.

 

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I'm fine with hot and humid. Better if warm and comfortable...but summer in all its forms is fine with me.

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48 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Me too. You get used to it. The restaurant was air-conditioned though.

 

Oh it looked open air!

 

P.S. I never get used to it.  Having been around long before residential air conditioning was common.  I was 32 before I had air conditioning.

 

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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

Oh it looked open air!

 

P.S. I never get used to it.  Having been around long before residential air conditioning was common.  I was 32 before I had air conditioning.

 

 

There was one open air area, but no one was using it.

 

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I was a lot more than 32!


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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27 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

There was one open air table, but no one was using it.

 

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I was a lot more than 32!

 

I did not come from the land of deep fried Mars bars.

 

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@liuzhou

 

 Thank you very much. Always enjoy your documentation of the food and life in China.  


Edited by Anna N (log)
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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

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On 7/4/2018 at 11:32 PM, liuzhou said:

 

 

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Pickled vegetables and jujubes

 

liuzhou,

 

Are the reddish round things in the image at 9 oclock, the jujubes. They are a fruit I'm unfamiliar with, but when I looked them up, I got these images.  To most in the US jujubes mean this.

 

What is shown in your photo kind of looks like the irregular shapes and sizes of small Red Bliss potatoes to me, complete with eyes. Perhaps they are cooked to account for the collapsed look of a fruit that when raw is quite symmetrical in shape?

 

Thank you for your great content, as usual. I know so much more about day to day life in China thanks to you.

 

I just rewatched "Red Corner" for probably the fifth time, and I must say you a are very brave and special individual to live and thrive there so successfully. I would be afraid to even visit your adopted country.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

Are the reddish round things in the image at 9 oclock, the jujubes.

 

Yes.

 

 

4 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

They are a fruit I'm unfamiliar with, but when I looked them up, I got these images.  To most in the US jujubes mean this.

 

They are the fruit of the plant Ziziphus jujuba. Also known as red dates or Chinese dates. The ones we were served were lightly pickled.

 

No connection to the American candy of the same name.

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8 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I just rewatched "Red Corner" for probably the fifth time, and I must say you a are very brave and special individual to live and thrive there so successfully. I would be afraid to even visit your adopted country.

 

Please remember Red Corner is fiction with a capital F. I've never seen it and, having read the reviews, doubt I ever will.

 

China is probably the safest country I've ever lived in. Or visited.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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