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.

Harvest Lunch in a Miao Village


Recommended Posts

Today, I was honoured to be invited to lunch in a relatively nearby Miao village, where they were celebrating their good harvest.

 

Before we could eat we were entertained by the some of the villagers.

3D4A2954.thumb.JPG.e12199a296047b94595b25e44e647172.JPG

These women sang to us.

3D4A3030.thumb.JPG.465627a1439f286b553f2c3cbfe2a3cf.JPG

Some men played their traditional Lusheng instruments.
 

3D4A2963.thumb.JPG.979e859a25cd3176068c5cce13b2e4fa.JPG

Then they had a tug-of war between the men and the women. The women won (but there were twice as many women as men!)

Most people just hung around looking good in their best leisure wear.

3D4A2968.thumb.JPG.e1d9a53e8676681de5145fe8304dc5b3.JPG

 

3D4A3083.thumb.JPG.4b519c88e509af8212ac1c96f9616dbe.JPG

 

3D4A3096.thumb.JPG.729d725f696c1bd07c2aea6e9c06ca7a.JPG

 

3D4A3119.thumb.JPG.031fd106693e94733021ee2cb209a3e0.JPG

 

3D4A3237.thumb.JPG.9fc347fba20f269df2513397e2cbc502.JPG

 

3D4A3239.thumb.JPG.486e0713cf0f34e44e82f19ac43d632c.JPG

 

Finally, we were seated at a table, but before we could eat, we had to toast each other.

3D4A3248.thumb.JPG.63ca996543fb6c1e76b94920cc1759f0.JPG

These were some of my table companions. Old friends.

 

 

3D4A3228.thumb.jpg.d1ce39a56288aea43b4318337c929349.jpg

Each table was furnished with two dips. On the left chilli, coriander/cilantro, Chinese chives in soy and sesame oil. On the right, duck's blood with chilli. 

3D4A3255.thumb.JPG.091dd5e8f5330c0269fab4be09b01b6f.JPG

Kou Rou - Roasted, then steamed pork belly and taro.

 

3D4A3256.thumb.JPG.4ba349217919186442972d8b9e0e1c67.JPG

Chicken

 

3D4A3153.thumb.JPG.d476bd6d3d3ec2fba9cf0508af272a3c.JPG

If not this chap I had met earlier, then one of his relations.

 

3D4A3258.thumb.JPG.e2c3bb7d5905196789870829bcdf25ec.JPG

Chicken and duck giblets stir-fried with vegetables.

 

3D4A3261.thumb.JPG.ead78ac6429b0a3f49dddd666088e17a.JPG

Duck - Note beak on left so you are sure what you are eating.

 

3D4A3263.thumb.JPG.26e1c99c38058b5101fa83167843d0a4.JPG

Deep fried carp

 

3D4A3264.thumb.JPG.cc1e62c752293420bddfe82d505e9958.JPG

Steamed Shrimp

 

3D4A3266.thumb.JPG.c4bd84bfe84d481142d55aa8858fd11f.JPG

Water Spinach

 

3D4A3271.thumb.JPG.cecf35ded74f8c84c80d8299cd699314.JPG

People watching people eating!

 

3D4A3275.thumb.JPG.6f1d8bfdbdb1856661aa275666454762.JPG

Neighbouring Table

 

3D4A3319.thumb.JPG.30a5389c23c07ee773dc37590917138b.JPG

All very amusing

 

Edited by liuzhou
typos (log)
  • Like 12
  • Thanks 4

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone who remembers my previous post about Miao people may notice these ones look different. The 'Miao' designation is one imposed by the Chinese government and there is great disagreement among the people themselves. They believe they are not just one ethnic group - and indeed, have different languages and cultures. It is estimated there may be as many as 100 different sub-groups. The people here self-identify as 白苗 (bái miáo), meaning 'white Miao'. 

 

One thing I did notice to my delight was how they very sensibly treat the dreaded  c@rn. They hang it by the neck until it is dead!


3D4A3211.thumb.JPG.8010a6ec5946f61c1f799927dd20c44d.JPG

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Haha 12

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Shelby said:

I thought maybe someone that lived there really really really didn't want you to enter

 

 

:raz:

 

Maybe, but they should have hung them at the village gate, not the back of the village. Anyway, I would have read them as a welcome to a No C*rn Zone!

  • Like 3
  • Haha 4

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

All very amusing

And I’m always amused, entertained, educated and awed. Thank you for sharing your amazing experiences. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

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 post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, IowaDee said:

Yeah, Shelby good thought.  Kinda  like hanging strings of garlic up to keep away vampires!😉

 

I guess I'm the anti-vampire. If I saw a house protected by a string of garlic, I'd be knocking on the door and asking what's for dinner.

 

Oh, and thanks, Liuzhou, for another edifying forum.

Edited by Alex (log)
  • Like 4
  • Haha 1

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alex said:

 

I guess I'm the anti-vampire. If I saw a house protected by a string of garlic, I'd be knocking on the door and asking what's for dinner.

 

Oh, and thanks, Liuzhou, for another edifying forum.

 

I'm with you.

 

And, yes, thanks as always Liuzhou!  I love the peeks into your exotic (to me) life.

 

On a side note, that corn is inspiring me.....I have a deck railing and that would make the cutest fall decor.  Must remember that for next year.  I'll take it down if you come visit, I promise ;) 

  • Like 5
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Love seeing new faces and places.  But just like here, almost everyone is glued to their damn phones.  We were out to lunch Wednesday and we were the only people in the restaurant not staring at a phone.  And that included the server when not doing his serving job!  

 

And we joke around here that a day without garlic and or onions is not an official day.   Have a wonderful friend who grows garlic and is wonderful about sharing it.  

Edited by IowaDee (log)
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

What beverages would be served at an event like this? or perhaps I am just thinking like a foreigner.

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

 

Beer, apple juice and rice wine were all served.

What? No tea?

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 post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Anna N said:

What? No tea?

 

Tea is seldom drunk with food in China. Before or after eating, maybe, but tea drinking is generally an activity requiring full, undistracted concentration on the tea.

 

One exception is 饮茶  (Mandarin: yǐn chá; Cantonese: yum cha), the breakfast meal where one eats 点心 (Mand: diǎn xīn; Cantonese: dim sum), but despite 饮茶 literally meaning 'drink tea', not everyone does even then.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 4

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Tea is seldom drunk with food in China. Before or after eating, maybe, but tea drinking is generally an activity requiring full, undistracted concentration on the tea.

I did not know that. Another myth busted. Thank you for enlightening me.

  • Like 4

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 post
Share on other sites

One thing I forgot to mention is that these Miao people like to play drinking games. Here is one example where the women pick on a man and force him, in an artistic manner, to down far too much home made-rice wine poured down a series of bamboo channels. I declined to partake, claiming ill-health, which no one believed. I hate their rice wine and I like to drink at my own pace. They graciously passed me by and this poor chap got the prize!

 

 

Apologies for poor video quality. It's crystal clear on my original, but not on YouTube. No idea why!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/29/2019 at 11:53 PM, liuzhou said:

 

Tea is seldom drunk with food in China. Before or after eating, maybe, but tea drinking is generally an activity requiring full, undistracted concentration on the tea.

 

 

If you have discussed this before, I've missed it. Please accept my apologies, and elaborate anyway. Is tea-drinking there strictly a contemplation of the tea, akin to a wine tasting? Is it a celebration of the tea and its qualities, whatever they happen to be? What is the social component?

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

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/10/2019 at 9:15 AM, Smithy said:

 

If you have discussed this before, I've missed it. Please accept my apologies, and elaborate anyway. Is tea-drinking there strictly a contemplation of the tea, akin to a wine tasting? Is it a celebration of the tea and its qualities, whatever they happen to be? What is the social component?

 

 

I've answered your questions (I hope) on a new topic here. It seemed more appropriate. 

 

Edited by liuzhou
typo (log)
  • Thanks 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Clam Soup with Mustard Greens - 车螺芥菜汤
       

       
      This is a popular, light but peppery soup available in most restaurants here (even if its not listed on the menu). Also, very easy to make at home.

      Ingredients

      Clams. (around 8 to 10 per person. Some restaurants are stingy with the clams, but I like to be more generous). Fresh live clams are always used in China, but if, not available, I suppose frozen clams could be used. Not canned. The most common clams here are relatively small. Littleneck clams may be a good substitute in terms of size.
       
      Stock. Chicken, fish or clam stock are preferable. Stock made from cubes or bouillon powder is acceptable, although fresh is always best.

      Mustard Greens. (There are various types of mustard green. Those used here are  芥菜 , Mandarin: jiè cài; Cantonese: gai choy). Use a good handful per person. Remove the thick stems, to be used in another dish.)

      Garlic. (to taste)

      Chile. (One or two fresh hot red chiles are optional).

      Salt.

      MSG (optional). If you have used a stock cube or bouillon powder for the stock, omit the MSG. The cubes and power already have enough.

      White pepper (freshly ground. I recommend adding what you consider to be slightly too much pepper, then adding half that again. The soup should be peppery, although of course everything is variable to taste.)

      Method

      Bring your stock to a boil. Add salt to taste along with MSG if using.

      Finely chop the garlic and chile if using. Add to stock and simmer for about five minutes.

      Make sure all the clams are tightly closed, discarding any which are open - they are dead and should not be eaten.

      The clams will begin to pop open fairly quickly. Remove the open ones as quickly as possible and keep to one side while the others catch up. One or two clams may never open. These should also be discarded. When you have all the clams fished out of the boiling stock, roughly the tear the mustard leaves in two and drop them into the stock. Simmer for one minute. Put all the clams back into the stock and when it comes back to the boil, take off the heat and serve.
    • By liuzhou
      Stir-fried Squid with Snow Peas - 荷兰豆鱿鱼
       

       
      Another popular restaurant dish that can easily be made at home. The only difficult part (and it's really not that difficult) is preparing the squid. However, your seafood purveyor should be able to do that for you. I have given details below.

      Ingredients

      Fresh squid. I tend to prefer the smaller squid in which case I allow one or two squid per person, depending on what other dishes I'm serving. You could use whole frozen squid if fresh is unavailable. Certainly not dried squid.

      Snow peas aka Mange Tout. Sugar snap peas can also be used. The final dish should be around 50% squid and 50% peas, so an amount roughly equivalent to the squid in bulk is what you are looking for. De-string if necessary and cut in half width-wise.

      Cooking oil. I use rice bran oil, but any vegetable cooking oil is fine. Not olive oil, though.

      Garlic.  I prefer this dish to be rather garlicky so I use one clove or more per squid. Adjust to your preference.

      Ginger. An amount equivalent to that of garlic.

      Red Chile. One or two small hot red chiles.

      Shaoxing wine. See method. Note: Unlike elsewhere, Shaoxing wine sold in N. America is salted. So, cut back on adding salt if using American sourced Shaoxing.

      Oyster sauce

      Sesame oil (optional)

      Salt

      Preparing the squid

      The squid should be cleaned and the tentacles and innards pulled out and set aside while you deal with the tubular body. Remove the internal cartilage / bone along with any remaining innards. With a sharp knife remove the "wings" then slit open the tube by sliding your knife inside and cutting down one side. Open out the now butterflied body. Remove the reddish skin (It is edible, but removing it makes for a nicer presentation. It peels off easily.) Again, using the sharp knife cut score marks on the inside at 1/8th of an inch intervals being careful not to cut all the way through. Then repeat at right angles to the original scoring, to give a cross-hatch effect. Do the same to the squid wings. Cut the body into rectangles roughly the size of a large postage stamp.
       

       
      Separate the tentacles from the innards by feeling for the beak, a hard growth just above the tentacles and at the start of the animal's digestive tract. Dispose of all but the tentacles. If they are long, half them.
      Wash all the squid meat again.
      Method
      There are only two ways to cook squid and have it remain edible. Long slow cooking (an hour or more) or very rapid (a few seconds) then served immediately. Anything else and you'll be chewing on rubber. So that is why I am stir frying it. Few restaurants get this right, so I mainly eat it at home.

      Heat your wok and add oil. Have a cup of water to the side. Add the garlic, ginger and chile. Should you think it's about to burn, throw in a little of that water. It will evaporate almost immediately but slow down some of the heat.
       
      As soon as you can smell the fragrance of the garlic and ginger, add the peas and salt and toss until the peas are nearly cooked (Try a piece to see!). Almost finally, add the squid with a tablespoon of the Shaoxing and about the same of oyster sauce. Do not attempt to add the oyster sauce straight from the bottle. The chances of the whole bottle emptying into your dinner is high! Believe me. I've been there!

      The squid will curl up and turn opaque in seconds. It's cooked. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of so of sesame oil (if used) and serve immediately!
       
    • By liuzhou
      Big Plate Chicken - 大盘鸡
       

       
      This very filling dish of chicken and potato stew is from Xinjiang province in China's far west, although it is said to have been invented by a visitor from Sichuan. In recent years, it has become popular in cities across China, where it is made using a whole chicken which is chopped, with skin and on the bone, into small pieces suitable for easy chopstick handling. If you want to go that way, any Asian market should be able to chop the bird for you. Otherwise you may use boneless chicken thighs instead.

      Ingredients

      Boneless skinless chicken thighs  6

      Light soy sauce

      Dark soy sauce

      Shaoxing wine

      Cornstarch or similar. I use potato starch.

      Vegetable oil (not olive oil)

      Star anise, 4

      Cinnamon, 1 stick

      Bay leaves, 5 or 6

      Fresh ginger, 6 coin sized slices

      Garlic.  5 cloves, roughly chopped

      Sichuan peppercorns,  1 tablespoon

      Whole dried red chiles,   6 -10  (optional). If you can source the Sichuan chiles known as Facing Heaven Chiles, so much the better.

      Potatoes 2 or 3 medium sized. peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

      Carrot. 1,  thinly sliced

      Dried wheat noodles.  8 oz. Traditionally, these would be a long, flat thick variety. I've use Italian tagliatelle successfully.    

      Red bell pepper. 1 cut into chunks

      Green bell pepper, 1 cut into chunks

      Salt

      Scallion, 2 sliced.
         
      Method

      First, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate in 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 3 teaspoons of Shaoxing and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Set aside for about twenty minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

      Heat the wok and add three tablespoons cooking oil. Add the ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, Sichuan peppercorns and chiles. Fry on a low heat for a  minute or so. If they look about to burn, splash a little water into your wok. This will lower the temperature slightly. Add the chicken and turn up the heat. Continue frying until the meat is nicely seared, then add the potatoes and carrots. Stir fry a minute more then add 2 teaspoons of the dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the light soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of the Shaoxing wine along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium. Cover and cook for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are done.

      While the main dish is cooking, cook the noodles separately according to the packet instructions.  Reserve  some of the noodle cooking water and drain.

      When the chicken and potatoes are done, you may add a little of the noodle water if the dish appears on the dry side. It should be saucy, but not soupy. Add the bell peppers and cook for three to four minutes more. Add scallions. Check seasoning and add some salt if it needs it. It may not due to the soy sauce and Shaoxing.

      Serve on a large plate for everyone to help themselves from. Plate the noodles first, then cover with the meat and potato. Enjoy.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Beef with Bitter Melon - 牛肉苦瓜
       

       
      The name may be off-putting to many people, but Chinese people do have an appreciation for bitter tastes and anyway, modern cultivars of this gourd are less bitter than in the past. Also, depending on how it's cooked, the bitterness can be mitigated.
       
      I'll admit that I wasn't sure at first, but have grown to love it.

      Note: "Beef with Bitter Melon (牛肉苦瓜 )" or "Bitter Melon with Beef (苦瓜牛肉)"? One Liuzhou restaurant I know has both on its menu! In Chinese, the ingredient listed first is the one there is most of, so, "beef with bitter melon" is mainly beef, whereas "bitter melon with beef" is much more a vegetable dish with just a little beef. This recipe is for the beefier version. To make the other version, just half the amount of beef and double the amount of melon.

      Ingredients

      Beef. One pound. Flank steak works best. Slice thinly against the grain.

      Bitter Melon. Half a melon. You can use the other half in a soup or other dish. Often available in Indian markets or supermarkets.
       

       
      Salted Black Beans. One tablespoon. Available in packets from Asian markets and supermarkets, these are salted, fermented black soy beans. They are used as the basis for 'black bean sauce', but we are going to be making our own sauce!

      Garlic. 6 cloves

      Cooking oil. Any vegetable oil except olive oil

      Shaoxing wine. See method

      Light soy sauce. One tablespoon

      Dark soy sauce. One teaspoon

      White pepper. See method
      Sesame oil. See method

      Method

      Marinate the beef in a 1/2 tablespoon of light soy sauce with a splash of Shaoxing wine along with a teaspoon or so of cornstarch or similar (I use potato starch). Stir well and leave for 15-30 minutes.

      Cut the melon(s) in half lengthwise and, using a teaspoon, scrape out all the seeds and pith. The more pith you remove, the less bitter the dish will be. Cut the melon into crescents about 1/8th inch wide.

      Rinse the black beans and drain. Crush them with the blade of your knife, then chop finely. Finely chop the garlic.

      Stir fry the meat in a tablespoon of oil over a high heat until done. This should take less than a minute. Remove and set aside.

      Add another tablespoon of oil and reduce heat to medium. fry the garlic and black beans until fragrant then add the bitter melon. Continue frying until the melon softens. then add a tablespoon of Shaoxing wine and soy sauces. Finally sprinkle on white pepper to taste along with a splash of sesame oil. Return the meat to the pan and mix everything well.

      Note: If you prefer the dish more saucy, you can add a tablespoon or so of water with the soy sauces.
      Serve with plained rice and a stir-fried green vegetable of choice.
       
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
       
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...