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.

Pictorial: Cantonese Wonton Noodle Soup


gweixel
 Share

Recommended Posts

How about a nice chicken stock? 1 chicken, spring onions, ginger, and some time to gently simmer to develop the flavor. You can also try this with pork bones or a mix of parboiled chicken and pork.

I don't salt the stock since I never quite know what I'm going to do with a batch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also use a light, clear chicken stock flavoured with a little bruised ginger, scallions, sesame oil, and cilantro. I don't like a strong soup broth as it might over power the often subtle flavours of the wontons.

-- Jason

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you are making a big pot of chicken stock, 1 chicken seems extravagant.

Keep packages of fresh chicken necks, backs, and fresh carcasses in the freezer. When you have a hankering for chicken stock for wonton soup or whatever, throw some into a pot with slices of bruised ginger.

If you want to make a big pot of stock, you can use a whole chicken. Bring water to a boil, add slices of ginger and the chicken. Bring everything to a boil again, then simmer until the chicken is just done. This will give you full flavoured stock as well as "bak jam gai" for a main course! :smile:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are making the wanton then you might want to save some of the shrimp shells for the stock. For a easy soup, just make basic chicken stock with some ginger, and sprinkle some young chives when serving. The more traditional soup is made with pork bone, da dee fish(大地魚), and dried shrimp roe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The tradition at our house is to always add Chinese seaweed and chinese greens to our wonton broth.

Chinese seaweed...the purple/greenish sheets used for making soup- jee choy? (or dee toi in Toisanese). I've never tried that. :hmmm:

I too add Chinese greens to my wonton soup, such as yeu choy or Shanghai bak choy.

If I don't have either in the house, romaine or iceberg lettuce will suffice.

For more flavour, I may also add slices of lapcheung. I prefer cilantro to green onions, and I must have chili oil and sesame oil with mine.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the purplish/greenish stuff. We buy it as a big round disk of tangled dried seaweed, not pressed flat sheets like the japanese stuff. It's wonderful in all sorts of asian light broths, especially seafood inspired ones. A favourite simple soup is spring onion and dark soy quickly seared, then covered with water, seaweed, chinese greens, vermicelli and an egg stirred in near the end. Top with sesame seed oil and cilantro.

PS: I am a guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lap Cheung in wonton soup?  In the broth or in the filling? 

*drools*  Ahhh, lap cheung.  Shoot, why no thread on lap cheung?  =)

I put slices of lapcheung into the broth to cook at the same time as the wontons.

This adds flavour to the broth. The wonton filling is ground pork, shrimp, waterchestnuts and seasonings. This is enough for flavours inside.

Check here for a pic of the wonton soup from my foodblog last summer. :smile:

http://www.hillmans.soupbo.com/soos/foodlog1.html

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I add a bit of Yunnan ham (or ham bone) to my chicken broth (which I usually make from bones, not the whole chicken). In the States you'd have to use Smithfield. I learned this tip from one of Florence Lin's books (the fabulous one on dumplings and breads). Not too much because the flavour shouldn't be overwhelming, just enough to deepen the flavour and add some salt.

Edited by aprilmei (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Cantonese Wonton Noodle Soup (鮮蝦雲吞麵)

Being a native Cantonese, I grew up eating wonton noodles. To us, this is the ultimate comfort food. Making wonton at home takes a little bit of work. But having the freshly wrapped wonton in soup with noodles as good as those made in Chinatown right at home is well worth the efforts. Involve your young children in wrapping the wontons. It is quite fun for kids. That's right, just like wrapping ravioli.

If you make more filling than you can consume in one meal, I would advise to freeze the filling and the wonton wrappers separately in the freezer. Wrap the wontons only shortly before you cook them.

Picture of the finished dish:

gallery_19795_2759_6458.jpg

Serving Suggestion: 4 to 5

Preparations:

gallery_19795_2759_11931.jpg

Main ingredients (from left, clockwise):

- 1 lb of ground pork

- 1 lb of shrimp with shell (or without shell)

- 2 stalks of green onions

- about 10 prigs of cilantro

- 1 package of Cantonese wonton wrappers

- 1 package of Cantonese egg noodles (see next picture)

- (not shown) some fresh vegetables

Typically wontons are made from fatty ground pork. I personally like to use lean pork. Adjust this for your personal taste. You may also use ground chicken or ground turkey in place of the ground pork. The typical ratio of ground pork to shrimp is about 1 to 1 by weight.

gallery_19795_2759_3456.jpg

These are the egg noodles and wonton wrappers (wonton skins) that I like. In choosing the best noodles: the noodles should look yellow (from the eggs), not white (without eggs); very thin; prepared fresh and sold in the refrigerator section (versus the dried noodles). The wonton wrappers should also look yellow (from the eggs) and thin. There are many kinds of "dumpling" wrappers. Do not buy the thick, white dumpling wrappers that are only suitable for Northern Chinese dumplings (which are also called wonton).

I prefer to wrap small wontons and have more of them in a serving than to wrap big wontons and have few of them.

gallery_19795_2759_27795.jpg

Trim off the shrimp head. Shell and devein each shrimp. Depends on the size of the shrimp you get. With the size of the shrimp shown in the picture, cut the shrimp into halves or 3 pieces.

gallery_19795_2759_15972.jpg

Place all the shrimp pieces in a bowl. Marinate them with 1-2 tsp of sesame oil, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of corn starch. Mix well.

gallery_19795_2759_7547.jpg

Use a medium size mixing bowl. Add the ground pork. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1/2 tsp of ground white pepper, 1-2 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 1-2 tsp of light soy sauce, 1-2 tsp of corn starch and a pinch of salt (suggest: 1/4 tsp).

gallery_19795_2759_26192.jpg

Mix all the ingredients well.

gallery_19795_2759_13642.jpg

At the end, combine the marinated shrimp with the ground pork.

gallery_19795_2759_9808.jpg

Mix well again.

gallery_19795_2759_23351.jpg

Prepare some fresh vegetables with the wonton noodle soup. Here I used some Taiwanese bok choy. In general, prepare about 1 stalk of small vegetable per person.

gallery_19795_2759_17312.jpg

In the restaurants, they like to cut these vegetables lengthwise into 4 quarters because that's better for presentation. I found that a lot of dirt can be trapped where the leaf paddle joins the stem.

At home, I like to peel off each leaf and wash it under running water to get rid of the dirt.

gallery_19795_2759_21770.jpg

Take each "ball" of egg noodle out of the package and shake it loose, make it fluffy before cooking.

gallery_19795_2759_16009.jpg

To wrap the wontons: Take the wonton wrappers out of the plastic package, about 20 or so at a time. Break one egg and beat it well. Use this as a "glue" for the wrapper.

gallery_19795_2759_8369.jpg

To make each wonton wrapper separate easier during wrapping, fan out the wrappers. Grab the stack of wrappers between your left thumb and index finger. Hold tight. Grab the other side of the stack between your right thumb and index finger. Twist your left and right wrists in opposite directions a few times. The wrappers will fan out nicely.

gallery_19795_2759_1649.jpg

To wrap each wonton: first lay a sheet of wonton wrapper flat on your palm.

gallery_19795_2759_6570.jpg

Use a small spoon, dip into the bowl of beaten egg, and use the back side of the spoon to spread a thin layer of beaten egg on top of the wrapper.

gallery_19795_2759_10962.jpg

Use another spoon to scoop up some wonton filling and place on top of the wrapper. Try to get one or 2 pieces of shrimp in the filling.

gallery_19795_2759_6051.jpg

Curl up your fingers towards your palm.

gallery_19795_2759_5773.jpg

Use the other hand to give the edge of the wrapper a few pinches to close the top of the wonton.

gallery_19795_2759_33254.jpg

Continue to wrap the rest of the wontons. As a general guideline, prepare about 7 to 12 wontons per serving, depending on the size of your wontons and how hungry your family is. Here I wrapped about 2 dozens of wontons.

gallery_19795_2759_20396.jpg

Trim and finely chop the green onions and cilantro. Put them in a bowl to serve as a condiment at the dinner table.

Cooking Instructions:

gallery_19795_2759_8927.jpg

I fully utilize the multiple burners of my stove. On one, start boiling 2 cans of chicken broth. (Typically prepare about 1 can of chicken broth per serving.)

gallery_19795_2759_26336.jpg

Use a medium size pot, boil about 1/2 pot of water on a second burner. First add the vegetables.

gallery_19795_2759_16091.jpg

Boil the vegetable for about 2 to 3 minutes until soft. Remove and drain off excess water.

gallery_19795_2759_15124.jpg

Use the same pot of hot water for boiling the noodles. Wait until the water starts boiling again. Add the egg noodles. Cook until el dante, about 2 to 3 minutes.

gallery_19795_2759_19569.jpg

Use a third pot to boil 1/2 pot of water. This is for cooking the wontons. I like to keep the wontons separate from the noodles. Definitely don't use the chicken broth to boil the noodles. Use plain water to boil the noodles and discard the water afterwards.

The wontons take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook through in boiling water. When done, they will float to the top as shown in the picture. Be sure to use a pair of chopsticks or a wooden spoon to stir and separate the wontons occassionally during cooking so they won't stick together.

gallery_19795_2759_22029.jpg

When the noodles are el dante, remote from the pot and run some cold water over it. Drain off the excess water.

gallery_19795_2759_10083.jpg

To assemble the wonton noodle soup: Use a medium/large size soup bowl, place the noodles at the bottom.

gallery_19795_2759_6637.jpg

Add the cooked vegetables.

gallery_19795_2759_12649.jpg

Scoop the cooked wontons into the bowl (but not the water).

gallery_19795_2759_6458.jpg

Finally, add the boiling chicken broth onto the bowl. Serve immediately.

(Picture of the finished dish)

Add a few drops of sesame oil on top when served. Condiments: Chopped green onions and cilantro, ground white pepper, light soy sauce and red vinegar.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That wonton soup looks great! Ah Leung. I love Shanghai bak choi with mine as well.

The only differences between your recipe and mine are the finely chopped waterchestnuts in my filling, and my way of wrapping.

I have a 2 cup mini-chopper, and I use it to chop up the shrimp and waterchestnuts. I find it easier to wrap. Instead of cornstarch, I mix up the ingredients with my mixer, or beating it by hand to give it the "springy mouth feel".

When we had the restaurant, we'd make up the filling with 40 lbs of ground pork, 1 large restaurant-size can of waterchestnuts, 5 lbs of shrimp, etc. My son had the job of chopping up the shrimp and waterchestnuts by hand, using 2 cleavers.

I have a picture of my soup in the blog I did acouple years ago. Had to scale down the recipe for Jason Perlow as he didn't want to make 50 lbs of wonton filler! :laugh::laugh:

For even more flavour, I sometimes add slices of lap cheung when I add the wontons.

I don't like to wash up, so I just use one pot: cook up the noodles, rinse the pot, bring stock to boil, add wontons, lap cheung, vegetables, serve over noodles topped with a dollop of ma la oil.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That wonton soup looks great! Ah Leung. I love Shanghai bak choi with mine as well.

The only differences between your recipe and mine are the finely chopped waterchestnuts in my filling, and my way of wrapping.

I have a 2 cup mini-chopper, and I use it to chop up the shrimp and waterchestnuts. I find it easier to wrap. Instead of cornstarch, I mix up the ingredients with my mixer, or beating it by hand to give it the "springy mouth feel".

When we had the restaurant, we'd make up the filling with 40 lbs of ground pork, 1 large restaurant-size can of waterchestnuts, 5 lbs of shrimp, etc. My son had the job of chopping up the shrimp and waterchestnuts by hand, using 2 cleavers.

I have a picture of my soup in the blog I did acouple years ago. Had to scale down the recipe for Jason Perlow as he didn't want to make 50 lbs of wonton filler! :laugh:  :laugh:

For even more flavour, I sometimes add slices of lap cheung when I add the wontons.

I don't like to wash up, so I just use one pot: cook up the noodles, rinse the pot, bring stock to boil, add wontons, lap cheung, vegetables, serve over noodles topped with a dollop of ma la oil.

Dejah:

Would you please advise us of your receipe for: "Ma La Oil" it took me quite a while to learn it's nuances and the one available on the internet doesn't even come close to my remembered taste from Hong Kong.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the idea of cutting the shrimp into chunks instead of dicing them.

Aren't some yellow wrappers made that color from red dye #6 and not eggs? I often read the lable and not all have egg, but are yellow in color. I like the egg flavored ones better. Better flavor and texture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah Leung,

You mentioned to me that ground turkey was an option for your wontons. What do you mix it with? Still shrimp?

I have made wontons with ground chicken, chopped waterchestnuts and ginger.

Just doesn't "do it" for me, but my Muslim friends appreciate it.

Wesza: For ma la oil, I slice up shallots, garlic , slivers of ginger, and Thai chili peppers. On medium high heat, bring a pot with peanut oil to a point where a piece of shallot will sizzle when added. Carefully add all the fresh ingredients and take the pot off the stove.

Let the ingredients continue to cook in the oil, cool and bottle.

For the restaurant, I used canola oil as we often used the ma la oil to cook rather than flavour. I have been known to add habanero peppers or crushed dried chili peppers if fresh ones were not available. You can add szechuan peppercorns also for the numbing effect.

The shallot, garlic and ginger will look burnt, but they taste really good when you bite into a bit...nutty flavour.

A note of caution: GOOD VENTILATION is a must when making this stuff.

I haven't made any for a long time...not since I found Saigon Chili Oil at the Chinese grocery. It's got lots of cayenne chili peppers and garlic.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neat.  I like wontons.  I wrap them a little bit differently.  Instead of smushing the top in like a siu mai, I fold it in half into a triangle, and then connect the two corners, similar to a tortellini.

That's what I've done, too. Or fold in half to a rectangle, pull the tails together, and make a nurses cap. OR using a wooden depressor, put the mix on the depressor, put the wonton over it and pull the whole thing off, squeezing the filling in.

But, it looks like hzrt's method looks nice and quick. I'm going to give that way a try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your comments and kind words.

Aren't some yellow wrappers made that color from red dye #6 and not eggs? I often read the lable and not all have egg, but are yellow in color. I like the egg flavored ones better. Better flavor and texture.

Food dye? I never thought of it. I supposed it's possible. I never really read the fine prints on the package (if they state it at all). We get the same kind of noodles in Hong Kong though.

The reason why I separate the soup and noodle/wonton boiling water: These noodles (and wonton wrappers too) bear a lot of soda-based substances. The taste is a bit nasty. While I can use the same boiling water for wontons and noodles, definitely keep the soup separate.

And my father-in-law, as many other Chinese do too, eats these noodles with a spoonful of red vinegar. They believe in neutralizing the alkaline substances with acid to avoid kidney stones.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Sea fish in my local supermarket
       
       
      In the past I've started a few topics focusing on categorised food types I find in China. I’ve done
       
      Mushrooms and Fungi in China
       
      Chinese Vegetables Illustrated
       
      Sugar in China
       
      Chinese Herbs and Spices
       
      Chinese Pickles and Preserves
       
      Chinese Hams.
       
      I’ve enjoyed doing them as I learn a lot and I hope that some people find them useful or just interesting.
       
      One I’ve always resisted doing is Fish etc in China. Although it’s interesting and I love fish, it just felt too complicated. A lot of the fish and other marine animals I see here, I can’t identify, even if I know the local name. The same species may have different names in different supermarkets or wet markets. And, as everywhere, a lot of fish is simply mislabelled, either out of ignorance or plain fraud.
       
      However, I’ve decided to give it a go.
       
      I read that 60% of fish consumed in China is freshwater fish. I doubt that figure refers to fresh fish though. In most of China only freshwater fish is available. Seawater fish doesn’t travel very far inland. It is becoming more available as infrastructure improves, but it’s still low. Dried seawater fish is used, but only in small quantities as is frozen food in general. I live near enough the sea to get fresh sea fish, but 20 years ago when I lived in Hunan I never saw it. Having been brought up yards from the sea, I sorely missed it.
       
      I’ll start with the freshwater fish. Today, much of this is farmed, but traditionally came from lakes and rivers, as much still does. Most villages in the rural parts have their village fish pond. By far the most popular fish are the various members of the carp family with 草鱼 (cǎo yú) - Ctenopharyngodon idella - Grass Carp being the most raised and consumed. These (and the other freshwater fish) are normally sold live and every supermarket, market (and often restaurants) has ranks of tanks holding them.
       

      Supermarket Freshwater Fish Tanks

      You point at the one you want and the server nets it out. In markets, super or not, you can either take it away still wriggling or, if you are squeamish, the server will kill, descale and gut it for you. In restaurants, the staff often display the live fish to the table before cooking it.
       
      These are either steamed with aromatics – garlic, ginger, scallions and coriander leaf / cilantro being common – or braised in a spicy sauce or, less often, a sweet and sour sauce or they are simply fried. It largely depends on the region.
       
      Note that, in China, nearly all fish is served head on and on-the-bone.
       

      草鱼 (cǎo yú) - Ctenopharyngodon idella - grass carp
       
      More tomorrow.
    • By liuzhou
      Big Plate Chicken - 大盘鸡 (dà pán jī)
       

       
      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

      Chicken chopped on the bone or 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 chillies,   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 1½ teaspoons light soy sauce, 3 teaspoons of Shaoxing and 1½ 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 chilies. 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 15-20 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, if in the USA, Shaoxing wine.

      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
      Way back in the 1990’s, I was living in west Hunan, a truly beautiful part of China. One day, some colleagues suggested we all go for lunch the next day, a Saturday. Seemed reasonable to me. I like a bit of lunch.
       
      “OK. We’ll pick you up at 7 am.”
       
      “Excuse me? 7 am for lunch?
       
      “Yes. We have to go by car.”
       
      Well, of course, they finally picked me up at 8.30, drove in circles for an hour trying to find the guy who knew the way, then headed off into the wilds of Hunan. We drove for hours, but the scenery was beautiful, and the thousand foot drops at the side of the crash barrier free road as we headed up the mountains certainly kept me awake.
       
      After an eternity of bad driving along hair-raising roads which had this old atheist praying, we stopped at a run down shack in the middle of nowhere. I assumed that this was a temporary stop because the driver needed to cop a urination or something, but no. This was our lunch venue.
       
      We shuffled into one of the two rooms the shack consisted of and I distinctly remember that one of my hosts took charge of the lunch ordering process.
       
      “We want lunch for eight.” There was no menu.
       
      The waitress, who was also the cook, scuttled away to the other room of the shack which was apparently a kitchen.
       
      We sat there for a while discussing the shocking rise in bean sprout prices and other matters of national importance, then the first dish turned up. A pile of steaming hot meat surrounded by steaming hot chillies. It was delicious.
       
      “What is this meat?” I asked.
       
      About half of the party spoke some English, but my Chinese was even worse than it is now, so communications weren’t all they could be. There was a brief (by Chinese standards) meeting and they announced:
       
      “It’s wild animal.”
       
      Over the next hour or so, several other dishes arrived. They were all piles of steaming hot meat surrounded by steaming hot chillies, but the sauces and vegetable accompaniments varied. And all were very, very good indeed.
       
      “What’s this one?” I ventured.
       
      “A different wild animal.”
       
      “And this?”
       
      “Another wild animal.”
       
      “And this?”
       
      “A wild animal which is not the wild animal in the other dishes”
       
      I wandered off to the kitchen, as you can do in rural Chinese restaurants, and inspected the contents of their larder, fridge, etc. No clues.
       
      I returned to the table with a bit of an idea.
       
      “Please write down the Chinese names of all these animals we have eaten. I will look in my dictionary when I get home.”
       
      They looked at each other, consulted, argued and finally announced:
       
      “Sorry! We don’t know in Chinese either. “
       
      Whether that was true or just a way to get out of telling me what I had eaten, I’ll never know. I certainly wouldn’t be able to find the restaurant again.
       
      This all took place way back in the days before digital cameras, so I have no illustrations from that particular meal. But I’m guessing one of the dishes was bamboo rat.
       
      No pandas or tigers were injured in the making of this post
       
    • 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 liuzhou
      It sometimes seems likes every town in China has its own special take on noodles. Here in Liuzhou, Guangxi the local dish is Luosifen (螺蛳粉 luó sī fěn).
       
      It is a dish of rice noodles served in a very spicy stock made from the local river snails and pig bones which are stewed for hours with black cardamom, fennel seed, dried tangerine peel, cassia bark, cloves, pepper, bay leaf, licorice root, sand ginger, and star anise. Various pickled vegetables, dried tofu skin, fresh green vegetables, peanuts and loads of chilli are then usually added. Few restaurants ever reveal their precise recipe, so this is tentative. Luosifen is only really eaten in small restaurants and roadside stalls. I've never heard of anyone making it at home.
       
      In order to promote tourism to the city, the local government organised a food festival featuring an event named "10,000 people eat luosifen together." (In Chinese 10,000 often just means "many".)
       
      10,000 people (or a lot of people anyway) gathered at Liuzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre for the grand Liuzhou luosifen eat-in. Well, they gathered in front of the centre – the actual centre is a bleak, unfinished, deserted shell of a building. I disguised myself as a noodle and joined them. 10,001.
       

       
      The vast majority of the 10,000 were students from the local colleges who patiently and happily lined up to be seated. Hey, mix students and free food – of course they are happy.
       

       
      Each table was equipped with a basket containing bottled water, a thermos flask of hot water, paper bowls, tissues etc. And most importantly, a bunch of Luosifen caps. These read “万人同品螺蛳粉” which means “10,000 people together enjoy luosifen”
       

       
      Yep, that is the soup pot! 15 meters in diameter and holding eleven tons of stock. Full of snails and pork bones, spices etc. Chefs delicately added ingredients to achieve the precise, subtle taste required.
       

       
      Noodles were distributed, soup added and dried ingredients incorporated then there was the sound of 10,000 people slurping.
       

      Surrounding the luosifen eating area were several stalls selling different goodies. Lamb kebabs (羊肉串) seemed most popular, but there was all sorts of food. Here are few of the delights on offer.
       

      Whole roast lamb or roast chicken
       

      Lamb Kebabs
       

      Kebab spice mix – Cumin, chilli powder, salt and MSG
       

      Kebab stall
       

      Crab
       

      Different crab
       

      Sweet sticky rice balls
       

      Things on sticks
       

      Grilled scorpions
       

      Pig bones and bits
       

      Snails
       
      And much more.
       
      To be honest, it wasn’t the best luosifen I’ve ever eaten, but it was wasn’t the worst. Especially when you consider the number they were catering for. But it was a lot of fun. Which was the point.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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