Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What I ate in China a.k.a. I ate "WHAT" in China?

After my daughter regaled me with her episodes of eating scorpion in China I felt it was prudent to take along a fair supply of nuts, granola bars and packets of hot cereal. Even though I am somewhat adventuresome in the food department I get a little squeemish when I see eats looking back at me. After spending time in Peru I am well aware that different cultures find protein from different sources. Guinea pig and goat in South America and dog and donkey in Asia. And during my visit there was some concern over bird flu so chicken was rarely on the menu.
 My first meal abroad in Hong Kong laid to rest many of my fears.
I really got a little ahead of myself here because see that beautiful blue can in the center of the table? It was cold and it is my favorite vice above all others. It was the last one I would see for 2 weeks. For 2 weeks even though you could find drinks in "refridgeraters", they were still room temperature because the fridge wasn't turned on. Asians do not take their beverages cold. This is authentic breakfast. The bowl is full of top ramen type noodles with slices of beef and green onions. This came with a side of eggs, some kind of sausage in barbecue sauce and a roll. I can neither confirm or deny that that was actually beef and I left the sausage on the plate.

This is what we were served in a regular restaurant in downtown Kowloon. Dumplings and greens with a side of fried pork chop served family style.

At this dinner we saw a dance show depicting the Tang Dynasty and we were served 18 different kinds of dumplings after our appetizers. Notice the dumplings look like fish. Bet you can't guess what was inside.

We had three different "hot pot" dinners. This was the best by far. Some of the Chinese dentists and assistants sat at our table and helped us get it right. The hot broth on the left was mild and flat flavored while the brown broth on the right could cauterize flesh. Into either side you dipped your fresh, uncooked selections and then if you were brave enough you ate what you cooked.

Rice at these dinners is not served to the end of the meal. The picture just above this post is of asian pears ( a favorite of mine) and un cooked beef stomach, I'm so not going there.

Here Dr. Todd is demonstrating eating beef stomach. He also ate "fungus" (that's what the chinese interpret mushrooms to.) so I'm not following his food choices.
Instead of throwing pizza dough in the air they twirl noodles. These are potato noodles being thrown. Maybe they touched the floor or someone's head but after all the "hotpots" are boiling, you know.
And when the meal comes to an end, the fruit is served. As a culture, there is very little sweet or sugar used. And don't look forward to birthday "cake" because all you are going to get is birthday noodle soup. Try eating that with chopsticks.

This is "Jason" our Beijing tour guide. Bet you can't guess what he is putting in his mouth? It's called "thousand year old egg". To prepare it, first you boil an egg and then you marinate it for two weeks in some kind of vinegar. After it is peeled, you are looking at the peeled version, it is a dark opaque black with barely visible snow flakes, and you can see the color of the yolk. Far worse than it's appearance is it's smell. Find an old nearly dead cow with runny diarrhea. Store it's output for three days, bury it under a leaking sewage dump for 2 weeks and then let it clear all of your sinuses at once. The ammonia odor is nearly seizure inducing. And yes, I watched him put it in his mouth. He said it's better with sauce. Even ranch dressing is not getting me to try that egg. How about you?


Anita Preece said...

Wow! What an adventure. I would have starved too death!

Georgia said...

You are adventurous, Lisa! Just going to China illustrates that.

That thousand year old egg sounded disgusting. I wouldn't have allowed that anywhere near me either. The fruit plate looked beautiful and delicious, though...

I'm so glad you made it back from China safely (hopefully with no residual effects from eating the food and breathing the air). Now your work schedule needs to ease off so it doesn't kill you off now that you are back home.