Thursday, August 30, 2012
Eating in China
I am having a hard time figuring out how to cook here. I jokingly wrote on facebook, "Anyone have any recipes for American food that doesn't use American ingredients?" Sadly, this is all too true for me. Actually, I think what we miss the most are ingredients to make mexican food! Either way, it is really tough to learn how to cook her without the same spices and ingredients I'm used to using. And guess what. I have lost probably 10 pounds by now. It's partly the diet, and partly all the energy I have to exert to buy the food!
My husband made spaghetti that was excellent! We had found some tomato paste in an "imported food" aisle at the store. We also found some "Italian seasoning". It was surprising how good it tasted!
I made the chili, and again was surprised at how good it turned out! They don't sell pinto beans here, but I finally found some red kidney beans that worked well.
I made my own flour tortillas, that were a little puffier than real tortillas. They tasted more like "gorditas". The kids thought it was weird, but I would eat it again.
--Semi-success: Chinese food
I'm really not a very good chinese cook, but I"m learning. It sure would be easier if I was. I have been watching cooking shows. lol
Actually it is really cheap to eat out here. Even at a nice restaurant, you can eat for about $5 (U.S.) a person. If you eat at a more "sketchy" restaurant you can eat for less than $3 a person. We have eaten some weird things like, "wild chicken". It's basically a scrawny chicken that has been allowed to run around free. lol They chop up the whole chicken and serve every part. You kind of have to just suck on the bones because these are skinny chickens, and there isn't much meat. The taste is okay though. Hmmm...well it depends on who cooks it.
We were in Beijing and Xi An for 10 days and the one thing we learned from first hand experience is that northern China food isn't very good. In Xi An they like to eat "sour noodles". It's a bowl of noodles with a lot of vinegar in the broth. I like vinegar, but this wasn't my favorite. I also ate a muslim dish that I wasn't too thrilled with. It is called "Pao Mo", and is basically a really dense dry bread broken up in to tiny pieces and served with lamb in a bowl of noodles. Meh...
So now my task is to really come up with some good recipes. I don't have an oven, just a broiler function on my microwave. That makes it harder. I welcome any recipes that use fresh vegetables, very little meat, and don't need to be baked. Help!
Here is a picture of a meal we ate in Xi An. It was geared to foreigner tastes, and really not very good. They did have a guy pulling noodles for us, and that part was good, but the rest was yucky. You can tell by the look on my face...