Yes. Please.

There were quite a few authentic and traditional Chinese dishes we had to try when we went to Xi’an.  We did our very best to eat our way up and through the Muslim Quarter.  Some things, we had to try more than once or twice, just to give it a fair shake.

Rou jia mo is like a Chinese hamburger on a flatbread-type bun.  Every one of the 4 I tried (ha!) was fantastic, and the spicy vegetarian version (cai jia mo) was fantastic too.  Biang biang mian is a carbohydrate dream – wide, thick, long hand-pulled noodles in a sauce of varying spiciness.  Yang rou chuanr is a lamb skewer and at each stall, there are different spices available for you to add your own.  Cumin is a regular favorite.  There were sweet rice cakes, nutty candy, fried little potatoes, noodles, fruits and vegetables, drinks, nuts, breads and so much more.  Enjoy!

To market, To market

As fall settles in to northeast China, and the “squirrels” are beginning to appear, I am thinking of cold weather foods and the lovely potato & leek soup I’ve added to our regular dinner rotation (Thanks, Pinch My Salt).  That means a trip to the local market.  This is where I buy nearly all of our meat and vegetables, along with some fruits, fresh noodles, small breads, maybe a pound of peanuts, or some fresh, spicy cucumbers.  All smells aside, I like a market where the whole pig is on the table in the morning, or the chicken feathers are still out on the sidewalk.  I go to the regular supermarkets and the import shop too, but this is our real food movement happens.

I had previously written about bei shi cheng, but over the last couple of years, I’ve settled in to a regular appearance at a market in the Hun nan district, specifically in the Fengxiang neighborhood. On a recent trip my list wrote up like this –

  • 15 eggs – 7.40rmb (~$1.20)
  • chicken (4 breasts, 2 leg/thigh) – 26rmb ($4.25)
  • beef (1 kg minced, 500g skirt) – 120rmb ($19.60)
  • pork (1 kg loin, 1 kg shoulder) – 60rmb  ($9.80)
  • vegetables (various & plentiful, about 3 lbs) – 15rmb ($2.45)
  • new potatoes (500g) – 1.5rmb  ($.25)
  • 12 fresh rolls – 4rmb  ($.65)

And my list might have looked like this: