Sunday, March 28, 2010

Real Chinese Food

While I'm starting to cook again here I figured I'll do a quick recap of the food highlights on my recent China trip. Many memorable dinners, whether it was Peking Duck in a fancy restaurant in Beijing, or a $14 dinner for 3 with plenty of beer in some hole in the wall. However, two things stood out:

First: A pineapple based side dish
Despite my significant other's whining (he hates pizza Hawaii and other fruit in his salty food) I persisted in ordering the dish - pineapple with lime. Not only was it beautiful, it was also hands down the best pineapple based dish I've every had. I made it the first night back home so I didn't forget what was in there:
1 small pineapple, sliced thinly, juice of one lime, fine slices of the zest, a red hot fresh chile, and - SALT! Mix, let stand for a while, then serve chilled. It may be even better if the salt goes on in the last minute, and if it's a coarse salt like Fleur du Sel or grey sea salt. This is how it should look like:

Second: Cooking school in Yangshuo
We had a quiet weekend in the beautiful surroundings of Guilin and Yangshuo. It's very likely you've seen the scenery - just plug the city names in Google and look at the images... It's also on the 20 yuan bill, that's how famous it is in China. While the entire weekend was lovely my favorite part was cooking school. First we made egg dumplings. They are essentially little omelettes that are folded over a filling, and then cooked finished by cooking them in a bit of water, and crisped after the water has evaporated. The filling is ground meat with spices to your liking. Hey, the recipe is even published:

It's a little tricky but well worth the effort:

The remainder of the menu was also wonderful - here is the menu:

And here are the dishes that I made - and they tasted and looked like really good Chinese food - much to everybody's surprise:

I can highly recommend it if you're in the neighborhood :-)

Ok, will have to work on dinner... Stay tuned for new posts with original food!


  1. Welcome back Silke! As your faithful reader, I have been missing your post. Glad you had a great time at the cooking school. Your dishes indeed look authentic. I'm salivating just looking at them. So you don't find chinese food too oily sometimes? This is usually my issue.

  2. Thanks Jenn, my only faithful commenter! The only one that came out a bit oily was the eggplant, but that's the same with any good eggplant recipe. Otherwise I love Chinese food, at least here on the West Coast and in China. I tend to shy away from it anywhere else....

  3. Ooooo, cooking school looks like it was wonderful! Love hearing about your trip.

    Is the new kitchen up and running yet?

  4. Hi Julie - it was great fun! I've tried the egg dumplings once since I came back, but didn't quite have the right tool to fold them up. Will try them again this weekend.
    No, the kitchen is still a gaping hole and the entire house is utter chaos since we ripped out a wall, so the cats and me are exiled in our cabin in Tahoe. Not a bad place to be in exile...