Cooking on a Kuai

US-China Cultural Exchange: One Dish at a Time

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Beef and Lamb
This is how you buy beef and lamb here. Almost always run by the Hui (Muslim) folks. Just point and tell how much. I should try it sometimes. Maybe when I have visitors.

Beef and Lamb

This is how you buy beef and lamb here. Almost always run by the Hui (Muslim) folks. Just point and tell how much. I should try it sometimes. Maybe when I have visitors.

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Why You Have So Much (FREE) Time

rainestaylor:

chinstahappy:

According to China, the reason you may have so much time on your hands is because you don’t have a boyfriend. Yup, that is right. Lack of a man means you have nothing but time. Twice I have had one of my students say that they have no plans for that day. Why? Because they have no boyfriend. 

Oh, China.

Get your ducks in a row!! :)

LOL!

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Homemade Yogurt: China Edition. The Prep.

Note: This method will not work in the States. Ask me why if you’re curious. Check out the caption under the pictures for instruction.

Step one: boil everything that will touch the yogurt in (distilled) water for a couple minutes.

Step two: use condense milk. You don’t have to, but the result will be heavenly. If you don’t want to use condense milk, or don’t have condense milk, Add sugar to taste. Sugar will help set the yogurt.

Step three: mix one can of condensed milk with one can of boiling water. Mix well. Make sure there are no clumps. Add 5 to 6 boxes of milk (250ml). Then add 1 cup of store-bought yogurt about 100 g or 3 to 4 heaping tablespoons of yogurt. Mix very well.

Step four: Machine method: put the mixture into the yogurt machine. Follow the manufacture instruction. Mine asked me to put the yogurt in a water bath. The machine keeps the water at a constant warm temperature to inchoate the yogurt.

Step four: without a machine: put the mixture into cups or jar with lids. If you don’t have lids, use plastic wrap to cover the cups. Remember the hot water that I used to boil my cups and whisk? Now carefully lower the filled jar and cups into the big pot.Keep the pot in a warm location of your home.

If you have a space heater like I do, keep it near the space heater. If you don’t, it’s okay. This will work.

If you live in especially cold place, you might want to boil your water again. Dump out the warm water. Put your filled jars into a empty big pot. Boil your water in an electric kettle. And pour the water into the pot (safety reason). Again, cover and put it in a warm place.

For both methods, the incubation time ranges from 6-12 hrs depends on your climate.

This recipe made a lot of yogurt. you can cut it in half. Use half a can of condensed milk, half a can of boiling water, three boxes of milk, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of store-bought yogurt.

I will post the result tomorrow.

The result is here:

http://cookingonakuai.tumblr.com/post/98433943536/homemade-yogurt-china-edition-the-results

Filed under homemadeyogurt

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The pomegranates here are yellow on the outside and pink on the inside. They are super cheap. Two of them cost less than 4 kuai at the supermarket (on sale). Eating a pomegranate can be awkward and messy if you don’t know what you’re doing. But once you got the hang of it, it is less messy, fun, and incredibly satisfying.

The easiest way to open a pomegranate: score along the equator with a paring knife. Use your hands to break the fruit apart. If it is ripe, it will be pretty easy to break. Then whack the heck out of each half with a wooden spoon over a large bowl. Seeds will fall out into the bowl. Pick out the white membrane. Eat the seeds by the handful. (Search Youtube for videos if you are a visual learners). Enjoy!

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How to eat dragon fruit: cut off the top and bottom like you would a pineapple. Then cut into wedges. Skin will peel like a banana. Cost: 20 kuai for two.

How to eat dragon fruit: cut off the top and bottom like you would a pineapple. Then cut into wedges. Skin will peel like a banana. Cost: 20 kuai for two.

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Chinese Báijiǔ (白酒)
Báijiǔ literally means “white alcohol.” It’s a super duper strong liquor. To me, it smells like rubbing alcohol, and tastes like it, too. However, báijiǔ is extremely popular here. Both men and women drink it, but more so the men. It shows strength and masculinity. During banquets, formal celebrations, báijiǔ will be there.
Most of time, báijiǔ is sold in clear glass bottle. However, this is the first time I encounter báijiǔ preserved in the traditional earthen jars. (Picture was taken at a restaurant in Pingliang). For the Vietnamese who are Hongkong drama addicts: the third one from the left is “nữ nhi hồng.”

Chinese Báijiǔ (白酒)

Báijiǔ literally means “white alcohol.” It’s a super duper strong liquor. To me, it smells like rubbing alcohol, and tastes like it, too. However, báijiǔ is extremely popular here. Both men and women drink it, but more so the men. It shows strength and masculinity. During banquets, formal celebrations, báijiǔ will be there.

Most of time, báijiǔ is sold in clear glass bottle. However, this is the first time I encounter báijiǔ preserved in the traditional earthen jars. (Picture was taken at a restaurant in Pingliang). For the Vietnamese who are Hongkong drama addicts: the third one from the left is “nữ nhi hồng.”

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 Pingliang Apples (Píngliáng píngguǒ 平凉苹果)
These are special apples. I was told that Pingliang’s apples are famous in China. Yes, they are the best apples I’ve ever had in China, crisp and sweet, unlike the bland and powdery we had at hotel breakfast buffets. The kind that breaks apart when you bite into it. Cost to me 0. They were gifts from a fellow teacher. I ate one with the skin on. If I get sick, it would be almost worth it!

 Pingliang Apples (Píngliáng píngguǒ 平凉苹果)

These are special apples. I was told that Pingliang’s apples are famous in China. Yes, they are the best apples I’ve ever had in China, crisp and sweet, unlike the bland and powdery we had at hotel breakfast buffets. The kind that breaks apart when you bite into it. Cost to me 0. They were gifts from a fellow teacher. I ate one with the skin on. If I get sick, it would be almost worth it!

2 notes

My makeshift Thai Pad-see-ew. Cost to make: probably less than 4 kuai.
I was looking forward to cook for myself again. But making something as simple as this required a lot of effort in small town China. The noodle is way chewier than the Thai variety. I don’t have any soy sauce or vinegar, so I used oyster sauce and sugar. I burnt some of the food while cooking it. It didn’t turn out too horrible, but of course nowhere near as good as the ones I made in the States.
Burning a simple stir fry is a good metaphor for my life right now. I hadn’t done it since my early teens, when I was still learning how to cook. With more than a decade of cooking experience, I know how to handle myself in the kitchen. Let’s correct that: I know how to handle myself in my America kitchen.
In my China kitchen, the tools and setup are different. I need to relearn everything. Just as I need to relearn to set up a bank account, a phone number, shop for food, or buy anything. In the States, I know exactly what to do. Here, I simply do not. Since I has always been fiercely independent, it is frustrated to rely on other people for help.
But that is the life of an expat. Everyday I remind myself that I chose this life, and make myself choose it again. I also need to remember that I’m not alone in this journey. So friends, come to Pingliang, I’m making dinner.

My makeshift Thai Pad-see-ew. Cost to make: probably less than 4 kuai.

I was looking forward to cook for myself again. But making something as simple as this required a lot of effort in small town China. The noodle is way chewier than the Thai variety. I don’t have any soy sauce or vinegar, so I used oyster sauce and sugar. I burnt some of the food while cooking it. It didn’t turn out too horrible, but of course nowhere near as good as the ones I made in the States.

Burning a simple stir fry is a good metaphor for my life right now. I hadn’t done it since my early teens, when I was still learning how to cook. With more than a decade of cooking experience, I know how to handle myself in the kitchen. Let’s correct that: I know how to handle myself in my America kitchen.

In my China kitchen, the tools and setup are different. I need to relearn everything. Just as I need to relearn to set up a bank account, a phone number, shop for food, or buy anything. In the States, I know exactly what to do. Here, I simply do not. Since I has always been fiercely independent, it is frustrated to rely on other people for help.

But that is the life of an expat. Everyday I remind myself that I chose this life, and make myself choose it again. I also need to remember that I’m not alone in this journey. So friends, come to Pingliang, I’m making dinner.

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I felt homesick for the first time and just happened to find rice paper at Carrefour!! When I saw the package, I almost teared up. For lunch, I ordered at McDonald’s. I don’t go to McD’s in the States. But in China, it reminds me of home. McD’s: 19 kuai; Rice Paper: 16 Kuai.

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erinchina20:

Damien Shuck loves that these little entry gates exist. Watch him get through. It’s almost as magical as floo powder.

:-)

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I was told this is a specialty around here. However, the name of the dish is Xin Jiang Da Pai Ji (Xinjiang Chicken on a Big Plate). It’s a stew with chopped chicken and potatoes in a lightly spiced sauce. The restaurants will
provide la mian or (pulled noodle) to add to the dish. This is my new favorite way to eat chicken. (Don’t know the cost, nobody let us pay the bill).

I was told this is a specialty around here. However, the name of the dish is Xin Jiang Da Pai Ji (Xinjiang Chicken on a Big Plate). It’s a stew with chopped chicken and potatoes in a lightly spiced sauce. The restaurants will provide la mian or (pulled noodle) to add to the dish. This is my new favorite way to eat chicken. (Don’t know the cost, nobody let us pay the bill).

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Local men here would roll up their shirts and walk around town. We
foreigners lovingly call those Beijing Bikinis. Pic was taken from the back
to protect identity of the innocent!

Local men here would roll up their shirts and walk around town. We
foreigners lovingly call those Beijing Bikinis. Pic was taken from the back
to protect identity of the innocent!

Filed under weirdthingsinChina