Beijing Part 5: Regional Chinese Food

IMG_5330

As I finish my summary of eating in Beijing, China for eleven days last fall, I contemplate the irony of the fact that an 11 day trip took me 11 months to finish writing up. Yet, the impact that the food of Beijing made on me is fully worth the patience of my readers and time I've spent thinking about what was so amazing about it. While I've already written about the foods from two regions, Sichuan and Xinjiang, as well as Beijing's Street Food and own cuisine, the thing that truly floored me, amazed me and made me feel as though I knew just so little about the cuisine of such a vast … [Read more...]

China Part 4: Beijing Foods, Hot Pot and Miscellany

My Ursine Counterpart: He didn't stop eating the whole time!

Oh, what? I went to China? Oh, yeah, last December! And I’m still within the one year limit of when I returned from the trip to get all the posts up. After this there is just one more! So without further ado: Beijing-style food and other delicious miscellany. Peking duck is pretty much the most symbolic dish of Beijing, being as it shares the name with the city. Whole meals of a single roasted protein aren’t normally my thing, but I couldn’t leave without trying it and my wonderful friends directed me towards a new-ish place not far from where we were staying that would do a great job while … [Read more...]

Beijing Part 3: Sichuan Restaurants

dan dan noodles

"I wish you hadn't told me that" B said, after I informed him that this dish we had just eaten was Dan Dan Mien. We order a perfectly good dish which shares the same name from one of our favorite restaurants at home. It's a great dish, thick chewy noodles and a sauce that seems to be made from pork and peanut butter. These were different. These were crafted dishes, delicate sauce made with layers of flavor. A hint of vinegar here, Sichuan peppercorn there. A totally unrelated dish. Now that we'd had the true version, that serviceable bowl of noodles back home didn't seem as interesting. We … [Read more...]

Beijing Part 2: Holes in the wall and Xinjiang restaurants

baozi steaming

In which I describe the delights you can find only by adventurously ducking into the whatever steamed in window you see in a Beijing back alley (aka hutong) as well as delve into the first of the many regional Chinese cuisines we tried while there. At first glance this might seem like an odd combination, but really there was a lot of overlap. A feature of Xinjiang food is grilled things on sticks and flat, pizza-like flavored breads, both of which you may know, make excellent drinking foods, thus many double as great places to consume large amounts of weak Chinese beer or strong Chinese rice … [Read more...]

Beijing part 1: Street Food Favorites

Crepe maker in beijing

The people of Beijing are hardy stock--everyone perfectly dressed and coifed despite the frigid temperatures, a street life, food vendors included, that is not hampered by the dry cold that froze me immediately. Needless to say, one of the best cures for a half-frostbitten fingers is to hold something warm, something comforting, something delicious, between my hands. To heat my belly with the fire of spicy, delicious food fresh from the nearest bundled up cook on the sidewalk. The man above is making the snack on the left, a thin, crispy egg wrapper filled with two kinds of sauce, one of … [Read more...]