Chinese Uyghur selling yáng ròu chuànr 羊肉串儿 near the train station, Shànghǎi, China — January 13, 2004
Grubbing at the lamb restaurant, Shànghǎi, China — January 13 2004
This photo was lost for about 12 years but was recently found and restored.
Sìchuān food, like mápó dòufǔ 麻婆豆腐, is numbingly spicy and tends to make me red in the face — January 25, 2004
Jeremy and Luke eating dried eel and 3-mushroom dish with Tsingtao, Shànghǎi, China — December 26, 2003
Other meals I like include wu hua rou, or 5-flower pork
Making lā miàn 拉面 noodles by hand, Shànghǎi, China — January 13, 2004
It’s the little things that make travel worth it. The other day, I found myself waiting for an order of noodles in a small place off a small street. The portly chef took raw dough, kneaded and pounded it for 5 minutes, and rolled it into a dough-shaped cylinder. The chef then divided the dough in half, and in half, and in half again and stretched this out into four 4-foot strands. These were subsequently divided again and again until there were many strands each the thickness of spaghetti. All were flawless. The noodles were then cooked and served in a thick Asian broth with some meat, cilantro and onion (and with some MSG). I couldn’t believe the mastery that this chef used. It is funny because sometimes these small things are the most memorable.
My Thanksgiving dinner 2004, Chéngdū, China — November 25, 2004
One of my favorite meals in China is the Sìchuān influenced hot pot. With this grand meal you get one huge boiling cauldron (the hot pot) that is divided in half. One side is savory and the other side is infused with ma la, the famed numbing peppers of Southwest China. Veggies, meat, roots, stalk, fish, beef, pig’s throat, and basically anything else is dipped and cooked in this delicious hot pot. The meal can go on for hours accompanied by Qīngdǎo beer and plenty of tea. A word of warning: Micro-manage the simultaneous dipping of raw meat while pulling the cooked meat out or you may experience an upset stomach the next morning.
Fishballs 魚蛋 at the 24-hour store, Shànghǎi, China — January 8, 2004
They sell these water-heated fish and meatballs at most every convenience store in China. At first glance, they seem a bit uninviting. Yet, after a night on the town, when all else is closed, these nourishing morsels really come to the rescue. Kindly avoid if the water is not steaming hot or if there are less than 8 skewers left in the broth.
Selling produce, Shànghǎi, China — January 13, 2004
Not the greatest pic of a vegetable hawk but but one with a man selling vegetables whilst smoking a cigarette — a classic Chinese dichotomy.