If it’s true that an army travels on its stomach, our tour group is a mighty army.
I’m going to look at our food from a bunch of different angles … for any of you reading this who might take offense, sorry / not sorry.
First off, this is China, if you’re coming here for vacation expect Chinese food! There’s some western food; some good, some not so good. Bacon is different, hash browns aren’t crunchy and even McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut are very, very geared to Asian tastes.
Our tour package with the exception of breakfast buffets and one lunch (see below) were Chinese food. It was mostly family style, it varied by region and they mixed up the dishes for us to experience different foods.
DO NOT come to China and complain that it’s all Chinese food!!!!
I’m going to share some food items here and aside from specific things like our dumpling dinner, food tours and Chinese airline food or a specific outing I’m going to leave it alone.
Family style is interesting when you’re not family. We had eight relative strangers with different likes and dislikes, tolerances for heat and even abilities with chopsticks all at the same large round table with a lazy Susan in the middle.
Rule number one is make sure you keep your glasses and bowls back from the edge of the spinning table.
Rule number two would be keep the serving utensils turned in from the edge of the table so you don’t knock over glasses.
Typically, eating with family you take food directly from the platter with your chopsticks and place it in your rice bowl or eat it. Reaching back in to get more (double dipping) is just a fact of life. Not so much with eight strangers.
They brought us SO MUCH FOOD. We literally had rice and at least 6-8 dishes on the table. It all came out a little at a time so we never knew what was coming.
If soup comes out you’re pretty much done, when a fruit platter comes out you’re done.
Here’s a running list of some foods we had the first few days:
In Beijing we did a Beijing (Peking) Duck Dinner. Chuck does eat duck because they are too cute, but he tried one. It’s served with slivered green onion, cucumber and hoi sin sauce and a tiny, thin pancake. It was good but not amazing.
Unfortunately, the chef had his back to our table so we missed the demonstration.
In addition to the duck there were a number of other dishes served too.
This is pork and garlic shoots, they were delicious, we need to find these at our local Asian market because they make a great flavorful side dish.
Kung Pao Chicken in China seems to be less sweet and yet more sticky than western Kung Pao. So, yes, it’s an authentic Chinese dish.
Whole fried fish isn’t as scary as I always felt after you’ve eaten a scorpion. We tried fried crispy fish, river carp, and aside from a lot of pin bones it was really good with the sweet and sour sauce.
I really liked these sesame pancakes, they were slightly sweet and crisp on the outside.
I’m growing slightly obsessed with Chinese cauliflower. The flowers are more separated than what were used to. The stems are a bit longer and it seems to stay firm and crunchy. This is something else we’ll be on the lookout for at our local Asian market.
We’ve had some really delicious eggplant too! It was slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the center.
The food is changed a little everyday to give us a nice variety of vegetable items, chicken , beef , pork and fish…
Can’t wait to share about our Dumpling Dinner and our Sichuan Hot Pot experience!