This was one of my biggest concerns when I decided to come to China. I LOVE food, cooking it and definitely eating it, but what would I eat in China?
Did you know that Chinese food has 5 Key Flavours that must be balanced according to Traditional Chinese Medicine — sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy?
Chinese eat far more fruit and vegetables than in the West. So, when we go out and stack up on meaty dishes we get a few confused looks from the waiters. Cold dishes are usually served before the main meal. Besides salad and pickles as appetizers, they can range from jelly, bean curd, noodle salad, cooked meat and sausages, to jellyfish or cold soups and your rice will always be served at the very end of a meal.
Chinese like to give to dishes catchy names. Some names have nothing to do with their ingredients. For example:
• ‘Husband Wife Lung Slices’ is not cannibalism (which you’ll be relieved is not allowed in China), but thinly sliced bovine lung, tongue, or some other cut, seasoned with chili oil.
• ‘Ants climb trees’ (蚂蚁上树 mǎyǐ shàng shù) is vermicelli with spicy minced pork.
Even though they have these interesting dished. There will always be something to eat here. I’ve been here for more thirteen months now and I can tell you that while visiting home, I found myself craving some of my favourite dishes.
It will take some time to get used to the food here, but once you do it is unforgettable. Like me, you could find yourself traveling an hour on the subway just for some delicious cheesy fries and burritos at “Pebbles” or just down the street from your apartment for some Kung pow Chicken and cabbage braised with a meaty sauce.
Just recently we came across a hidden treasure called “MAANCAT” a cute little café. I saw a dish displayed near the counter and it looked amazing…waffles, egg, sausage and bacon with a side salad. It looked amazing, I was a bit worried because let’s face it, food never looks the same once it gets to the table. This is the picture I took and it looked exactly the same as displayed.
So, do not be concerned at all. Chinese food is something you have to experience. It will be a journey on its own.