The cost of eating out in China is two fold. First, it’s CHEAP and today I’m sharing with you how much money I spent on food on a day when I ate both lunch and dinner out at two different restaurants. Secondly, Chinese food can be costly in regards to my health. I usually try to eat out only once, maybe twice, a week, because I often don’t feel the greatest afterwards. Yes, I’m looking at you oil and MSG. Thankfully I’m learning which restaurants and foods don’t affect my stomach too badly and how to ask for little oil and no MSG. Yet, still I prefer to eat at home.
Don’t get me wrong though. Even with the occasional stomach problems, the food in our city tastes AMAZING! I haven’t eaten a single thing I didn’t like (except for some sticky rice dessert coated in bean flour). Everything is so flavorful, garlicky and spicy! Just how I like it.
I thought it would be fun to show you guys some of my favorite foods here in our city and the foods I often eat for my breakfasts and snacks. I hope to do more posts like this in the future so I can show you more of my favorite foods here in China, but for now you’re just getting a glimpse.
Let’s dig in!
I had my first Banana Ice Cream of the spring this day. I added cacao powder to make it chocolate ice cream and then ate it with rice puffs that I bought from a cute old man on the side of the road and a few more banana slices.
TOTAL COST: $0.60
What I ate for lunch is now one of my favorite foods ever! Since the first time my language teacher took me to eat this soup, I’ve been obsessed. It’s a rice, soybean and greens soup that we often eat with other vegetables on top. This day I just ate the soup plain with some pickled veggies and that’s probably how I’ll eat it from now on. The extra veggies we often order are stir fried so it was nice to stay clear of the extra oil this time. Seriously. This soup is amazing!
TOTAL COST: $1.20
Another food that I discovered after moving to China is dried persimmons. I love dried persimmons so much more than fresh persimmons. They’re incredibly sweet and gooey and give me the perfect burst of energy during my language class. On this day I ate two.
TOTAL COST: $0.50
Currently, all the citrus fruits are ripe, juicy and cheap! I picked up a bag of oranges (11 in total) for $1.21 and ate one for a light snack before dinner.
TOTAL COST: $0.11
There is a restaurant right outside of our apartment complex that Brett and I have been eyeballing for a while. It’s kind of like a buffet where they have tons of veggie and meat dishes already prepared and you get to choose two to eat with rice. We went down around 7 PM and everything was pretty much whipped clean. Guess we need to show up earlier!
Thankfully there are a couple more restaurants right next door which we’ve eaten at before, so we just hopped on over to try out something new. We both choose to eat rice dishes instead of noodle soup and I got the BEST garlicky greens, dried tofu, and pickled veggies to enjoy with a massive bowl of rice.
TOTAL COST FOR THE DAY: $3.81 !!!!!
Yes, that’s how much a full day of plant-based meals in China cost me! Some days I feel like eating out is cheaper than buying my own food, but either way, food here is so inexpensive. I’m so thankful that, even though the food can hurt my stomach sometimes, everything tastes amazing and I have access to every kind of fruit and vegetable I could ever want. Hopefully I’ll continue to learn which dishes affect my stomach and which ones I can eat without any problems. When all else fails though, I’ll just stick to fresh fruit and all the home cooked, oil-free, MSG-free meals:)
What’s your favorite kind of soup?
Does eating out when your away from home affect your health?
Do you like pickled vegetables?
Thanks for the link-up!