I absolutely love when I get to learn how to cook Chinese food from my local friends and this past Thursday I got to do just that! Brett is out of town all week so I've had more time to hangout with my local and foreign girl friends. This past Thursday one of my language teachers and I went to the market together and got all the ingredients for a delicious Chinese feast! She also loves to cook and whenever we have class together she shows me photos of what she's been cooking recently. We're kindred spirits!
Since I rarely eat out and therefore don't get to share much Chinese food with you all, I thought it would be fun to show you what Chinese food my teacher and I cooked together.
I also want to say that I've realized that I'm a nibbler, especially around meal times while I'm cooking. So just remember that I often eat more than I show in these What I Eat in a Day posts. Thankfully, my point in sharing these full days of eating isn't for you to know exactly how many calories I eat in a day, but to give you a glimpse into my life here in China and provide you with plant-based meal ideas.
I still haven't gotten sick of this simple, chocolate oatmeal breakfast with nut butter on top. I just cook oats with chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, cocoa powder and cinnamon until thick and then top it off with whatever nut butter I fancy that day. The nut butter melts and spreads out over the oats and it's so delicious and satisfying.
My language teacher and I made three Chinese dishes together which we ate with rice. These dishes were simple and more of Chinese home-cooking than specific dishes. I thought everything we made was absolutely delicious and I've already made the Tofu Tomato Stir-fry again since then. It's pictured below.
In addition to the tofu, we made two cold dishes that are called liang ban (凉拌) which basically means a tossed salad. For the first one we used a vegetable that most foreigners don't care for called zhe er gen (这儿跟). I love it though and so does my teacher. It took a while to clean the vegetables and chop then, but after that you just mix them with different sauces and let it sit for awhile so the zhe er gen can soak up the sauce. We used chili oil (which she taught me how to make), sesame oil, salt, soy sauce, dark vinegar and others. Chinese people often eye-ball all their ingredients, so I hope I can learn to do that well too!
For the second liang ban we bought thick rice noodles called he fen (河粉) which were also so easy to prepare. We tossed them with chili oil, brown sugar, dark vinegar, soy sauce, mushroom oil and salt. My teacher has definitely made cold salads a few times in her life, because her eye-ball measurements were spot on.
I love that she didn't mind or think I was weird to take photos of all the food we made before we started eating. We ate so much, because by the time we finished cooking it was almost 2 PM and we were hungry. Everything we incredibly delicious, but my stomach was in pain not long afterwards. It was so worth it though and I love learning how to use all the different Chinese sauces.
It took me a long time to get hungry again after our feast and I didn't feeling like cooking so I ate a very strange meal of reheated Tomato Zucchini Soup, cucumber and baked sweet potatoes topped with pumpkin chocolate mousse for something sweet. It was a weird combination but satisfying.
- Do you have friends from different countries?
- What other cuisines do you like to cook?
- Have you ever seen or heard of zhe er gen?