Tuesday, November 29, 2011

last pot

I was really excited about going to Chengdu and no, not only for the pandas.  Every Chinese friend we have has talked to us about visiting Sichuan Provence and how amazing and spicy the food is there.  Amazing and spicy?  I’m in!

I wanted to try as many of the specialties that I could while there, but because of our limited time and hectic tour schedule, we really only had one chance at dinner Saturday night.  One person in the group insisted on organizing dinner, meaning we didn’t get much of a say about where we were going for dinner. And guess what??


Yeah, another Chinese hot pot.  Oily and gross. 

I did discover that it wasn’t anise in the previous hot pot and actually the Sichuan pepper- which to me tastes like  spicy anise with almost a numbing feeling in your mouth when you eat it. 


See those green berry-looking things hanging there?  Those are Sichuan peppers. Word to the wise-  if you don’t like anise - you won’t like these.

Anyway, I am on a total strike from any further hot pot meals in China. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I adored hot pots in Japan.  Well, except for that whole “sea pig” incident. 

A boiling pot of water, thinly sliced beef, vegetables, maybe some udon noodles and a little dipping sauce and you have yourself one yummy and also healthy meal.  I totally plan on getting a table top unit when we get home.  And have a kitchen.

We went to hot pot in Hohhot (yes, it does rhyme- I think) and I was not impressed…


Although I did like the whole concept of a spicy pot, I hated (read: really freaking hated) that they put anise in the water and it was oily. We had beef and lamb and it just wasn’t that great to me.  The noodles they gave us took about 10 minutes to cook and were too gummy.  The pot was also a mile away from each seat (and I’m not considered short here) so cooking was a laborious  up and down nightmare. 

Also, there were these weird fish balls that really grossed me out…


I’m sure we’ll try it again before we leave, but so far- I am not impressed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Our lunch with the sweet Mongolian family has so far been the best food I’ve had in China.

Spicy tofu, celery with chicken, egg with tomatoes (the eggs were fresh from the chickens wandering about), shredded potato stir fry, steamed bread and some sort of pickled radish…


My favorite was these delicious steamed buns filled with lamb and potatoes that she made in her giant steamer…


We ended with some tea with fresh milk (why do I think we can go around partaking in unpasteurized dairy products in developing countries?!?)…


I didn’t care for the tea, but the meal was truly one to remember.  Huddled around a small table in the kitchen of this sweet, sweet family was just incredible.  I really felt like we were in an episode of “No Reservations”.  Truly amazing!!