Chinese food

Chinese Food No. 2: Mung Bean Ice Cream

From Beijing’s finest food to its worst – we kept seeing a lolly that looked like it was pea flavoured in the ice cream freezers. Intrigued, we decided to try it – I can just about imagine a pea and mint ice cream being refreshing, if a little odd. Alas, it turned out not to be pea flavoured but mung bean flavoured. I don’t actually know what a mung bean is but I can assure you it tastes pretty gross. I also managed to drop it down my legs so then had to walk around with green-streaked legs for the second part of the day…

Chinese food: Yang Fang Lamb Hotpot

On Wednesday evening I ate possibly one of the most delicious meals of my life. We had had a glorious afternoon, wandering the hutongs of central Beijing and then reading kindles leisurely in the square between the Drum and Bell tower, watching cute little Chinese kids play on scooters and roller skates as evening fell. Just round the corner from here was the Yang Fang restaurant, which specialised in a sort of Mongolian hot pot popular in Beijing. You order a broth which arrives in a conical shaped heater and boils in front of you. Then you order the raw ingredients you want in the hot pot – we went for spinach, tofu, sweet potato, sliced lamb, and sliced lotus roots – and add them to the hot pot as you wish, and then fish them out when cooked, and dip in a delicious sesame/peanut sauce. The sweet potato was especially good, but nothing could compare to the lamb – the slices of raw meat were so thin that you only have to dip them in the boiling broth for a few seconds so that the outside changes colour but the inside stays tender and tasty. Food is always more fun when there’s an element of play to it, but this dish combined a fun way of cooking your food with a taste that cannot be described as anything other than exquisite! 

 

Peruvian Food No. 2

Chifa – around 200 years ago lots of Chinese workers moved to Peru, which means there is a very strong established Chinese community in almost every city. As a result, Peru has amazing Chinese food – completely unexpected, but we’ve certainly been taking advantage of it – on most restaurant streets you’re guaranteed to find a little Chifa restaurant. It’s a little strange because the community has been here so long they no longer speak Mandarin, only fluent Spanish, and I’m not sure I’ve come across this combination of cultures before…