Over the last few months, I’ve been collecting photos of some of the food I’ve eaten, to give you a small taste of the variety available in Beijing!
Sweet and Sour Pork and Dry Fried Green Beans (served with rice, of course).
A birthday cake for a 70th birthday. This is an imported custom and gets its own Chinese twist. Someone bought the cake at a bakery and took it to the restaurant where we ate lunch. Since it was ready before the food came, we ate it first. And they cut it into the number of people that were there (maybe 5 of us) and everyone got a giant slice. Once the restaurant owner realized it was a birthday, he also gave the birthday person a bowl of “long life noodles,” the traditional birthday dish (at least for older people).
Fish and Tofu soup. This one tastes better than it looks–the tofu is especially good!
Spicy chicken sandwich, fries, and Pepsi from KFC. There are also McDonalds, a few Burger Kings, some Subways, and a plethora of Chinese fast food places. KFC probably has the most stores, and is certainly more popular in China than the U.S.
Egg and Tomato Noodles and Dry Fried Green Beans. Egg and tomatoes stir fried together is an easy, popular, and delicious dish, and it is also good made into a noodle dish (there’s also a soup version). And yes, I eat a lot of those green beans.
Cumin and cilantro lamb with steamed bread–you fill the bread with the meat.
A (northern) Chinese breakfast: millet porridge, boiled eggs, steamed bread, pickled vegetables, and boiled peanuts.
Fancy coffee and a mango cheesecake at a nice cafe, where I could get some work done.
Sea Urchins. This is the view of the still living sea urchins in the restaurant lobby where we were picking the seafood. When they were cooked the spines might have been trimmed slightly and the sea urchin was cut in half and served open face, one for each person, with a little spoon. In case you’re wondering, sea urchin is kind of creamy.
Chinese hospitality: all this food was prepared for four (!!!) people. We did not finish it. Also, the bright yellow dish is homemade canned peaches. Most of the peaches I see in Beijing are a different variety (whiter, firmer, and less juicy), but these were much more like the variety you get in Michigan and they tasted a lot like my grandma Lemmen and mom’s canned peaches.
Donut and latte from Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts had just re-opened in Beijing when I went to the U.S. last summer, and I didn’t check it out. I’ve only gone to Dunkin’ Donuts a handful of times in the U.S., but the Beijing version features a very comfortable seating area. It is not usually too crowded, in the summer their AC is on high, and it is cheaper than Starbucks. So it has become a good place for me to go to get some things done.
Fish is generally served whole. I’m not sure what this dish is called, but it is tasty!
Finally, there is a video below of a Sizzling Lamb and Onion. There are a variety of this sort of sizzling dish–they are served on a very hot iron plate. In the video you can hear how loudly it is sizzling!
Which ones do you want to try?