Sunday, January 16, 2011

Xiamen: home-cooked meals

Lest you think that we ate out for every single meal in China, fear not!  There were definitely some great home-cooked meals as well.  For instance, here's lunch at my Grandma's home on our first full day in Xiamen. From left to right across the two diagonal rows: green beans and carrots, chicken feet, stir-fried bamboo shoots, cold Sichuan-style deli items (spicy), bok choy, and soup.

I already posted a picture of the hot-pot meal we had at Grandma's before we left Xiamen, so now I'll feature dinner at my aunt's home.  From left to right across the sort-of rows, starting at the top right: boiled dumplings (jiaozi), bok choy, duck, oyster egg scramble (Xiamen specialty), bamboo shoots, some sort of flatbread (bing), some sort of tofu, another good dish I just can't remember, and fresh herbs (mostly cilantro)..  I really like oyster egg scramble, and this particular preparation was made with tons of fresh little oysters that were being shucked and sold just outside my aunt's apartment complex.  Mmm!  It's another dish we only eat when we visit Xiamen.

Also present at this meal was the one dish I didn't enjoy: the infamous (to me) Xiamen delicacy of "tau sun dang" (Fujian dialect - my dad doesn't know the Mandarin name, and there might not even be one).  It is essentially a type of little sea worm in pieces of jelly.  This trip marks the third or fourth time I've tried this dish.  Speaking as diplomatically as possible, I understand that it's very tasty for some people, but I have yet to appreciate/enjoy it.  (Why, then, did I eat it again this time?  For the sake of journalism, my friends.  That's called taking one for the team.)