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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
So far I've been stuck eating only cafeteria food (served to teachers in the school) and a few restaurants here and there during my stay in China, and I must say, Chinese food is quite tasty here...Maybe it's because I'm so used to eating Korean food/Asian food all my life that I haven't gone through the usual adjustment process most foreigners go through while in China.
I can see many similarities between Chinese, Korean, Thai, Taiwanese and Japanese food. Of course, there are major differences, but I'm liking it so far. Dumplings, noodles, soup, meat and vegetable dishes all seem somewhat similar. The only thing I can't eat is fish and other seafood dishes (except when it contains lobster, shrimp, and crab), unless it is fried. Otherwise, I think it's pretty tasty.
I've eaten a lot and have actually lost a lot of weight already! Can you believe that? The servers in the restaurants that I've been to have been very nice to me--especially when told that I am a foreigner to the country. They are impressed by my chopsticks ability and my big stomach, LOL.
The cafeteria ladies even give me extra portions because they see that I enjoy eating their food, and they sometimes even shout random English phrases at me, from time-to-time, LOL.
The Chinese take-out food is nothing compared to the food in China; Chinese-take-out food always made me sick whenever I ate it in the United States. All the MSG and oily chemicals and processed American garbage laced in the food--always made me think twice about eating back home.
I have an interesting question to ask about the food supply in China?: I thought the food supply in China was dirty, of poor quality and laced with chemicals and, yet, I feel healthier here in China than I have back in the States. Why is that?
Because Chinese people as a whole take food VERY seriously. Just because there are a few nasty food places and farmers trying to cheat, does not mean all of them do that. Guys like Xiongmao do not know how to eat over there. You could read AmericanInBangkok's food advice for Thailand and it applies to China as well. I think you being Korean gives you a slight advantage as well, because Asians unlike non-Asians know how to observe if other people are eating the food and if it must be good or not. As a Louisianian-Texan myself, and a pretty good cook, I have a keen ability to track down great barbecue, Cajun, and Creole food without fail. Like Wolverine says, "The nose, knows...".
I ate like a king in China AND lost weight as well. The walking around and active lifestyle, combined with the heat outside, helps the weight stay down too.
I like a lot of it. Dumplings are really good. (I need to learn how to make those sometimes.) I usually don't like vegetables, but here I like a lot of the vegetable dishes, like spicy green beans or cucumbers. I love the sweet corn that is sold around sometimes. It's really starchy, but I love it.
Have you had Gouboro, Zboy? (I'm not sure how exactly it's spelled.) It's glazed pork or chicken I think. Really good stuff.
I can't express in words how much I loathe Chinese food. I never found a single native Chinese dish I liked. I hate noodles, I hate the way they cook rice, I hate the way they use too much oil, I hate the way they flavour meat, I hate chopsticks. I've been to many countries and tried many different types of food and I always found something I liked. I loved South Asian, Middle Eastern, Thai and Malaysian food, I always found something I enjoyed in the Philippines, but in China, especially outside the big cities, nothing. The one exception to that are foreign operated restaurants specialising in foreign food, but that hardly counts as Chinese food.
Food safety is a huge issue in China. But of course you won't hear much in China, because it's largely suppressed.
I actually did my PhD in food biochemistry. I'd sure like to have had access to a lab in China
One of my ex's cousins died recently because of bad food. Yikes.
One well documented incident I did hear about was when my local University analysed their rice shipment and found it full of cadmium. Hardly any students ate there for a while after that incident.
Actually I have to say that of all my classmates in my Mandarin class, I was the one with the fewest food related issues. The Korean guys were forever coming in and looking green in the morning lol. I tended to avoid the local restaurants, as they backed onto a very polluted river.
Another thing that puzzled me were why things like onions and carrots in the local supermarket were so freaking big. Maybe they're grown with stupendous amounts of chemicals. I don't know. All I know is vegetables are regular size in Thai supermarkets.
And finally, on the flight from Guangzhou to Thailand, China looked like a building site, Thailand looked green and fertile.
But there is tasty food in China. Hubei stuff is good, and so is Yunnan stuff. Also I love that sliced potato and chilli thing that's common in Hunan restaurants.
I like sezchuan style cooking. It's spicy in all the right ways but I don't care for their hot pot which is too greasy and full of that red carcinogenic oil.
I also had a pretty awesome dish of river fish cooked in beer around Guilin. It was real tender and the fish had none of the fishy taste to it. It was seasoned just right.
Foreigners are too used to takeaway Chinese fast food which is basically garbage laden with sugar, starch, salt, and msg. Chinese people don't eat garbage like this.
Well...yeah, I like SouthEast Asian and Indian food as well. I'm just surprised to see that you hate Chinese food that much, considering that it's similar to other East/Northeast/Southeast Asian cuisines...
No, but I must try it some day
How is the food up there in the North. I know the cuisine in that part of China is different from the South. Have you also lost any weight since you've been in China, Ghost? I know I have.
I've mostly eaten Zhejiang style foods while in China. I like Dongbo pork a lot. It's pork belly marinated in a red sauce.
Does anyone know the difference between all the different cuisines and regions of China? Like, I know that Sichuan is known for their spicy dishes, but what about Beijing food? Or Shandong?
I've noticed that Chinese food is not good unless Asian people are eating there. If it's only white people, like in the Panda Express type joints, then it sucks and is not authentic at all.
So the food in China does not contain MSG? Are there chain food places where you can trust that the food will be cooked cleanly?
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Larger chains have bigger liability issues if their customers get sick, so they tend to impose stricter standards. However that doesn't mean the employees will necessarily follow them behind closed doors.
In culinary school we had inspectors come and check the temperature of the dish washer and fridge frequently. They also use test strips on counters and such. We could not store food in containers in the fridge with more than 1" gap on top and I scrubbed down my area with bleach solution every day. We could not re-use any tasting spoon in the kitchen, they must be properly washed and sanitized before being used again. We also go through a lot of rags and towels.
Outside of schools, if you go to a restaurant's kitchen, you'd see the chef re-use his tasting spoon and just wipe it with a rag. Dishes with any splatter are also wiped with a rag before being served. At some point you begin to question where the rag has been.
Oh I forgot to say - not all Chinese people like Chinese food.
I failed to find anyone in China who actually liked zongzi (those rice parcel things they eat in the Dragon Boat festival).
At my local Chinese back in England, they've removed everything adventurous from the menu (the frogs legs were very good) and now it's really just stuff made from chicken breast. But oddly enough, the place isn't staffed by Chinese at all, they're all Thais.