Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 19 – After 7 ½ years in China, I still just don’t get why the Chinese (and other Asian countries) love chicken feet so much! I have starting putting the whole chicken, including head and feet, in the pot for broth, BUT - I have tried eating the feet, and my opinion is that you are just chewing the flavored skin off the bones. Anyhow … my opinion doesn’t really matter; Chicken feet are VERY popular in China! Top picture is three different flavors ready cooked at a supermarket, bottom left to right: package of spicy chicken feet for snacking, fresh chicken feet on a pile of ice, and more precooked, but packaged chicken feet.
Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 7 – These are some vending machines from our local shopping plaza. They have an interesting mixture of items available: drinks, snacks (raisins, nuts, seaweed, cookies, etc.), gum, ginger candy, dried fruit, tissue packs, and cigarettes! www.myownchinesebrocade.com
Snacks in China can be quite different, some I wouldn’t touch, but some sound OK, just different. Purple sweet potatoes are big here, as well as peanuts, so how about some purple sweet potato coated peanuts? I even found a recipe on a Chinese cooking site to make your own. Basically mashed sweet potatoes, flour, sugar, oil …..wrap a bit of dough around your peanut (without the skin) and then fry. I can’t eat peanuts, or I would have tried these :-) I wonder if they would work with regular sweet potatoes and pecans …that sounds yummy!
It’s surprising at times how one thing leads to another! The other day, a friend shared a picture of her plant, called a Voodoo Lily. I had never heard of it, so looked it up online, only to discover that the tuber, or corm, of the plant is what they make konjac or konnyaku from. I’ve been thinking of writing about this, so here it is! This has been an important food in Japan for over 100 years! Konnyaku noodles are being sold in the USA as “Miracle Noodles” because they are supposed to help with weight loss. We have purchased these here in the Japanese brand supermarket, Aeon. It is also used as a vegan gelatin substitute. In China, you mainly see this food as little snack cups that, to a western person, look like gelatin cups. However, konjac is very different, because it doesn’t “melt” like gelatin when eaten, it MUST be chewed. The packages have warnings that when these snacks are eaten by young children or the elderly, they should be watched closely: They are often sold in bite size plastic cups, so they can cause a choking hazard. This doesn’t seem to be much of a problem to children who aren’t familiar with western style gelatin cups, but, for children who are used to the Western style ones, and then eat these, expecting them to melt in their mouths, they can be dangerous. I think these are sold in the USA as well as China. So, todays post contains a warning to help spread the word that people need to be sure their children know to chew these Asian fruit jelly cups well!
Life in China: A Picture a day 2016, January 2 - Street food is very popular in China. I don't eat it often, partly because of my food allergy issues and partly because of food safety reasons. However....baked sweet potatoes are the exception, they are delicious! I'm not sure about other parts of China, but in our area, where there are people, there are sweet potato vendors :-)