Cooking & Eating in China

我爱食物 (I love food) I wasn’t that much of a cook before living in China! I remember during my college days when I was living on my own, it was nothing, but cooking pasta, takeout, or using someone else’s swipes at the cafeteria. Growing up, I never had to cook, my mom would try to make me, but I would just cry my way out of it! Now that I think about it, the only job in the kitchen that I remembered doing was peeling the garlics! OH GOSH, worse job ever, my hands and fingernails would stench of garlic, even after washing them like 7363 times. Yes, that many times!

Ever since I’ve been living in China, I’ve begun to become very crafty in the kitchen. My cooking skills constantly improve thanks to YouTube videos, Tasty clips, googling recipes, and simply just experimenting. Tasty clips are the best, sometimes I’ll watch like 10 in a row, super motivated and hungry, but then I get lazy and make something super simple such as scrambled eggs or order pizza! In life we tend to be in a rush to God knows where, so it’s easier to settle for quick meals like canned items, peanut butter and jelly, a simple pasta like penne with red sauce, or even take out.

Living in a country where you’re not accustomed to the food or eating at western restaurants can become too much of an expense, the only way to go is DIY(do it yourself). My first month in Shenzhen, I was craving all of America’s delicious (yet super horrible for you) fast foods. I remember going to my first western restaurant which was Frankie’s. I remember opening up the menu and immediately started drooling. First of all the atmosphere was so pleasant and welcoming, I didn’t feel like I was in China anymore and the staff spoke English too! I ordered wings, chips (which I thought were fries, but were actually potato chips), and a burger and enjoyed every second of it, it was absolutely amazing. *stops typing and goes to Frankie’s*

image (3)
Anyways, where am I going with all of this!? Okay, Chinese food in America is a lot better than Chinese food in China in my opinion. I don’t really trust a lot of Chinese food restaurants because some could be serving dog instead of chicken or literally whatever! The moment I realize that Chinese food was definitely not for me, was when I seen a DEAD dog hanging out this restaurant’s window, seeing the skinning of a dead dog when I went jogging, and also ordering soup and not knowing that they would put chicken head inside of it! (I know it was rude, but I literally screamed) All of those experiences led me to cooking for myself, eating at western restaurants, and only eating at Chinese food places if I go out with co-workers or if someone with good tastebuds recommend a place. DON’T TRUST EVERYONE’S TASTEBUDS! Number 1 lesson in life!
Cooking for yourself is the best thing that you could give to yourself! It’s a skill that everyone posseses, I promise!  Blasting some Lauryn Hill, Beyoncé, or even some turn up music while turning several bland ingredients into something spectacular and delicious is a wonderful feeling. The thought of turning some raw chicken into something delightful or turning a boring zucchini into a yummy work of art was just so intriguing to me. A lot of ingredients are hard to find in the Chinese supermarkets, but luckily there are several western supermarkets, such as Olé, Walmart, Vanguard, and an online store called Nogogo. They are a bit expensive, but totally worth it because these markets are trustworthy and we know that the food hasn’t been tampered with, so we rather be safe than sorry!

apple pie

Apple pie made from scratch

zuchinni

Zucchini with red bell peppers & chicken with a side of Salsa

Speaking of “trustworthy”, even the Chinese people don’t trust most of their grocery stores, that’s why a lot of them tend to cross the border to Hong Kong or shop at these western markets in Shenzhen. Well, if a certain company was putting toxic ingredients into my baby’s formula, then I would start going elsewhere for my groceries too. (***Sources at the very end) If they do that to BABY food then they are definitely doing the same to other ingredients. Like I said before, better be safe than sorry. I have even heard that EGGS are fake? Like wow that’s crazy!
Sorry for that, but I thought that it was an important factor, just in case someone reading this decided to come to China. Also, China is definitely not the only country doing it! America definitely is not innocent when it comes time to finding new ways to control the population. When I go back to the U.S, I am definitely going to try to be 90% vegetarian with eating only salmon as part of my meat diet! I will also try to eat organic too even though it’s a bit expensive. WHY the heck is organic (NATURAL) so much more expensive? It’s ridiculous! Something that is part of nature should not be tampered with for capitalistic reasons! When I own a house, my back yard will definitely be filled with fruits and veggies! I would love to have an avocado tree, avocados are awesome! I could eat it with literally anything! (I need to stop using literally, because I literally use it so much).

I tend to rant sometimes, but I hope certain parts are useful for most out there reading. I hope everyone reading this enjoyed my first blog ever. Sharing your opinion and personal stories to the world might be a bit difficult at first, but I’m definitely up for the challenge! I’m not a great writer obviously, my blogs are to inspire people that living in a completely different country is possible. At the end of the day, just know that every country has their own flaws! My blog is not necessarily there to bash China. However, I will only tell you the problems that I have experienced and I will give you the solutions that I used to fix them. For example I didn’t like Chinese food, so I decided to prepare my own meals or eat at certain restaurants in Shenzhen that provided meals that I enjoyed!

Enjoy a slideshow of some of the meals that I have prepared below….

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Enjoy a slideshow of foods found in western restaurants around Shenzhen below…

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*** Scandals in China concerning baby formula, food, and dog eating

  1.  http://www.voanews.com/content/tainted-food-scandal-grows-in-china/1962475.html
  2. http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1841535,00.html
  3. http://www.marketplace.org/2013/04/16/world/chinas-toxic-harvest-growing-tainted-food-cancer-villages
  4. http://www.businessinsider.com/dogs-were-saved-thanks-to-twitter-at-the-yulin-festival-2015-6

 

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