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realmayo

What to eat with rice?

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realmayo

Sorry if this sounds banal. Am living in a dorm in a Chinese university: if I had both a rice cooker but no other cooking facilities, are there any interesting goodies that I can get from a regular supermaket to eat with my rice to make a very basic meal (ie rice plus x). So many of the tins and jars and so on look very forbidding but then, lots of the things I like here looked forbidding when I first saw them.... Any discoveries to share? :D

(I have a fridge.)

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roddy

The little packets of 咸菜 are dirt cheap and will give you your entire monthly salt allowance in a single sitting. I'll pass on any invitations to dinner though.

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leeyah

I understand you're in China, but anyway why eat only rice? :mrgreen:

You should be able to cook anything you like in the rice cooker actually, like mashed potatoes or pasta or even beef stew, for example. Plenty of veg (aubergines 茄皮紫, potatoes 土豆 , etc) and meats available in big Chinese supermarkets, too.

Since you've got a fridge, the simplest food you can cook in it would be 速冻饺子 or 云吞, or 肉丸 or 鱼丸, just put them in boiling water and simmer for about 5-7 minutes, then take them out of water, add some soy-sauce over it and there you go.

Some pics to help you get the idea:

Bon appetit! :D

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realmayo

You can cook more than rice in a rice cooker? I didn't know that!

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leeyah

I learned that from some Mongol girls who used it to cook real food in the dorms, like their Hashe & Gulash.

All you need is some oil, salt, and whatever spices you like (I recommend 生姜 ginger), also make sure you keep it clean after you've done the oily cooking, and that's all there is to it. :D

PS I had no idea I can buy 土豆 in China actually until I saw them cooking it! Also, in China potatoes are obviously considered typical western food.

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peekay

You can buy pre-cooked dishes at most supermarkets. Roasted chicken, vegetable dishes, duck, tofu, sausages, etc. Especially convenient if you can also get a microwave or induction cooker to heat things up.

You can also separately cook vegetables, eggs, etc., with your rice cooker. Or to add taste, cook the rice with mushrooms, spinach, herbs, sauces, chicken or beef bouillon, curry powder, whatever you like. You can even add seafood (like shrimp) to your rice as it cooks.

See also rice cooker recipes on Google.

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realmayo
PS I had no idea I can buy 土豆 in China actually until I saw them cooking it! Also, in China potatoes are obviously considered typical western food.

I told the woman driving me in a taxi the other day how in the West we cook boiled potatoes. She said our potatoes must be different from those in China, because there's no way she would eat a Chinese potato that's simply been boiled.

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leeyah

Yeah, they eat what we in the west know as, "jagaimo" in Japanese, 白薯 or 山芋 in Chinese, translated as sweet potato, some kind of yam actually.

And yes, you're right, they don't cook it the way we do. Besides, it doesn't really even resemble the taste of 土豆 potato. Too sweet :roll:

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Scoobyqueen
I had no idea I can buy 土豆 in China

Funnily enough China is the world's largest producer of potatoes (by quite a long way).

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leeyah
Funnily enough China is the world's largest producer of potatoes (by quite a long way).

You mean "potato-exporter" perhaps, as you won't get to see too many Chinese eating 土豆s, not to mention buying them in the supermarkets :mrgreen:

From what I've seen when they feel like it, it's usually french fries in the Mac 8)

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realmayo

I've eaten 干煸土豆丝 plenty of times, now would that be from the sweet potato or the normal, erm, "honest" potato?

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leeyah

干煸土豆丝 does taste like sweetened "honest" potato, but I wouldn't know really. Anyway, what I'm saying is potato isn't what you'd call traditional Chinese food, and as you can see 干煸土豆丝 is made exactly the Chinese way: cut up in thin 丝, perhaps we could call it 中式土豆 :lol:

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Scoobyqueen
You mean "potato-exporter"

China consumes most of its potato production. The rise of fast-food is primarily to blame. Also some are used for feed.

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peekay

In many parts of China, "honest" potato is a staple food (instead of rice and wheat), not just a vegetable side-dish. Hence the huge demand for them, even without fast food.

Ironically the bulk of potatoes used for french fries here in China are probably imported from other countries (for consistency reasons, etc.)

But China is the worlds largest consumer of potatoes (by far), matching the country's production output.

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leeyah

Continuing the potato debate: :roll:

In many parts of China, "honest" potato is a staple food (instead of rice and wheat)

And which parts may these be, pray? :conf

some are used for feed

Right, apparently potatoes aren't considered too good as staple food for proper humans (a friend of mine told me once she heard a Chinese child ask his mom: 外国人也是人吗?:mrgreen::mrgreen:) , but, oh yes, "fast food" and "feed" are just a step too close :lol:

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imron
And which parts may these be, pray?
I take it you've never been north-east :mrgreen: Many, many potato dishes in good 'ole 东北 cooking.

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skylee

Get a pair of 臘腸 (chinese sausages). Wash them. Then when you've washed the rice put them in the water on top of the rice and cook them together. The juice of the sausages will get in the rice below. When they are cooked, get the sausages out and slice them. Use your chopsticks to mix the rice with the sausage juice with that without. Serve.

You can do the same with a 鹹蛋.

Rince some lettuce and put it in a small metal plate on top of the water above the rice (use a 蒸架). Cook them together and you'll get some veggie too. This way, you can steam different food (easily cooked things) to go with your rice.

For breakfast or snack, put a slice of bread in the cooker (dry, no water). Press the button and then you have a piece of toast.

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skylee

Very simple dishes that my mom did included - fried luncheon meat, (stir) fried eggs (with diced ham or sliced onion or green beans), fried sunshine eggs with soy sauce, fried fish fingers, boiled lettuce with oyster sauce. If you have a pan or a wok you can make a lot of things.

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peekay
And which parts may these be, pray?

Most obviously in Tibet and other south-west areas (including Yunnan, parts of Sichuan, etc), but also in northern China (Inner Mongolia is one of the largest potato producing regions in the world). Generally speaking, in mountainous areas of China potato is widely used for noodles and bread.

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realmayo

Thanks Skylee -- I'll try the sausages! maybe I should go the whole way and buy myself a hotplate "stove" thing and a pan too..... :clap

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