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Jan Finster

Which Chinese dishes were an acquired taste for you?

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45 minutes ago, roddy said:

Guy had fed me god knows what, point blank refused to even nibble a piece of cheese...

Then you won. Ha!

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It’s not Chinese but I recently revisited “natto” because I tried it a couple of times about 8 years ago and really didn’t like it, but I just keep hearing how much Japanese people like it so I gave it another try last year, bought a pack of 3 servings and now I’m hooked. I buy it almost every week and become a bit snobbish about it, always looking out for some specialty natto brand at the grocery 😂

I read on wikipedia that it’s similar to 水豆豉 in China but I haven't tried it yet. 

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3 hours ago, Lu said:

If I think long and hard, I think the only thing that had to grow on me was, weirdly, 珍珠奶茶. Didn't like the 珍珠 first time I tried it. I love the stuff now.


Oh yeah that's a good one. I've never really been much into bubble tea, though I'll get it on occasion, more as a social thing than anything else.


What I do love (but found really weird at first) is 奶盖, cheese tea, of the kind you can get from 喜茶 Hey Tea. Sweet and salty. Super delicious but takes some getting used to.

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Hot pot is a staple in my house and I try to make it atleast twice a month. The kids love the cooking part and making their own sauces. The best part is how complex the broth gets towards the end and I drink it like soup or add noodles. I also save the brith then have it again the next day by myself lol with the leftover meats and vegetables. 

Stinky tofu hit me like a ton of bricks the first time, they brought it to the table and I felt sick from the smell lol. Now when I smell it I walk towards it and take in that unique odor. 

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3 hours ago, Bigdumogre said:

The best part is how complex the broth gets towards the end and I drink it like soup or add noodles.


Agree! Or add a scoop of broth to the rice in my rice bowl. 


Odd how Chinese seem to almost always need rice to complete a meal regardless of what else the meal contained. That's something that surprised me at first, but I gradually just accepted it as normal, and began doing it too. 


The hotpot I eat changes with the seasons. Usually have lamb 羊肉 hotpot in the winter, fish and shellfish hotpot in the spring 鱼和海鲜, wild mushroos in the summer 野生菌。Pork and beef any time. Not only the meat changes, but obviously the choice of vegetables reflects what is in season, fresh, and cheap as well. Tomatoes and cucumber and eggplant in spring, corn and white radish 白萝卜 in summer, turnips, hard squash and potatoes in fall.


In addition to the choice of ingredients being dictated by what is in season, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) considerations come into play as well. Hotpot is no exception to the rich lore of what foods keep you healty in each season, what foods warm you or are cooling and so on. 


A Kunming teacher friend took me to a modern hotpot restaurant that was modeled on a sushi bar. We sat at tables which were near a conveyor belt that brought a huge variety of ingredients withing arms reach. The plates were color coded in such a way that the waitress could calculate your bill at the end of the meal by surveying the empties near your place. 



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