Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spices, frogs, chillies and... baby bunnies?

We have so much to blog about and so little time, so I'm going to try and keep this one brief.

Full disclosure: Will and I may or may not have downloaded Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa earlier this morning, and I really want to watch it before it gets too late!

Yangshuo local market, day 45

But my meant-for-little-kid movie concerns are not what we came here to talk about.

Today we went to the Yangshuo Cooking School for a lesson on traditional Chinese cooking. I'd been feeling under the weather the past few days and I knew that nothing would cheer me up more than getting back in front of a stove again— or at least in front of a wok with a propane burner, beggars can't be choosers.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

Tomorrow we'll post photos and video of our class, which included instruction on the following five delicious and deceptively simple dishes: egg wrapped dumplings (my favorite), steamed chicken with mushrooms, eggplant Yangshuo style (Will's favorite), stir fried pork with vegetables & oyster sauce and finally, green vegetables with garlic.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

But first! Photos from the marketplace, where our cooking instructor took us to before we got down to business.

I selected photos from this trip carefully, as to avoid any squeamish reactions from vegetarians / animal rights activists. These photos are of the more mundane aspects of the market, but are a good representation of the diversity of what was for sale nonetheless.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

Will pointed out that that the frogs for sale were individually wrapped in the same way that the apples here are individually wrapped.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

We saw water chestnuts... "Grampy really liked them," said Will.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

There were vegetable vendors enjoying a moment of repose.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

Bamboo root & lots of mushrooms...

Yangshuo local market, day 45

Snails, snails and more snails, with some eel and sardines thrown in for good measure.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

There were a limited selection of cooked meats available which included chicken feet and pig tongue. We didn't go all Anthony Bourdain on the market and insist on tasting everything, but I thought about it. Briefly.

Yangshuo local market, day 45

Produce!

Yangshuo local market, day 45

The market had all of the components that you might expect being in the middle of a sizable Chinese town. Yet, while the layout in general was pretty straightforward, I found some of the set-up to be a bit disconcerting. In the above picture for example, this joyful man is clearly purchasing a chicken for his dinner.

To his right, I saw the rest of the chickens, awaiting their fate as breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. But then, I looked to his left and saw... baby bunnies? So I asked Will, clearly concerned, "Why on earth would they would sell pet baby bunnies next to the chickens? I mean, what if someone got confused???" Will just smiled and nodded and I still haven't gotten an explanation...

Yangshuo local market, day 45

On a less disturbing / more vegetarian note: how about that tofu, huh?

Yangshuo local market, day 45

Spices!

Yangshuo local market, day 45

And of course, no day would be complete without me meeting a new best friend. I think this one's forever.

Check back tomorrow for recipes, video, photos and more of our awesome cooking class in Yangshuo!

4 comments:

  1. 1) Love the Madagascar / Anthony Bourdain references
    2) I intend to you have you cook all of these things for me when you return
    3) Unbelievable pictures!!!!!
    4) Where is the picture of the bunnies?!

    Looking forward to tomorrow!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. See any eating dogs at the market?

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ Jackie: I'll have to have you + others over for a Chinese tasting menu before I go back to Pittsburgh. And ok, I didn't take any pictures of the bunnies specifically, because I was too busy being in denial about why they were at the market, but if you look in the photo of the guy buying the chicken, you can see them on the left-hand side.

    @ Deb: Sigh, yes. Will warned me before we got into the market that he had been there before with you and that there were in fact, dead dogs for sale. Our cooking instructor asked us if we wanted to go over and look at them and I politely declined.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I see them! Excellent! Thank you!!

    (you know lots of nations eat rabbit)

    ReplyDelete

All text and photos © 2011