Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Northern style Chinese food

One of my favorite types of Chinese cuisine is bei-fang cai, or Northern style. My grandparents are both from Northern China, so perhaps I am a tad biased, but I love it! Northern style food differs from Southern in that it is very wheat-heavy, instead of rice-heavy. (Their staple crop is wheat in the northern climate.) Thus, the dishes center on noodles, dumplings, pancakes, and steamed breads, etc. They also use more 'nourishing' types of meat, like lamb and beef and duck, because it's so cold.

We went to two different ones in Taiwan. Here's a sampling of some of the food.

Celery with lamb tripe: so light and delicious

Beancurd with pork and vegetables: a staple I order at every restaurant :)

This dish was very interesting. I wish I remembered what it's stir-fried shrimp with some sort of flower petal. (Those aren't onions you see there.) (update: According to my cousin, those are lotus petals!)

Roughly translated as "many vegetables wearing a hat", the hat being made of egg. You wrap the vegetables and egg in a thin pancake and it's delicious!

Chive pancakes: one of my all-time favorites! These amazing 'pancakes' have chives and eggs and sometimes cellophane noodles inside. They are pan-fried and crispy on top. :)

Beef noodles: Dan had been craving good beef noodles for days. These were quite good -- the noodles were perfectly chewy!

See our amazing spread?
Next time you have the chance to try some Northern Chinese cuisine, go for it! Make sure you get some of the scallion pancakes, chive pancakes, and other starches like that. :)

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  1. They're lotus petals, I think! Min Na and I love reading your blog. :D

  2. Thank you! I will update my blog accordingly. ;) that first restaurant we went to is grandparents' favorite. it's near the hospital.