food

Visiting the 20 RMB mountains of Xingping, China and eating beer fish

Posted on

Having just recently finished my trip to Guangxi, China one of my favorite places that I visited was the small fishing village of Xingping. Xingping is famous for being home to the mountains which are famously sported on China’s 20 RMB yuan note.

We got to Xingping by bus, from the town of Yangshuo (Visited in Paying a visit to the very lame town of Yangshuo, China, one of my recent blog posts) and there was not much to see. A small, quiet village with plenty of people looking to make a few extra kuai off the foreign tourists.

1
Xingping is a quiet little village.

Upon our arrival, I had to pay 2 RMB to use one of the most disgusting toilets I had ever encountered in my entire life. We quickly took a risk and hopped into one of China’s famous three wheeled carriages (Which I also mention in my last post, and is just small motorbike welded to a carriage frame) which slammed up and down and gave me possible brain hemorrhaging the entire ride.

2
The calm Li River as we made our way towards the mountains.

As we got closer to the mountains of Xingping, we passed the Li River which looked very calm in its splendor. A beautiful river, no doubt. We finally arrived at the mountains, and it was worth the long bus ride from Yangshuo!

3
The glorious 20 RMB mountains.

When we arrived, there were of course plenty of people taking pictures, which we did as well. I was also filming for my travel blogging show (Which is on YouTube, of course) but to be honest, we didn’t stay all that long. Once we had our pictures, it was so hot out, we were pretty much set to go.

4
The 20 yuan note, partially lined up with the mountains. I should have taken a few more pictures where it was lined up better <_>

After seeing the mountains, we wanted to have some lunch so we went to a local restaurant in Xingping. We ordered some pijiu yu (啤酒魚), which is literally translated as “beer fish” it’s one of this region of China’s local delicacies so I was happy to dig in.

5
Delicious beer fish!!

The beer fish was, most definitely, DELICIOUS. If you are curious about how it tastes or what it’s like, be sure to check out my newest episode of my show, Ian’s Journeys, in the YouTube box at the top of this page! See you next week! Let me know what you think in the comments!

Advertisements

How to make delicious indian food, Chicken Tikka

Posted on Updated on

For this week’s video, I hadn’t done anything in cooking for quite awhile so I decided to do some indian food. Chicken Tikka is actually a very simple recipe but the flavor packs an incredible punch! I am not making the sauce from scratch, I decided to use a curry paste, but using these cooking tips will insure that you get a product that is just like what you would find in the restaurant, for sure. Check out the recipe video on my YouTube channel below, and keep reading for ingredients and cooking directions:

Here is what you will need for this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thick chunks
  • Chicken Tikka curry paste
  • 1-2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice

To make this simple recipe, start by slicing your chicken breasts into large chunks. You are going to skewer this on sticks before you cook it in the oven so you want the chunks to be nice and large.

tikka3.jpg
Slice the chicken breasts into chunks first and foremost.

Next up, combine in a bowl the curry paste, the yogurt, the olive oil and the lime juice. Mix it up very well into it forms a nice creamy mixture and it looks like it is well blended. I recommend stirring for about a minute or so before it all comes together right. Don’t add too much lime juice, or it will become watery. After the mixture is well blended, cover with wrap and send it into the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or even overnight, if you are making ahead of time.

tikka4
Mix the ingredients together, cover it with wrap and send it into the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and skewer the chunks onto sticks. Put all the sticks into an oven at 200 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes.

tikka5.jpg
The chicken on sticks before going into the oven.
ckentikka1
My dog desperately trying to steal the chicken before I put it in the oven

Remove that cooked chicken from the oven, and remove from the skewers to serve on a plate along side white rice. You could always eat them off the skewers if you want, too! Make sure to check out my YouTube channel and like and subscribe if you enjoyed the content! See you next time!

tikka2
The beautiful and delicious finished product!

 

 

Eating Guilin Noodles in Guilin, Guangxi,China

Posted on

While I was in Guilin, I of course had the opportunity to sample the famous Guilin mifen (桂林米粉) also known as the famous Guilin Noodles. These are rice noodles covered in a sweet gravy broth with a number of different ingredients not limited to ox bone broth and mangosteen in addition to many others. (The recipes vary greatly by restaurant) On top of the noodles green scallions, pickled cabbage and green beans and radishes are usually added on top. There is also a bit of meat in there, usually pork or dog.

1
The condiments which you can add on top of your noodles.

One of the first things I did when I came to Guilin was look for the noodles so I could make that obligatory Guilin noodle video, which is what I did. The noodles were only 4 rmb for the bowl, which is about ~$.60! After covering with all the additional condiments, the noodles look quite pretty and very colorful.

2

The flavor is immense in these noodles. The peanuts are nice and crunchy and fried and mixes very well with the soft noodles. I love scallions in just about everything, but the pickled radishes and green beans were also tasty! The pork was super fried and had the consistency of something like pork rinds back home, but only the crispiness on the outside, meatiness on the inside. I think the bamboo shoots were probably the best condiment, though. Here’s one more look at them, don’t forget to check out the video I posted about these videos on my YouTube channel above!

3
Those delicious Guilin Noodles!

 

 

Guilin Day 1: Hostels, the Lijiang River, and the Zhengyang Pedestrian Street

Posted on

My trip to Guilin last week was a total success! We saw some amazing things out there, and this is what I saw on my first day. After having got off the train (Check my last week’s post Riding a Chinese sleeper train from Shenzhen to Guilin in China) I took a motorcycle to my hostel, the Sky Palace Hostel in Guilin. I checked in and I had to wait a couple hours for my room so I had some western breakfast.

After having some breakfast, I was able to check into my room. I was alone for Day 1, so I stayed in a shared hostel room for only 45 RMB a night (USD $6.78) which was a total steal.

5
My hostel bunk bed at only $6.78 a night!

In fact, no one even checked in for the rest of the day and I had the room completely to myself! The cheap hotel fad would soon be over since my girlfriend arrived the next day, but I was still very happy. After taking a shower I headed out to get some food. I ate some Guilin noodles for lunch (Which will be in a future episode of my show, Ian’s Journeys) and then I decided I would like to check out one of the main attractions in Guilin, the Lijiang River. It was very near my hostel, so I took a walk (In the sweltering summer heat – Guilin absolutely does NOT have pleasant weather in the summer – very hot and humid) down to the river bank.

1
The Li River

The river was quite breathtaking. The river stretches down hundreds of kilometers and passes through various towns – and you’d better believe we toured the river – which is coming in future blog posts/videos. All day you can watch different boats and fishermen trying to catch some river fare. After checking out the river, I returned to the hostel to enjoy a beer and take a break from the heat. I went out a few hours later and checked out one of the main tourist areas, the Zhengyang and Zhongshan walking streets which are home to tons of shopping and spots for street barbecue!

After checking out the pedestrian walking streets, I stumbled upon a familiar face: The king of burgers…

9

I couldn’t help but justify a burger meal since I was on vacation as I do love my western food!

Later that night, I went to the bar at my local hostel and enjoyed some beers with the locals and had some pizza.

11
Enjoying beers with a local

Then, it was off to bed as I had to wake up quite early the next morning to greet my girlfriend, Maggie who was coming in on the sleeper train. The Guilin adventure was just beginning! Make sure to check out the video of this trip, one of my best produced yet, right at the top of this page and on my YouTube channel! Make sure to like and subscribe if you haven’t yet, and let me know what you think in the comments!

 

Enjoying beef hotpot in Huizhou with LaoWhy86

Posted on

This last weekend I took a trip out to Huizhou – a Tier 2 city in China that is just about a one hour bus ride from Shenzhen. I went there to meet my friend C-Milk, or more commonly known as LaoWhy86 on YouTube. We met at Huizhou’s finest beef hotpot restaurant for some drinks and a meal. The result was some delicious food, crazy Chinese baijiu and good times.

IMG_0784

Pictured above are a few of the things that went inside our hotpot. This restaurant is well known for it’s beef and how they make their beef meatballs. Instead of grinding the meat in a grinder, they actually pound the meat for a continuous amount of time without actually cutting it, to make the meatballs. The meat is delicious, juicy, tender, and I found it to be bouncy and different than a western meatball.

poundbeef
Chinese guys pounding out the beef to make meatballs, not grinding it

If you aren’t familiar with hotpot (火锅), I’ll fill you in a bit on how it works. There is a large pot of broth in the middle of the table (On top of a hotplate) that is generally filled with spices, vegetables, raw meats, chile peppers, etc and cooked until done. Once it’s done, you just take what you want out of the pot, dip it in your dipping sauce, and you are eating like a king. Hotpot is a little different than other styles of eating because you must cook your food first, but sometimes waiting for it makes it taste even better. Here’s a nice picture of mouth watering beef simmering in our hotpot.

hotpotbeef
Mouth watering beef cooking to perfection in our table’s hotpot

Now the dipping sauce was something out of this world, or so it seemed literally so! When I dipped my first strip of beef into this delicious dipping sauce, I was immediately reminded of a spicy mexican blended salsa. I tasted elements of tomato, cilantro and definitely some chile peppers!

dippingsauce
That sexy spicy chili sauce that you dip your beef into

We also ordered some incredibly delicious beef noodles (炒牛肉河粉) that tasted surprisingly creamy. It seemed to be covered in a sauce that reminded me a lot of western gravy, the style that you would put on top of mashed potatoes. It was a little different, but the noodles were sweet and delicious and the beef was nice and tender.

beefnoodles
Beef noodles mixed with vegetables and a creamy gravy-like sauce

After a few drinks or ten of wine/beer/baijiu, we went back to my friends house for some arm wrestling. It was a good time to say the least!

Make sure to check out my video from this evening – I think you have to see the video to understand the scope of our experience! Don’t forget to check out my channel on YouTube and subscribe if you like the material!

 

Making ribs and potato salad on the Fourth of July!

Posted on Updated on

Ah, the Fourth of July. The big holiday to celebrate our independence from the British – and I’m in China. Well, though I am far away from home, it is that distance that makes me go so far to learn how to cook! I was craving delicious BBQ ribs and potato salad, which is typical Fourth of July fare. I had never made it before, but I did a little bit of research online, made a few modifications, and came up with a couple delicious recipes! Here is the product of what I spent yesterday afternoon cooking:

IMG_0768
Oven baked pork barbecue ribs and potato salad, heaven

The labor altogether probably took me about three hours, but it was well worth it! Here are what you need to make both the potato salad and the ribs.

Ribs Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 kg of pork ribs
  • Bottled BBQ sauce (I used Heinz)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

Potato Salad Ingredients:

  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 white onion chopped fine
  • 1 bunch of celery chopped fine
  • 1 big teaspoon of mayonnaise (The more the better usually)
  • One big teaspoon of mustard
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

Let’s get to how you make these delicious dishes! Let’s just start with the potato salad:

IMG_0751

Potato Salad:

To make the potato salad, start by peeling and chopping your potatoes into chunks. Next, boil the potatoes in a pot for 15-17 minutes. Drain into a colander and let cool for a few minutes. In the meantime, chop the white onion and celery fine. Once the potatoes have cooled a bit, combine the potatoes with the chopped celery and onion, the mustard, the mayonnaise, and the salt and pepper. Mix together until the mayonnaise is well distributed. I only used one big teaspoon for my salad because I don’t like excessive mayo – You can even double up on it though if you want it a little creamier. Put it all into a bowl and wrap it in plastic, and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour to chill it. Delicious!

Next, let’s move onto the ribs.

IMG_0764

To make these mouthwatering ribs, start by combining the brown sugar with the salt, pepper, red pepper, garlic powder, and the brown sugar in a bowl and mixing it all together. Pour it out onto a tray or some kind of surface and spread it out. Wash and pat dry the ribs with some paper towels. Then start by dipping the ribs into the rub, and be sure to get each rib well coated on both sides with the rub. Cover your cooking tray in aluminum foil. Once all the ribs are coated, pop them into the oven at 150 degrees celsius (300 Fahrenheit) for 2 hours. When they are done, pull them out and remove the foil and then cover them with your bottled barbecue sauce. Brush them with a sauce brush to get them well coated. Place them in the oven for 5 more minutes, remove and brush the other side, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Then remove the ribs, let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy this delectable Fourth of July treat! Feel free to check out the recipe video for both of these dishes from my YouTube channel below!

How to make the Crispiest Oven Baked Potatoes

Posted on Updated on

Today I threw together an excellent recipe for what are, in my opinion, the crispiest oven baked potatoes. I have always been a fan of the potato, in fact it is my favorite vegetable. I find that the potato tastes best when it is nice and crunchy, so let me tell you how to get them perfect! Let’s start with these simple ingredients:

  • 4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks.
  • 1 half clove of garlic, chopped fine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ground red pepper
IMG_0542
The best potatoes you will ever try, I promise you

Start by washing and peeling your potatoes. Then cut the potatoes into halves and lay them face down on the cutting board. Cut them once down the middle, turn them and slice them into chunks. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add a little bit of salt and add the potatoes. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, chop up the half clove of garlic. Once the potatoes are done, transfer them to a colander to drain the water and shake the potatoes for up to 10 seconds to get the edges roughed up. This will help to get the potatoes nice and crispy.

Next, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and pour the potatoes over it. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Flip the potatoes and season the other side also, and add a little additional olive oil. Put into the oven at 230 degrees celsius, for 50-60 minutes. When the potatoes have been cooking for 25-30 minutes, take them out and flip the potatoes to the other side with a spatula. This will ensure the potatoes will have both sides crispy. Once they are done, take them out and drain the potatoes on paper towels for a couple minutes. Eat and enjoy these orgasmic potatoes! Make sure to check out my recipe video for these potatoes on YouTube below!

IMG_0543