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Saturday, November 15, 2008

100 Chinese Foods...

100 Chinese Foods To Try Before You Die...

Although, with my food allergies, I'm a little wary of that description. Plus, we all know that the Chinese are more - shall we say adventurous? - than the average American diner. Case in point:

Silkworms on Skewers... For Dinner... To Eat, Y'all

Some Chinese food is really... interesting. A lot of it is delicious. Just ask Dave Barry. And Fuschia Dunlop and A. Zee. (What? You've never heard of them? I can't imagine why... but if you love Chinese food, might I suggest reading their books?)

Still, my blogging buddy Aunt LoLo found this list on AppetiteForChina.com. Aunt LoLo is a daring baker, a foodie, a former resident of China and a member of a Chinese-American family. She played along with this game, so I trust her. I've bolded what I've tried... now I'm off to work my way down her bolded list, though I can't promise I'll like everything. (Oh, if it's underlined, you can click to learn more about the dish.)

Almond Milk
Ants Climbing a Tree (a poetic name, rather than literal)
Asian pear
Baby bok choy
Baijiu (rice wine)
Beef brisket
Beggar's Chicken
Bingtang hulu (candied hawthorns, which are a cousin to the crab apple)
Bitter melon
Bubble tea (my recipe here...)
Buddha's Delight
Cantonese roast duck
Century Egg, or thousand-year egg
Char Siu (Cantonese roast pork)
Char kway teow
Chicken feet
Chinese sausage
Chow mein
Chrysanthemum tea
Claypot rice
Conpoy (dried scallops)
Crab rangoon
Dan Dan Noodles
Dragon's Beard Candy
Dried cuttlefish
Drunken Chicken
Dry-fried green beans
Egg drop soup
Egg rolls
Egg tart, Cantonese or Macanese
Fresh bamboo shoots
Fortune cookies
Fried milk
Fried rice
Gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
General Tso's Chicken
Gobi Manchurian
Goji berries (Chinese wolfberries)
Grass jelly
Hainan chicken rice
Hand-pulled noodles
Hau gau (steamed shrimp dumplings in translucent wrappers)
Haw flakes
Hibiscus tea
Hong Kong-style Milk Tea
Hot and sour soup
Hot Coca-Cola with Ginger
Hot Pot
Iron Goddess tea (Tieguanyin)
Kosher Chinese food
Kung Pao Chicken
Lamb skewers (yangrou chua'r)
Lion's Head meatballs
Lomo Saltado
Longan fruit
Lychee fruit
Macaroni in soup with Spam
Mantou, especially if fried and dipped in sweetened condensed milk
Mapo Tofu
Mock meat
Mooncake (bonus points for the snow-skin variety)
Nor mai gai (chicken and sticky rice in lotus leaf)
Pan-fried jiaozi
Peking duck
Pineapple bun
Prawn crackers
Pu'er tea
Red bean in dessert form
Red bayberry
Red Cooked Pork
Roast pigeon
Rose tea
Scallion pancake
Shaved ice dessert
Sesame chicken
Sichuan pepper in any dish
Sichuan preserved vegetable (zhacai)
Silken tofu
Soy milk, freshly made
Steamed egg custard
Stinky tofu
Sugar cane juice
Sweet and sour pork, chicken or shrimp
Tea eggs
Tea-smoked duck
Turnip cake (lo baak gou)
Twice-cooked pork
Water chestnut cake
Wonton noodle soup
Wood Ear
Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings)
Yuanyang (half coffee, half tea, Hong Kong style)
Yunnan goat cheese

What have y'all tried? Anything more unusual than those silkworms on a skewer?


delucchi family said...

love the list!! We are off to china in Dec, so I shall print your list and see how many I can try while there. However, I am not the most adventurous of eaters :-). I am aways a bit weary when eating in China, wouldnt reccomend the pigs hoof stew. (dont know how that ended up on our table!!)
Love Jules

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a terrific list!! I cannot say that we have ever tried anything that out of the ordinary but we are pretty adventurous eaters and are looking forward to trying some of these dishes in China....IF WE EVER GET THERE!!!!

As always GREAT POST!


Dawn said...

I was surprised at how many items on the list we've already tried! There's a few that I can tell you right up front that I won't try - I'm just not that adventurous. (i.e., jelly fish - I'm certain it would be a texture issue.)

Sabrina said...

Oh yeah I have tried many of these things. Of course i used to live in China. :)
I don't think i saw fried chicken hearts on the list... That was a popular item at the school I taught at... mmmmmm....

Briana's Mom said...

I have had a few of those things on the list. There are some things on the list I will never, ever try. :)

Macaroni in soup with spam. Um, not trying that one anytime soon. :)

OH MY #6 said...

I am not so sure about many of these!


Lisa said...

Being half-Chinese, I've actually had quite of few of these, with Char Siu, scallion pancakes and red bean ice cream being some of my very favorites from growing up....my poh-poh used to make me chicken stuffed tofu which was my absolute favorite...and with the thousand year old eggs and chicken feet being my least favorite things I've tried, topped only by sour bamboo...NOT a favorite. Eat up, TM! You've only got a few more to go! :) Do they do the after-service pot-luck at your Chinese church? That was always my favorite part. :) I bet you could savor a bunch of these there!

Carla said...

As I'm not totally sure what I did eat in China, I'm not sure I can mark off what we ate.

Except for Peking Duck. We had that. Dh loved it. Me? Not so much.

Sharie said...

I am NOT an adventurous eater, however when we were in China and visted Amelia's orphanage, we went to lunch with the Director and she ordered a specialty of their region. Tree FROG! Now, I have a lot of friends who've eaten frog legs and say they taste like chicken, so I decide I can't offend and I will try the little creature. I put it in my mouth - you could still see it's little green skin - it was so cute and tiny. I chewed and chewed and chewed, but I COULD NOT swallow. I have to admit, he went back into my napkin. It really didn't have a taste, it was just rubbery and well frog like.

Sharie said...

I must comment again for those of you like me who aren't adventurous eaters. I LOVE red beans! When I was in Japan for 10 days, I lived on red bean rolls - they were like donuts with red beans in the center. OMG I could have eaten a dozen in a sitting!

Aunt LoLo said...

@ Briana's Mom - Seriously, the soup with macaroni and spam isn't that bad! The spam isn't necessary..in fact, my hubs and I have never seen it that way! (He grew up in Hong Kong.) We serve it with sliced deli ham. Mmmmmm

Way to go, TM. Have YOU ever eaten silkworms on a skewer? Lo Gung got me to try "stinky tofu" when we were in Shanghai (kind of like blue cheese...but made of tofu. It STINKS, and they serve it with hot sauce - two of my least favorite flavors: old socks and hot sauce. ;-))

Tammy said...

Geesh. I am about to wretch myself to death....I just left Mrs. 007 house where lipgloss has seen the inside of her dog's rectum. And now silkworms on a skewer.

I might just lose that 20 lbs before Thanksgiving day at the rate I am going.

(btw, I did eat HORSE in Japan last year)

Anonymous said...

Grant and I LOVE Pan-fried jiaozi (dumplings). I like tea eggs, too...mostly because I can make them!
And I have never tasted anything Szechuan style that I haven't absolutely loved.

A couple of decades ago, I was hanging out with a family from China and they asked, "Do you like chicken?" I said, "Sure." So, they invited me to stay for supper. When the meal was served, I was a bit perplexed because I didn't see any chicken anywhere on the table. Soon a platter was passed to me and my friend mentioned something about the "chicken". It was chicken FEET! And, actually, I found it quite tasty! I've happily eaten them ever since! But, if you are going to eat them, it is rather pointless to try and do so if you are going to hold them like a chicken leg and nibble on them like a corn cob. You just need to stick the whole thing in your mouth and chew and suck and spit out what is left. That is totally the CORRECT way to eat chicken feet...though I have never been able to convince my husband of this, even when we were in China. You just can't get much out of a chicken foot if you aren't willing to just put the whole thing in your mouth and spit out what is left later on. Guess that is why Americans don't often have chicken feet on the menu...can't eat them "politely"!!! LOL!!!

Sharon said...

We saw some very interesting things in China. John actually made me take a photo of one crazy display! I have eated escargo and frog legs. What is your craziest try!??

Rebecca of "China, Baby!" said...

Oooooh, delicious... my mouth is watering! I want to try it all!!!! Love scallion pancake (tried that)... am DEFINITELY trying hot pot when we go to China... not a huge fan of crab rangoon, but I might have a had a bad batch. General Tso's chicken: YUM. My favorite stir-fry is chicken with snow peas!


Laurie said...

Haven't tried silk worms on a skewer, but I have eaten fried crickets in Vietnam. And also, rattlesnake, kangaroo, guinea pig, turtle, alligator, and lots of other interesting stuff. My favorite Chinese food is crab rangoon!

The Byrd's Nest said...

Ummmm....I myself am not an adventurous eater! I am a meat and potatoes kind of gal! lol

Kristy said...

I watch Andrew Zimmern, Bizarra Foods on the Food network channel and I have to say that whenever he is in Asia, it is a little scary to me!! The latest that he ate over there that you do not have on your list is : Wasp Larvae!!! It's is just gross, and the food is the only thing I am worried about when we get there!!! I am not nearly as brave as my husband.

Love and blessings, Kristy

Lanxi said...

I was so surprised to see how many I had eaten. Must adds to your list: Deep fried scorpion, Sweet and Sour Camel Hump (gotta go to Inner Mongolia for stuff that good!), puppy jerky (it was an accident on a really long train ride, I swear!) But if I ever see another eel, I promise I will puke it up - right there in front of God and everyone!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

What about Starfish on a stick? I saw that on Andrew Zimmerman...

Sorry about the delay in visiting... I have been super busy...

CC said...

Okay TM, although I appreciate the list, I also appreciate that my wonderful Chinese-American husband (and son to a chef!) says I will hate most of these foods. So I'll believe him and stick with chocolate.

McEwens said...

You know, looking over the menu, helps me to understand WHY the chinese are SO SKINNY

Patricia/NYC said...

Great list!!! The soup dumplings are soooooo good!! We've tried lots of these dishes since Chinatown in just a subway ride away for us! I'm addicted to red chili oil & szechuan pepper! Mmmmmm....now my mouth is watering!

Debz said...

LOL I need a couple of those babies for my next "What would you do for a buck" at youth group!

Man Those silk worms are HUGEMONGOUS!

Norah said...

I DO know these books! How about The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee? http://www.fortunecookiechronicles.com/

Patty O. said...

Wow, this made my mouth water. I lived in Hong Kong for almost two years, so most of these are familiar to me. I would suggest you definitely try Char Siu Pork (this is basically a Chinese BBQ pork and sooooo good), lychee fruit (can't describe them, but they are delish. Get them fresh if you can--way better than the canned version, though that is good too) and the pineapple buns. You should be able to find those in a well-stocked Chinatown. Now I am hungry and craving Chinese food. Too bad our town has really generic, greasy, Americanized Chinese food.