Jan 18, 2011

Hot pot pictorial

These are some pictures I took at a very typical Beijing hot pot joint, Kou Fu Ju. I personally think that boiling is the least from ideal way to cook meat. Korean barbecue is a lot more flavorful. Anyway, in the winter, I'll let myself be convinced to have some hot pot.

Below, we have an old school Beijing hot pot, heated by some coals in the base. You throw your meat and vegetables in the water, let it sit for a while, then dunk them in your bowl of dippin' sauce, and chow down. Note that if you are eating cow stomach, you just dip it in there for about ten seconds, holding onto it with your chopsticks. Any longer and it will be hard and rubbery.

Don't mistakenly think that this is a plate of carpaccio and go gobbling it down raw — typical newbie mistake. If you did that, you would vomit and have diarrhea so bad, you'd wish you were dead. What this photo shows, in fact, is a plate of thinly sliced beef meant to be cooked in the hot pot.

Beijing people prefer to dunk their hot pot stuff in a bowl of sesame paste with cilantro mixed in. I'm fine with sesame paste , but I've gotten bored with it. These days I typically order a concoction they call "seafood sauce" (to the right in the picture below). To the left is a plate of not potatoes, but daikon. When cooked, you can tell the difference between daikons and potatoes because daikons have a slippery, gooey film on the outside, whereas potatoes do not.

What do you guzzle as you eat hot pot? I prefer several bottles of cheap beer. Chinese guys prefer to drink 112 proof baijiu like fish until they're drunk as skunks.

Most hot pot places in Beijing are halal-oriented, so expect confused looks from the waitress if you say, "I'd like a plate of sliced pork, please."

Jan 16, 2011

When waidi peasants come to live in Beijing...

They might have this conversation:
Waidi peasant number 1: I's a gonna wash my clothes today.

Waidi peasant number 2: You should. You stink like a hog.

Waidi peasant number 1: But where shall I dry them?

Waidi peasant number 2: Hang 'em on a string between two trees on the side of a busy road. It's only minus 10 degrees today. They'll dry in no time.
And the end result:

The innovation and thought process of these country folk that migrate to Beijing are amusing.

Perhaps I'm completely wrong, and this was the actual conversation:
Waidi peasant number 1: My broke ass ain't got no clothes dryer, so I need to dry my laundry on a string by the side of the road. But it's below freezing today. How can I dry my clothes? They're just going to freeze?

Waidi peasant number 2: Fool, as you'll recall from science class, ice can evaporate through process by sublimation. Take your government cheese-eating butt and hang your nasty laundry out there by the road. It'll be dry by sundown. Maybe if you'd taken better notes in high school, you wouldn't be having to dry your clothes on a string by a dirty road in freezing temperatures.
Who knows.

Jan 14, 2011

"I am safety driver"

Saw this ridiculous sticker on the back of a car in Beijing:

A close up of the part I thought was amusing:

Makes you want to pull this guy out of the driver's side window and beat some grammar into him, right? Or maybe I just have some anger control issues.