At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


Prompted by a reader's missive, I looked up "Chinese Recipes" on the internet. The first thing that came up was the Food Network's page.

The first twenty, in order:
Chinese Chicken Salad
Make Your Own Takeout Cashew Chicken or Pork with Orange Sauce and Scallion Rice
Szechuan Noodles with Chicken and Broccoli
Chinese Dumpling Soup
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Vegetable Chow Mein
Pork Belly Bao
Slow-Cooker Chinese Barbecue Beef
Steamed Mahi Mahi
Baked Chinese Egg Rolls
Scallion Pancakes
Egg Rolls
Shrimp with Garlic Sauce
Hand Pulled Pan Fried Noodles
Almost-Famous Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Ants On a Tree
Scoopable Chinese Chicken Salad
Spicy Eggplant
Chinese Noodle-Vegetable Bowl
Slow-Cooker Chinese Beef and Bok Choy

I'm sorry, Dorothy, but this looks just a little too much like Kansas. There is no need to even consult my apartment mate, which is good because she would have choice words to say about White People and their Whitey Chink Chow. Not only is she Cantonese (which means eloquence and a blistering vocabulary), but she is also on the Asperger Spectrum, so asking her opinion of this list would guarantee me a harangue probably lasting over an hour. Until she was certain that she had made her point, and that it had been understood by all white people present. That being me.

From Saveur Magazine (25 Chinese Recipes that are better than takeout):
Chinese Steamed Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao), Shanghai Red-braised Pork with Eggs, Sichuan Twice-cooked Pork Belly, Cold Sesame Noodles, Boiled Pork and Chive, Dumplings, Pan-fried Spicy Beef Dumplings, Kung Pao Chicken, Steamed Mixed Shellfish Dumplings, Pork and Cabbage Potstickers, Stirfried Beef with Broccoli, Crab Rangoon, General Tso's Chicken, Spinach and Edamame Egg Drop Soup, Ma Yi Shang Shu ("Ants Climbing a Tree"), Asian Greens in Garlic Sauce, Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing), Chao Shou (Sichuan Pork Wontons), Dan Dan Mian (Sichuan Noodles with Spicy Pork Sauce), Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xian Qie Zi), Sho' Nuff Noodles, Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang), Every Day Fried Noodles (Tian Tian Chao Mian), Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao).

Mmmm. No, I am not inspired. Just a little precious, and too much Sichuan. Sure, most of these dishes are derived from or inspired by actual Chinese originals, but one gets the sense that there's an undercurrent of "we can 'Chinese' better than those people" in this list.

And all of these are restaurant dishes that we know White People like.

Now, please excuse me while I go make myself a snack.
Pork belly, fuzzy melon, black bean sauce.
And wheat noodles.

節瓜炒五花腩麵 。

No regional name necessary, nor any fancy descriptives.
It's food. Just food. Maybe Chinese. Or not.


I'm rather fond of fuzzy melon.
And fatty pork.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:

All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    For whatever reason I researched the Chinese restaurants in a town of fifty thousand people back east.

    The reviews for what is reputed to be the best one make for interesting reading.

    "From the classic Sichuan dishes to the Hot Pot to the hand-pulled noodles, I almost want to extend my stay to try a couple of things on the menu.
    I ordered the West Lake Beef Soup and the Poached Beef with Hot Chili. Both were delicious.

    "But definitely this is the best Cantonese restaurant in XX. I heard Chef Xxx used to be the headchef of one of the most prestigious Cantonese restaurants in China!"

    "I ordered a water with lemon and gyoza for an appetizer."

    "It took some pointing to make it clear that I wanted the chicken curry, medium hot. I like hot and spicy and this had my eyes watering and nose running!"

    "Though some of your standard Chinese-fare is on here, like Kung Pao, this restaurant excels at the authentic spicy Mapo Tofu, the Chinese Eggplant and Black Bean Sauce, the Chairman Mao's Favorite Pork Dish (succulent braised pork belly in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce), and their far above average fried rice."

    "Great food! I had the Szechuan chicken: The vegetables were crisp and fresh, it even had real garlic in the dish!"

    Expectations are different in the heartland.


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