Thursday, January 20, 2011

I can no longer walk (26/12/10)

After the wonderfully seafoody meal from the night before, I had completely forgotten about my tooth extraction and, like an endless black hole of hunger, I was ready to be presented with more food. Yummy, yummy food.

You can actually find people like this guy creating deep fried miracles almost everywhere
We started the day by going downstairs for breakfast. This place is literally about 200m away from my nana's house. Breakfast in China is the cheapest I've ever seen and it really seems to hit the spot -mmm.. lots of oil and MSG.

Deep fried rice cakes and Guo Bian Hu

This whole meal cost us 5RMB (there's another bowl of Guo Bian Hu that my dad's hurriedly downing next to me).The Guo Bian Hu has been in Fuzhou for over 400 years and is a favourite of mine. The name "Guo Bian Hu" literally means the sticky stuff from the side of the pot -you know, when you're making porridge or congee? It's basically a really mushy rice soup with the bits from the sides of the pot -yum! The taste is soft and delicate reflecting whatever you want to put in it -this one had some oysters and parsley. 

The rice cakes are made from fine rice powder, formed into a paste and then deep fried. The result is a delicious soft center with a very thin crispy outer layer.

Savoury Donuts  -So cheap, so yummy, so very deep fried

Mum is hungry for more -and when you get 3 for 1RMB, who could resist? Unfortunately, Dad and I are way too full at this point and have to watch her eat the savoury donuts. These had baby oysters and cabbage in them -I wish my stomach was larger.

Look at the cutie baby!

After a quick breakfast (where we run into a lot of nana's neighbours) we go visiting! Today we are visiting more aunties and uncles. They have recently bought a new house so we were invited over for a tour. It looks like a freaking hotel! Also, see the cutie in the middle? That's my cousin's baby. Awesome.

食德福 -Shidefu
 So what happens two hours after breakfast? Lunch, of course! We decide to walk to Shidefu so we feel like we're at least making an effort to counter all the food we have been eating. It's not as flash as the place we went to the night before, but man can they cook!

Go ahead, pick whatever looks nice
Fresh seafood sold by the pound and cooked however you want

 The ordering system is much the same here except all the display dishes are not molds. Mother and I have a ball pointing at random dishes that catch our eye.

Bamboo shoots with Shitake mushrooms
The first dish to arrive is a stir fry of bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. The dish was full of flavour, the bamboo was wonderfully crunchy and the sauce was light and did not mask its woody flavour.

紅燒五花肉 -BBQ Five flower pork

Translated literally, 五花肉 is "five flower meat" -also a pretty way of saying really fatty pork belly (the different layers of fat apparently make a pretty pattern). This dish was about 80% fat (I counted the layers and then did some math).. Don't be grossed out though, it wasn't sickening at all -in fact, quite the opposite. This was my favourite dish. I'm not sure how a dish full of fat can taste light, but they managed it. The pork was lightly flavoured with a red wine infused BBQ sauce and every bite melted in my mouth and it was too easy to forget that I was eating layers and layers of pig fat.

Stirfried tofu skin with woodear
 The mix of different textures in this dish was incredible. The softness of the tofu skin went well with the crunchiness of the woodear and they were brought together with a delish sweet and sour sauce.

Deep Fried Prawns
The best thing about deep fried prawns is that you don't have to peel them. You can eat the whole thing! Yeah I'm lazy, but so what? It also means that you get all the flavour of the sauces and spices that are stuck to the shell instead of removing them along with the shell.

Deep fried frost fish
Here is Fuzhou's version of fish and chips. Each piece is cut into bite sized pieces, seasoned, lightly battered and then deep fried. I have to say that, if it weren't for the bones, I might prefer these to the deep fried fish at NZ takeaways..

Sauteed Frog -tastes like chicken
Hands up if you think frog tastes like chicken *Lucy puts both her hands up*. It even has little bones like the ones you get in chicken pieces! Oh well.. What I'm trying to say is that you simply must give frog a try -it tastes like chicken in every single way except it's frog!! This dish had a lovely sweet and sour sauce and the floury potato complimented chicken (uhh.. I mean frog) meat very well.

Left: Chicken and seaweed broth. Right: Savoury chives with steamed cornmeal buns
 I really love how all the soups come with their own gas cookers. The broth was very clear and the sea weed was flavoursome.

Stuffed cornmeal bun
 These were simply delicious! The cornmeal buns were very soft and sweet and complimented the savoury chives which were nice and crunchy. I had three.

Beef tendon broth
The Chinese have always been a health conscious bunch. I recall, as a child, being made to eat fish infused with Goji berries for my brain function or lots of chicken broth because it's good for some other reason. Benefits of eating tendons include promoting muscle growth, boosting metabolism, making your nails stronger and making it seem like you're chewing glue. I'm not a fan of the texture but the soup is nice and I'm sure I'd have to eat tendons more frequently to get any sort of benefit from it. I wonder if eating lots of jelly counts as a good source of gelatin..

Fried rice with pork floss
 Fried rice is yummy. Pork floss is yummy. Fried rice + pork floss = double yummy. It was beautiful. That is all.

Hong Shao (Red cooked) Pig Hocks
By this time we were all fantastically full (there was also a whole fish and giant plate of sauteed cabbage) but, being Asian, my aunt and uncle had to order more dishes so there were leftovers. According to the Chinese, being the perfect host means ordering/cooking so much food until your guests have stuffed themselves and can no longer move. Then, and only then, is your job done. Hong Shao, or "red-cooking"is a popular way to prepare meats in eastern parts of China. Simmering in dark soy sauce gives the meat a reddish color and the dish its name. These pig hocks went mostly uneaten. They were pretty awesome hosts.

ORTHODOX Coconut Milk??

食德福 is remarkably good value -all these dishes cost us 445RMB (a third of what we spent last night) and the food was nothing less than absolutely delicious. If you're ever traveling in Fuzhou and on a budget I really recommend this place!

Also, I can no longer walk. 

We are going out for dinner later tonight..

Again, if you're ever in Fuzhou and interested 食德福 can be found at 294 Hualin Rd, Fuzhou, Fujian, China. If you can read Chinese, click on the link and check our their reviews (overall 8.5/10!).

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