Chinese Breakfast • Jing Theory Chinese Breakfast • Jing Theory From left: salted duck egg, pickled turnip with sesame, pickled green beans and chilies, thousand year old egg in sweet soya sauce Cake made of red dates Pickled onion bulbs Fried peppers with fermented black beans Fresh green dates
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Chinese Breakfast

One of the things I miss the most about home is breakfast.

I’m not talking about just any breakfast you can find in a diner, or even a roadside restaurant in China. This is the stuff you can only find at home, and every Chinese home has its own traditions.

There’s the Cantonese tradition of yum cha- or dim sum, in the North where wheat is abundant, theres steamed, stuffed buns and deep fried dough sticks, in Yunnan its bowls of rice noodles in soup, and in Sichuan there’s dumplings and noodles slathered in chili oil- yes, even at 7 in the morning.

My family always liked variety, some days its lao zao- a fermented glutinous rice wine with rice balls, dates, osthmanthus flower buds, some days its deep fried crullers with freshly made hot soybean milk. Most days its congee with plenty of savoury side dishes to go with it. There’s something about congee that is so immensely satisfying. Its hearty, you can put anything in it from beans to fish to pork, and its…

Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory
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Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles

If you recall an earlier post of mine, some of the greatest noodles in the world are also the simplest. Served cold and dressed up with the right combination of chili, sesame and soy sauce, they can be mind meltingly good.

I made a weekend trip to Chengdu last month to visit my grandparents and mother who was in town. My mother loves to eat almost as much as me, and has sharp taste buds that can tell you instantly if a dish is missing a pinch of sugar or a dash of vinegar. Over the years I’ve found that my taste preferences have become more and more akin to hers, with newfound appreciation for things like salted duck eggs and pickled radishes on homemade congee for breakfast. I imagine she gets her tastes from her mother as well.

My mother was born in Chengdu but her parents migrated from Jiangsu province, a small city called Zhenjiang that is famous for fragrant black vinegar. Her own cooking has often been at the crossroads of sweet and mellow Huaiyang cuisine …

Jing | 05.09.11 at 12:25 PM |

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