Muslim Noodles FTW.

This featured image shows hand-pulled noodles with spicy sauce, beef and peppers.

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I thought I’d throw in another picture of a popular dish (among me and my friends) from this restaurant. It’s a simple hand pulled noodle soup with a fried egg but it always hit the spot.
I am a big fan of noodles. Like if I’m ever having difficulties figuring out what I want for lunch, hands down, if there is a noodle-soup option I’m opting for that. Hand pulled noodles are the prize though. They are chewy, and I can taste the hard-work.

These Muslim noodles are from a restaurant located in my host university in China (GuangXi Normal University).  It’s delicious. This was the first meal I had in GuiLin, so it has a special place in my heart. There are other hand-pulled noodle joints in the state so don’t be upset you can’t fly all the way to China to try it out. One of my favorite hand-pulled noodle restaurants in NYC is Xi’An Famous Foods. There are also many other hand-pulled noodle places throughout the country that I encourage you to try out.

While I still have your attention because I enticed you with food, I thought I’d include more information about the university and also the region:

A little more about the university I attended in China. It was called Guangxi Normal University. Throughout China, there are a lot of universities that have “Normal” within their name. Originally, I thought that attending a “Normal” university, meant that it was a mediocre university. However, a lot of these universities have “Normal” in their name because it means that they are a college that is not specialized in any specific field.

China_autonomous_regions_numbered.svgAlso, Guangxi Normal University is located in the city GuiLin, which is in the autonomous region of GuangXi. China has 4 autonomous regions: GuangXi (located in Southern China), Tibet and XinJiang (Western China), and Inner Mongolia (Northern China). These regions are autonomous because they contain a huge population of sub-ethnic Chinese. Most Chinese living in China are of Han-Chinese descent. Usually, not only do these regions have their own languages, but also their own kind of cuisine and cultures.


Cheese Egg Tart – say what?!?!?

Learn Chinese!

Cheese: 奶酪 (năilào)

Egg tart: 蛋挞 (dàntà)

While I was in Hong Kong (香港) I was living in the Mong Kok  (旺角) area of Hong Kong (香港) – I would consider this the shopping area, similar to New York City’s SoHo.

One day while I was just walking around and about, I passed by this candy shop, however, outside the candy shop there was this big poster that had a picture of an egg tart with cheese gushing out of it and I’m like … well would you look at this creation. Plus, being the foodie that I am, I thought “hey, I like cheese, and I like egg tarts, ima go in and buy me a cheese egg tart.” I think this was kind of expensive – the equivalence of $3, BUT I found this cheese egg tart in Shang Hai (上海) for less than $1 SOOOOO I feel ripped off. But in Hong Kong (香港) they made it by themselves and was served straight from the oven, so I guess the quality of the cheese egg tarts in Hong Kong are better – though the taste was really similar.

I was thirsty when I purchased the cheese egg tart in Hong Kong (香港), but I knew that if I ate it later the taste was not going to be the same. So I sucked it up and took a bite out of the cheese egg tart, and let me tell you – this was magical. **Eating tip: eat this fresh.

Now that I am back home, I am wondering why does America, despite all of our creative and unique inventions, still have not created or brought over this lovely invention of cheese egg tarts – WHY?! The usual 蛋挞 (dàntà) you would see in NYC’s Chinatown is just a simple dense and crumbly pie crust, that is filled with sweet egg custard (mainly egg yolk). I am writing this is 2016, and the 蛋挞 (dàntà) in Chinatown is still under $1, so let’s keep it that way economy.

Ooo, thinking and writing about the cheese egg tart now is making my tummy growl and my mouth salivate. One day I will reunite with the cheese egg tart, but till then, I will stuff myself with other delicious food. Therefore, if you are ever in Hong Kong (香港) or in Shang Hai (上海) – be on the lookout for this awesome treat because it is a definite must try!

P.S. In Hong Kong (香港) there was a store for it but in Shang Hai (上海), I only came across it by accident and it was in a shop in the underground metro station, so I am not entirely too sure about how popular and accessible the egg cheese tart is in mainland China.

Bad Chinese – Good Find: Duck and Rice

GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉) is the specialty food at GuiLin, where I studied abroad. Thus me and my friends, who were new to GuiLin, decided to venture around GuangiXi Normal University to find GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉).

Yet, you are probably wondering why the picture and the title announces “Duck and Rice,” well turns out, that day we ended up not getting GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉), but duck and rice instead.

We went to the local vendors and my friend’s pronunciation was not good, so the vendor thought we had said “mi fan,” (米饭), meaning cooked rice, other than “mi fen,” (米粉), meaning rice noodles. When we sat down and got our food, we realized that we either ordered the wrong dish, or had said something wrong, it was both. Even though we were disappointed that we not able to find thee GuiLin Mi Fen (桂林米粉), the duck and rice were actually really good.

It is literally so simple, rice topped with sliced duck, topped with hot red flake oil, and boiled(to cook in hot water)/blanched(to cook in hot water, and then immerse it in cold to stop the cooking process) vegetables on the side.

To me, this is a well balanced meal. You got your rice, your meat, and your veggies. Plus, I never got diarrhea from eating this.

However, this place, like many other vendors on this block, do not have running water. My friends told me that there was a week where all the stores on this block was closed because the government/police were coming around to check up and close stores that do not have running water. I know that the duck and rice place has a 2 jug daily water supply.

I have to say, many food places in GuiLin have under the line sanitation than what I would say most New Yorkers, even with our unsanitary restaurant cultures, would consider. I have seen places where people are selling from their kitchens, home kitchens, in order to get a living. I think rather than having officials come around inspecting, I think there should be an opportunity for small street vendors to be able to sell while abiding to the sanitation levels established in each region of China. This way people can make a living, other than getting closed and having to gain income through another option.