我最喜欢的十种佳肴 My 10 Favorite Foods

As a self-proclaimed foodie, whittling down this list and only sharing ten of my favorite foods is torture.

Disclaimer: This post may result in hunger! Try not to drool on your computer screens 🙂

And since I hope to whet your appetite, the photo essay includes more than ten photos. I list the ten I am instructed to, in no hierarchal order:

1. Chinese cold dishes 中式凉菜, including cold rice noodles 凉菜, lotus root 炝莲菜, cucumber and green beans with garlic 蒜泥黄瓜豆角, boiled peanuts 花生米, cold beef 凉拌牛肉, and yu mian 玉面。That is 玉面 closest to the camera. It is made from flour, shaped similarly to dough, thinly sliced and then drowned in garlic, soy sauce, chicken bouillon 鸡精, mandolin-sliced carrots and scallion, topped with coriander 香菜. It is transparent, firmer than tofu 豆腐 and cold rice noodles 凉皮, and addictive. After my first Chinese New Year, my mother-in-law always sent us back to Xi’an with a block, instructing ZJ on how exactly to recreate this dish at our apartment on XISU’s old campus.


Yu mian and liang ban niu rou, specialties from ZJ’s hometown

Liangcai including lotus root, green bean, cucumber, and boiled peanuts. Photo: ZJ

Liangcai including lotus root, green bean, cucumber, and boiled peanuts. Photo: ZJ

2. Mutton and bread soup 羊肉泡馍

Yangroupaomo, Photo: Flickr

Yangroupaomo, Photo: Flickr

3. Beijing duck 北京烤鸭


Gorging on Beijing duck during Jewish Christmas 2013 in Xi’an


My sister Deanna’s first trip to China. While in Beijing we ate Beijing duck, and Deanna looked on in utter disbelief when the waitress placed our leftover soup in a plastic baggy

4. All Chinese noodles make the list. I eat noodles with raw garlic, biting off a piece in between devouring the noodles, sauce, or vegetable toppings. 油泼面,菠菜面,腊汁肉面片,柳巷面,和Biángbiáng面。Ice peak, 冰峰, a lightly sweetened more crisp and carbonated version of Fanta, complements a dinner of noodles.

The non-spinach infused version of Bocaimian, whose technical name I don't know. Photo: ZJ

Noodles  Photo: ZJ

5. Stuffed Chinese pancakes 肉饼。Pancakes, like the one pictured below, are stuffed with meat 肉. Other stuffing can include garlic chives and egg 韭菜鸡蛋.

Roubing and Majiang Liangpi, Photo: ZJ

Roubing and Majiang Liangpi, Photo: ZJ

6. Soup dumplings 灌汤包

These broth-filled packets are by far the best tasting dumplings you will ever have. In Shanghai, they are large enough to stick straws in and slurp out the goodness. Pork is the traditional filling, but in the Muslim Quarter, you can find lamb, vegetable, and shrimp. ZJ and I ate pork soup dumplings on Thursday at our local fairly authentic Chinese haunt, Chengdu 23. The customary way to enjoy this delicacy is to bite off the top, sit the dumpling on a ladle, spoon in some vinegar, slurp out the broth, and then devour the filling and remaining dumpling skin.


Soup dumplings we ate in the Muslim Quarter, Xi’an

7. Biscuits 饼干🍪, especially Biscoff and Tim Tams. I have a sweet tooth, in case it was not apparent in day five’s post. Tim Tams are the best of both world because it is a biscuit smothered in chocolate. My sister fell in love with these when she studied in Australia; I stumbled upon them in Metro, the import market where I splurged on lox, pasta, cheese, and the occasional bottle of wine. My parents purchased Biscoff biscuits at Costco and I devour them alongside espresso. ZJ likes to dip them in his espresso.


Tim Tam, Australian biscuits we bought at Metro in Xi’an

8. Chinese entrees includes stir-fried vegetables, meats, 大盘鸡, 拔丝红薯,葫芦鸡,火锅🍲 or any entrees for that matter, as long as chili peppers maintain a low profile, I will consume that dish!


Eggplant and green beans


Da pan ji is the bowl of deliciousness


Hot candied sweet potatoes


Haidilao hotpot


Beer fish


Lotus root Deanna and I devoured at a vegetarian restaurant in Beijing during our whirlwind nine city tour. Still, by far, the best meal I had in China. When I traveled abroad to China in 2007, my first trip and through my alma mater Goucher College, my favorite meal was also a Buddhist vegetarian meal we had near the Lama Temple, also in Beijing.

Chengdu 23

Chengdu 23 in Wayne. Meal included kung pao chicken, twice cooked pork, stir-fried green beans and a garlicky green vegetable


Shrimp in Hainan

9. Sushi makes the cut at number nine. We used to eat at the rotating sushi bar in Xi’an at several locations, usually the Big Wild Goose Pagoda 大雁塔, Kaide Plaza 凯德广场, or Xiaozhai 小寨。Here in the States, we have gone to the all you can eat sushi restaurant with my parents and sisters. The owners of that place are Chinese, and I like having a chance to practice with someone other than ZJ for a change.


Rotating sushi bar at Xiaozhai

10. Chinese crepes 煎饼 and its versatility is why I set it aside from other Chinese foods. Crepe may not be the best way to describe this pancake, because it is thicker than a crepe, but still thinner than a pancake. It can be scarfed down alone, or with 土豆丝,京酱肉丝,菜 folded into the crepe. My favorite type of 煎饼 is 煎饼果子, a breakfast pancake likened to a burrito, usually filled with sliced potatoes, spicy cabbage or cucumbers, and a crisp wonton cracker. An egg is cooked on the pancake and a spicy, peanut or sesame-based sauce was brushed onto the pancake, before being expertly rolled up. I would purchase my breakfast pancake from an elderly deaf couple who sold it on the old campus.


Chinese crepe called jianbing, a staple breakfast food for me when we lived in Xi’an

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What are ten of your favorite foods? Xiananigans asks that you return the favor. Make us hungry!  

7 thoughts on “我最喜欢的十种佳肴 My 10 Favorite Foods

  1. Susan Blumberg-Kason says:

    You’re right–this post does make me hungry and craving for real Chinese food! I hope you and ZJ can come to Chicago sometime so we can go to some obscure restaurants that only real Chinese food connoisseurs can appreciate!

    • maklu001 says:

      I hope we can visit this summer! Your Instagram feed and blog posts are always very enticing when it comes to the Chicago Chinese restaurant scene.

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