I’m running a day late with my post because yesterday I was literally running around Shanghai doing a half marathon. The view at 6.30am made the early start worthwhile.
The sore knees today are making it less so but I finished at 2h17m just 2 mins after my target time so I’m pretty happy with it and already planning the next one…..I never learn….
But back in the kitchen this is what has been going on lately.
In my kitchen….
..are pomelos. It never occurred to me the Chinese were big fruit eaters until we moved here. In my ignorance the only fruit I associate with Chinese food is toffee bananas but every few weeks there is a new seasonal fruit on the trucks and carts and this month the big seller are pomelos.
I had never bought a pomelo before and the first time I cut into one I was surprised at how thick the pith is. It wasn’t until I watched a shop assistant at Carrefour open one up with surgical precision that I worked out how to peel them. Now I feel like I’m in an episode of CSI every time I cut around the circumference of the fruit and peel back the skin in one piece.
We can eat a whole one in one sitting – they are so refreshing and I really love the texture. According to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) pomelos eaten in large quantities will help you lose weight. Maybe they are low on calories? Who knows.
In my kitchen…
…is my rice cooker. Or as I prefer to call it ‘a higher form of intelligence’. It doesn’t matter if I use brown or white rice, 1 cup or 5. All I do is press the orange start button and it produces perfect rice nearly every time. I always doubt myself and always check on it after 10 minutes and then again at 15 and occasionally I need to add a tiny bit of water but 9 times out of 10 it works. No idea how – I’m just thankful it does.
In my kitchen….
…is more bacon. I’m a bit annoyed with myself though because my neighbour Scott had arranged with a local American restaurant for us to use their smoker with our home made bacon. But after drying it out last week I totally forgot and sliced it all up.
On the upside, Scott is American and doesn’t understand bacon rind so I always get a text saying ‘do you want the pig skin’ when he’s curing his bacon. I’ve tried to convince him he’s missing out on but he refuses to listen and his loss is my gain. This time I cured the rib under the belly as well as an experiment. I left it in the cure too long and it was too salty – next time I’ll do it for 3 days only. Bacon ribs will be coming up in 2014 along with smoked bacon.
In my kitchen…..
….are my new fake Le Creuset pots. They actually have a Paul Bocuse on the lid so I’m not quite sure whose fakes they are. In any case, I bought them from taobao and they are really good quality no matter what truck they fell off. The large red one is 6.2L and was 385RMb/ $70 and the small blue one is 2.5L/ $50 including delivery and delivered with 36 hours.
In my kitchen…
….are vegetables from the wet market. No idea what the top one is, but I peel it and chop it and stir fry it. It’s got a bright green stem and is crunchy. In the middle are garlic chives which go into everything and on the bottom are wild rice shoots which I peel and chop up too. These vegetables seem to have been around all year on the market so they are obviously staples. I probably should find out more about them – I’ll report back!!
I use them in stir fried rice to add colour and texture. Not very authentic I know but it is delicious. I finally got around to seasoning the wok following Poh’s instructions and haven’t look back. The wok has become a permanent fixture in the kitchen – which is exactly the way it should be.
…I have a new enamel tray which I absolutely love. Mrs B came over from Tokyo for a shopping spree a couple of weeks back and bought me this at the ‘antique’ market on Dongtai Lu. It will be perfect for carrying drinks and nibbles out onto the balcony in spring.
There won’t be much going on in the Shanghai kitchen for the rest of the month as I head off to Melbourne next week – I may have mentioned that already??? It’s not before time either as the pollution has been ghastly the last couple of days – yes I did run in it. I’ll leave you with a view from the kitchen window. I’d advise you not to take a deep breath…..
There’s a school in the bottom right of the photo – the kids weren’t out doing their exercises and band practise this morning. Probably due to this:
That’s the reality of living in China. Doesn’t detract for a minute though from the fact that however much I am looking forward to Melbourne, I’m going to miss this place like crazy until I get back in January.
If you’d like to see what else is going on in kitchens around the world head over to Celia at Fig, Lime and Cordial where last month there were 50 cooks sharing their kitchens. A perfect way to spend an hour for a snoop like me!