“Three square meals a day.”

How many meals do you eat in a day?

There’s breakfast. Then there’s second breakfast, elevenses, or yum cha.

Lunch, or brunch.

High tea, snacks. Dinner.

Supper. And siu yeh—late night meal.

Longwan, Qianjiang, Hubei Province, China

slide1slide2

A farmer gets a canoe and row into the waterways near the fields.

slide3

This is an underwater trap.

slide4

The target:

slide5slide6slide7

Got any for me?

slide8

Hubei Province is the largest production area of crayfish in China.

slide9

Once autumn comes, crayfish season is over.

slide10

During summer, it becomes a common sight in roadside food stalls.

slide11

You can’t just eat one crayfish. It has to be a big plateful.

slide12

清蒸小龙虾 steamed crayfish

slide13

麻辣小龙虾 mala crayfish

slide14

蒜蓉小龙虾 crayfish in garlic sauce

slide15

茄汁小龙虾 crayfish in tomato sauce

slide16

十三香小龙虾 crayfish in “thirteen spices” sauce

slide17

小龙虾拼盘 assorted crayfish

slide18

A lot of work goes into preparing the crayfish before it becomes a favourite dish on a hot summer night.slide19

Caught a jail breaker.

slide20

Cut off the tail and whisker-like feelers.

slide21

Devein.

slide22

Remove part of the back of its shell.

slide23

This makes it easier for sauces and spices to soak into the meat.

slide24slide25

Add oil and a dozen of spices first. (I think I see star anise and fennel.)

slide26

Then the crayfish.

slide27

Then a big scoop of chilli oil.

Stir-fry.

slide28

Then add beer.

slide29slide30slide31

油焖大虾 braised crayfish

slide32slide33slide34slide35

The taste of crayfish dishes differs mostly because of the spices used.

Each crayfish chef has their own secret recipe.

slide36

Some have experimented with spices like golden and silver honeysuckle.

slide37

This pot of sauce is cooked for 5.5 hours.

slide38

Meanwhile, crayfish are dipped into an oil bath with a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius.

slide39slide40

Once the sauce is ready, crayfish are simmered in it for 20 minutes.

slide41

卤虾 crayfish in mixed sauce

slide42

China now produces over a million tonnes of crayfish every year.

Yet it started off as an invasive species from US.

slide43

New Orleans, US

slide44

People here have been consuming crayfish since about 200 years ago.

slide45

A good harvest calls for an outdoor celebration.

Crayfish is boiled with onions, mushrooms, and corn.

slide46

Add Louisiana Cajun seafood sauce and lemon juice.

slide47

Rock the box to mix the powder with the crayfish.

slide48

A boatload of crayfish.

slide49

卡疆风味小龙虾 Cajun crayfish

slide50slide51slide52

They even have a crayfish festival in May every year.

slide53

70,000 people gather here.

slide54slide55slide56slide57slide58

Eating contest.

slide59

A crayfish racing contest?

slide60slide61slide62

And a crayfish music festival.

slide63

Wuhan, Hubei Province, China

slide64slide65

Chicken feet steamed in a pressure cooker.

slide66

Cut off the claws.

slide67

Thousands of chicken feet are processed in preparation for the post-dinner crowd.

slide68

After 9 pm, the street food stall gets busy.

slide69

拌毛豆  stir-fried edamame with garlic and chilli pepper

slide70slide71

辣炒花甲 stir-fried spicy clam

slide72slide73slide74

Chicken feet are available everywhere, but the taste differs from place to place. Each chef uses different combinations of spices. (This one includes garlic, dried chilli pepper, star anise, and others.)

Add chicken feet.

slide75

Then soy sauce for colouring.

slide76

This is called 猛炒, a cooking method where the food is stir-fried quickly over open flames on high temperature.

slide77

Depends on the customers’ taste, sometimes sugar is also added.

slide78

武汉烧凤爪 Wuhan-style chicken feet

slide79slide80slide81

Chicken feet do not contain much meat.

slide82

The fun is in the process of eating.

slide83slide84

Music.

slide85

Sports.

slide86

Friends.

slide87

Many of our fondest memories took place in roadside food stalls like this.

slide88

Chongqing, China

slide89slide90slide91

Look at all that chilli oil.

slide92

重庆火锅 Chongqing hot pot

slide93slide94slide95

邮亭鲫鱼 spicy carp with chilli pepper and Pixian broad bean paste

slide96slide97

What’s in the glass box?

乱劈柴 Assorted braised meat

乱劈柴 literally translates into “anyhow”

slide98

To buy it, you’d have to first play a game of morra with the seller.

slide99slide100slide101

If you lose, you buy the food.

slide102

If you win, you get the food for free.

slide103

So what is “anyhow”?

卤菜 meat marinated in soy sauce

Typically it includes duck feet, chicken feet, chicken wings, etc.

slide104slide105

The food is not as important as the game.

slide106

Jinzhou, Liaoning Province, China

slide107

The night market at Linghe.

slide108

A 600-metre long street.

slide109

Over 300 food stalls.

slide110

Many of the stalls sell barbecue.

slide111

They are called 小串, “small skewers”.

slide112

“Small” refers to the size of the meat skewered.

slide113

Smaller pieces make it easier for the spices to be rubbed into the meat.

slide114

And faster to cook, of course.

slide115slide116

Customers normally order dozens, or even a few hundred, skewers like this.

slide117slide118slide119

锦州羊肉小串 Jinzhou mutton barbecue

slide120

Shantou, Guangdong Province, China

slide121

Cold dishes.

slide122

Hot dishes.

slide123

The amount of food eaten means this is no longer just night time snack. This is the fourth meal of the day.

slide124

All kinds of dishes must be complemented with a bowl of porridge.

slide125slide126

潮汕白糜 Chaoshan plain rice congee

slide127slide128

To be continued . . .

Watching documentaries about food, while there’s nothing in the fridge.

I know how you feel, cat.

cat.gif

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About fmiswriting

One out of 1.4 billion voices.

Latest Posts By fmiswriting

Category

Food, Posts

Tags

,