The last days of spring.
While some take advantage of the time to go on sightseeing trips or take selfies,
Others are busy in the field.
It’s time to harvest the peas.
There’s something about fresh peas that tickle the foodies’ fancy. Every April to May the price of peas skyrockets.
Maybe because the refreshing peas help to ease the greasiness of preserved fatty pork.
Or maybe because pea starch, stirred and then cooled, provides the best ingredient for liangfen—cold starch jelly.
A scoop of chilli oil, some peanuts, and you have the recipe for the famous Shangxi Liangfen—Sad Starch Jelly.
One story is that the liangfen was first created by Hakka people who relocated to Sichuan. They missed their hometown so much that when they made the liangfen, they couldn’t stop crying.
Another explanation is that the liangfen is so spicy, when you eat it you can’t stop tears from streaming down your cheeks.
June is the time for red beans.
Long before roses, red beans were considered the symbol of love.
They are used in steamed pork tenderloin along with glutinous rice.
Red bean jelly cake.
Near the end of autumn, soybeans are ready for harvest.
Fermented bean curd.
Dougan—dried tofu sticks.
Dougan with braised pork.
Every village has its own unique way of processing tofu.
Tofu, dried and pressed.
Sprinkled with white sesame seeds.
Smoked to a golden colour.
In the hands of experts, tofu is more than a food ingredient.
But in the hands of novices . . .