What I eat when I’m working…
I’m pretty much in a food desert where I work. I mean, there’s fields everywhere, but it’s not like they’re selling fresh vegetables from a cart like in Pilsen…
So my food options when I’m working are pretty much limited to the cafeteria. While that might sound like food hell to some, it’s actually not; the food at the cafeteria is tasty, filling and relatively healthy.
My breakfast usually consists of a heaping bowl of rice noodles, served with some meat, usually ground beef or pork, sometimes smoked pig fat, which, yes, is pig fat, but it’s damn good, I mean, you know what bacon is, right?
Oh yeah, it’s usually garnished with cilantro and pickled daikon radish. And a fuck-ton of 辣椒. I mean, I like spicy, but sometimes I’m like, “FuuuuuUUUUck” because they put so much of it on. Generally, they add hot peppers to the dishes, but frequently with noodle dishes, you have a bunch of fresh, sometimes hand-made rice noodles swimming in an oily, meat-based broth, and the hot pepper paste (辣椒) actually adds a lot of flavor. And more oil.
Yeah, the dishes all have a lot of oil in it. I’ve already talked about gutter oil, which is one of the reasons I like eating at the cafeteria where they *hopefully* are using clean oil. Part of the reason is that animal fat is used in everything. Even among East Asian countries, this ranks high on the list of places it would be difficult to be a vegetarian in.
That said, the cafeteria actually has a cheaper, lesser meat option which I frequent more often, partially because of the cost (5 RMB, less than a dollar as of this writing) but also because the veggies are divine.
I mean, where do I start? The eggplant, potatoes, POTATOES… when was the last time you had potatoes at a Chinese restaurant? The potatoes are banging.
Anyone who knows me well knows I’m pretty beany. I mean, I’m a beaner, but I also really like beans. Well, the Chinese do beans. Pinto beans. Quite well. I mean, it’s not frijoles a la charra but it’s got beans and bacon and goddammit, that’s pretty much the two main ingredients, right?
Oh yeah, and tofu. This is like, the land of tofu. And it’s fresh. And it’s banging.
I’ll talk more about street food when I get a chance. This takes a while to digest, yo? I mean, not the food, the food is in and out pretty regularly, but you know processing it and shit… thinking about it and stuff…