One of the things I love the most about living in Taiwan is the food. It may not be what you expect if you have never tried it though. It's not quite the same as the Chinese food we eat back home(except for the fried rice chăo fàn 炒飯, that's a pretty universally similar dish). Today we had a big family lunch, and my fiancé's mother spent the morning preparing lots of tasty dishes.
(This is where the magic happens, my fiance's mother is a great cook!)
Meals are traditionally eaten at a round table with the various dishes placed in the middle. Unlike most Western style dining scenarios, where you have your own plate of food, what typically happens in a Chinese family is everyone fills a bowl with rice and then takes what they want to eat, serving themselves. Of course, there is etiquette that you should be aware of, such as older people get the first pick, and you shouldn't grab the biggest and best pieces of meat or other dishes, and leave the lesser quality for everyone else(that's just rude!). And you all know about sticking your chopsticks end-up in your rice bowl, right? If not, go check out my article on taboos in Chinese culture.
(Pull-up a seat, lunch is served!)
(L: delicious roast duck kăo yā ròu 烤鴨肉 R:a stir-fried egg plant, qié zi 茄子 dish)
(L: yā jiăo 鴨腳 duck feet, yum! R: I love the fish, but I try not to look it in the eye…it makes me feel guilty)
(L: boiled bamboo shoots, zhú sŭn竹筍 R: Thai style liáng bàn mù guā sī 涼拌木瓜絲, a crunchy dish consisting of slices of pickled papaya served cold）
(L: stir-fried beef with yellow and red peppers R: a traditional staple Chinese dish, tofu dòu fŭ 豆腐)
（a fantastic marinated pork dish called méi gān kòu ròu 梅干扣肉)
(and no Taiwanese meal would be complete without a good soup, we had lián ŏu tāng 蓮藕湯, lotus root soup)
Do you know another good thing about home-cooked meals? The leftovers shèng cài 剩菜 baby!
Chinese phrases of the day:
炒飯= fried rice
烤鴨肉= roast duck
鴨腳= duck feet
竹筍= bamboo shoots
涼拌木瓜絲= a dish made from pickled papaya
梅干扣肉= a marinated pork dish
蓮藕湯= lotus root soup