Back from Shanghai
I figure it is time to dust the spider webs off this blog. I just returned from Shanghai. And I thought I would have had lots of good food there. I was wrong (sorry Charles, Erica, and Vivian). Honestly, the food was underwhelming. The quality of the better meals could have been just as easily found in Taipei. It is really cheap to eat in China, though. The labor is so cheap, now they just have to bring up the quality and the service.
Overall, I ate little rice in China. Since the tabs were so cheap, we just ordered more dishes instead of having rice. I definitely sampled more variety this way. But the lack of rice also felt somewhat less satisfying, a feeling often expressed by Atkin's dieters. In Chinese, the phrase to convey "eat a meal" is equivalent to "eat rice." There must be some underlying explanation to this. Whether it is out of cultural habit or our human bodies' needs for complex carbohydrate, I just feel less wholesome without eating it. In fact, when I am cooking at home I always include a starch, pasta if not rice, couscous if not potatoes. Paranoid that the high-protein high-fat and low-carb diet in China messed up my system (or just plain jetlag), I am now eating as much rice, veggies, and fruits as possible. So last night, besides the leftover dishes I had, I cooked and ate all 3 big zucchinis. It feels good to eat veggies, but it was the butter that made it taste so good.
Recipe: Zucchini cooked with garlic butter
3 medium sized zucchinis
1 clove garlic, passed through a press
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1. Wash zucchinis and pat dry. Cut length-wise into quarters and then cut into ~2-inch pieces
2. Heat butter, oil, pepper, and garlic in a pan over medium-high heat until sizzling and fragrant. Do not let garlic burn.
3. Add zucchini pieces. Toss every now and then. Add salt and sugar to taste.
4. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until tender but still crisp. Serve immediately.