Mom is back in town! And she has brought back some food souvenirs from China: snacks and cooking ingredients.
I believe you can’t get these brands or type of item in the Netherlands. Else, I wouldn’t let mom bring it. Let’s go deeper into the products…
Luobogan – Dried radish
This is a salty dried white radish root. I eat it with my instant noodles and congee. It is a nice salty kick in the food. It’s also delicious in a stir fry with meat or veggie for a salty crunch. You can reduce the amount of salt. Because it’s salty, it is not the most healthy food. “So don’t eat too much of it!” hearing my mom in the back of my head.
The first time I learned about the bunny brand, was in the airplane to China. Since then I am hooked to the bunny brand dried radish.
Spicy dried pepper and Sichuan pepper corn
Okay, these two items you CAN get in the Netherlands. BUT, I believe these items are more fragrant and of a better quality than the items you can get in the Netherlands. It is from Xi’an (China). Xi’an is famous for their spicy and mouth-tingling food. They use a lot of spicy pepper and Sichuan pepper corn. Mom said the peppers are not very spicy, but they give a nice fragrant to the dish. 香味。
I have a Peugeot pepper mill at home. Chinese as I am, I have put Sichuan pepper corns inside, instead of black pepper. I often grind some Sichuan pepper in stir fry dishes, soups, sauces etc… It gives a slight subtle fresh taste to the dish. (Omg, I just sniffed the Sichuan pepper package, but the smell is so strong, it is stuck in my nose.)
Jujube – red dates with walnut
Mom has had brought back this snack before: red jujube with a nut inside. It was so good, so this has also become a wanted food souvenir. The red jujube is big, meaty and sweet. The walnut is crunchy and nutty. It is such a good combination to bite in!
In the Netherlands you often find ‘wet’ dates, dates which are soaked in their own sweetness? On Google I found that jujube and dates are from different trees. Jujube grown on trees with green leafs and dates grown on palm trees, but in Dutch we call them both ‘dadels’.
Extra: Dried bamboo sprouts
These dried bamboo sprouts are from a previous mom-food-gift, but it is still a precious item. If you have ever seen the movie “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya”, then you have also seen a bamboo sprout. It’s the small sprout where Princess Kaguya is born from.
If you haven’t seen the movie, you can watch it here. Recommended!
Bamboo sprouts are delicious! I love the crunchiness and bite feeling. These bamboo sprouts are salted and dried for preserving. Before you use them, you have to soak them in water to re-hydrate them. And you have to change the water a few times, to remove the salt. Nowadays I also boil them before putting them in a dish, since they have a strange sour taste. I often use bamboo sprouts in chicken soups or meat dishes. They will absorb the meat taste.
If you ever go to Hangzhou (China), try out the chicken soup in the mountains. It was the best chicken soup I have ever had. You get a whole chicken paired with mushrooms, young bamboo shoots and goji. I ate this dish in 2010 and it inspired me to make the chicken soup recipe.
You want more food souvenirs? Here is a story about dried fruits from China.
Originally I planned to make a video recipe today, but the food souvenirs inspired me to write this post. So coming soon: a lazy video recipe.
Also I would to thank you all readers for visiting my blog. Nowadays I often see visitors from different countries and that makes me really happy; to tell my stories to so many people worldwide.
See you on the next blog!