China Series: Food

This chicken dish had a similar flavor to the sweet and sour chicken that can be found in American-style Chinese cuisine at home.

Lanzhou is famous for their spicy beef noodles. Do you see all of those peppers in there? Needless to say. the dish lived up to it’s name.

There were lots of exotic fruits in the supermarket in Lanzhou. The name of this one is hard to pronounce let alone spell, but know that it has a texture reminiscent of a cantaloupe.

A demonstration on how they make the famous noodles in a Lanzhou restaurant.

The noodles are stretched until they reach about three feet in length and are then dumped into a boiling vat of water. The noodle broth is sometimes brought out separately for diners to sip on after their meal, as it is believed to be good for digestion.

This beautiful piece of fruit is known as Dragon Fruit. It is very common throughout Asia and, once opened, has white flesh with black seeds.

To this day it is unclear as to what exactly this dish contained. There was some sort of meat on the bottom and some sort of glutinous texture on the top. Whether or not the latter came from an animal or not, I really do not ever want to know.

This is a delicacy of Lanzhou, raw jellyfish in a light, refreshing broth. The texture was surprisingly crunchy, but the overall flavor was surprisingly delicious.

fruit plate

A fruit plate with an assortment of melons, tomatoes and pieces of Dragon Fruit.

spicy beef

Spicy beef is one of the most popular dishes in Lanzhou, China.

street vendor 2

A local man and his wife ran this food stand right outside of a popular dumpling restaurant.


There was never a shortage of fresh fruit in the outdoor markets, watermelon being no exception.


Contrary to what you might think, this is not the Chinese take on spaghetti and meatballs. The noodles were thicker than the traditional ones found in Lanzhou and the meat was held together with an unidentifiable ingredient other than breadcrumbs.


Perpetuating the American Fast Food stereotype? Perhaps. I was insanely curious, however, and surprised to find that I actually enjoyed the chicken more at the KFC in China than the KFC back home.

apricots 2

The apricots found in Lanzhou were a vibrant orange and pink.

raw meat

Trying one of these shish kebabs in the Muslim market took a little bit of courage. Nothing says foodborne illness quite like a large quantity of raw meat sitting in the open, unrefrigerated.


Here we have a street-style Chinese breakfast. Lighter and crispier than a crepe or a pancake, this egg-based tortilla was filled with herbs and vegetables.

breakfast 2

To prevent the egg from burning, a scraper was used to lift the tortilla off of the hot skillet after only a minute or so.

street food vendor

This is the kind of food you’ll find on your late night walk coming back from the karaoke bars in Lanzhou.

Colorful, unexpected, and at times questionable, the food in China was definitely unforgettable.


7 replies »

  1. Looking over this post, perhaps the melon with the name you can’t easily pronounce is a Hami melon/musk melon? The seeds look deceptively “papayan,” though.
    Also, I’ve had jellyfish in NY; you can slurp it much more easily than spaghetti…a burning question on your mind, right?

  2. Lanzhou indeed have some good eats, and at least you don’t feel as forlorn after eating one of the many oil-rich dishes over there as you would in humid parts of the country.
    There are Lanzhou noodle places all throughout China, possibly with the most audible indirect advertising of any other restaurant-when chefs are thwacking noodles on the steel tables.
    Did you see any dragon fruit with magenta flesh as well?

    • That’s true, I would like to go back to China someday to visit all of those humid parts I didn’t get to see on this trip. You’re right about the noodles though, it was very cool to watch!

    • Thank you! The broth was cold… I’ve actually been trying to replicate the broth, although I might substitute the jellyfish with a simpler ingredient like cucumber so my friends will actually try it!

      • Funny ,,, after you try it the first time, it loses its ‘weirdness’. I might try that broth idea… I’ve only eaten it in salads before.

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