Eight months ago, I went on a ten-day trip to Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing with my friend Chris. We saw some of the world’s wonders, visited some of the world’s scariest bathrooms, and ate some of the world’s best food. Needless to say, America’s perception of Chinese food is somewhat muddled.
Here’s a food-obsessed visual summary of the trip:
First stop: Shanghai’s Old Town for some dumplings.
They were everything I wanted them to be: perfectly packaged presents, filled with minced pork and chives.
Soup dumplings, served with a straw.
Shanghai’s famous crabs, deep-fried.
Candied hawthorn berries on a stick for dessert.
Next stop: The city of Xi’an to view the Terracotta Warriors and eat some hot pot.
Hot Pot, Step One: Choose your meat, seafood, tofu and vegetables, and pile the sticks on a tray.
Step Two: Dunk your sticks into the broth that will make your head explode,
or the broth that will destroy the lining of your throat and stomach.
Step 3: Put on the pink, plastic, cartoon pig-adorned apron and enjoy!
Next, we headed to a food street in Xi’an to grab some snacks for the train ride to Beijing.
And for some dessert…Persimmon pancakes.
Twelve hours later, we arrived in Beijing, and soon after found ourselves jumping on the Great Wall.
We worked up quite the appetite.
First thing was first: Peking Duck. I can’t begin to describe how moist, juicy, tender and succulent this bird was…how thin and crispy its skin was. You just haven’t had duck ’til you’ve had it in Beijing.
The next night, we headed to Beijing’s famous night market, Wangfujing Street,
to stuff our faces one final time before heading back to Korea.
It was a gastronomic feast for the senses. Anything you could ever think of, on a stick.
Chinese pancakes. Handmade noodles. Dumplings. Fried everything.
Then, I saw what we had come for: scorpion.
Don’t let my expression fool you… it tasted just like…you guess it, fried chicken.