Cabbage season

It’s 2018. Beijing is gentrifying like crazy and becoming more and more developed every day. And yet, I ran into this obstacle on my way to work today. The Chinese cabbage (da bai cai, or napa cabbage) is such a staple in China that its name translates literally to “big white vegetable.” I love that […]

Fake Harbin

Harbin is quite an unusual city. For starters, its name in Chinese is three characters, deriving from a Manchu word. And its history as a Russian base has left an indelible European imprint on the city. But other than the unusual architecture and the local’s apparent love for ice cream popsicles, it really did seem […]

Weekend fun: Mushrooms

Boyfriend is on his own visa run for the next few weeks, so that can only mean one thing, besides soul-crushing loneliness: I CAN EAT ALL THE MUSHROOMS I WANT! I love mushrooms. They should be in everything I eat. When they aren’t, I feel sad. Boyfriend can’t stand the sight of them, like I […]

The si gua

There’s a common vegetable here that I love, 丝瓜 (si gua), which is often found in soups and stir-fries at restaurants. It is commonly translated in menus as “towel gourd,” though Google prefers to call it “luffa,” which is derived from its scientific name (apparently it turns into loofahs when it grows older). According to Wikipedia, […]