Sunday, November 22, 2009

Banquet Food Throughout Northeast China

As you can see, I am not done posting about food I've eaten in China! I think eating was my full-time job!

I attended many banquets throughout Northeast China, and could only steal a few shots from each. Some dishes were really awesome, others, not so much. I will refrain from long commentary and just categorize the dishes to give you an idea of the spectrum.


Steamed Egg Custard with Clams
BBQ Pork-Northeast China take on a Cantonese Star Dish

Sauteed Clams-the server actually plucked off the clam meat out of the shells one, by, one in front of us!

Simple Steamed Fish
Candied Fried Yams with Confetti Sprinkles! Nice use of the very American Betty Crocker-like sprinkles!
Fried and Steamed Sweet Buns with Condensed Milk as a Dip-Absolutely addictive! Unfortunately, I only had it once

Delicious But Appeared All Too Frequently:

Pot of Braised Potatotes, Pork Ribs, Clear Potato Noodles, and Corn Bread-It was awesome the first two times...then I grew tired of having meat & potatoes for every meal

MaLa (Tongue-Numbingly-Spicy) Sauteed Cabbage-Tasty but is the only vegetable dish at most restaurants in Northeast China (NE China is a very meat & potatoes kind of place)

Sauteed Spicy Eggplant-the best way to cook eggplant! But I had it for every meal!
And Of Course the Inescapable Dumplings-I was, afterall, in Northeast China, the home of dumplings

Dishes I Simply Didn't Care For (Very Few):

Spicy Jellyfish and Cabbage Salad (I like jellyfish salads, but the sauce they use in Northeast China just ruins this common Chinese banquet appetizer)
Spicy Cucumber Salad-I'm not fond of the vinaigrette
Most Memorable, Which I Would Like to Make Forgettable:

What I Call, "Papaya Surprise!"-A Sea Cucumber/Slug Floating in a Delicious Clear Broth in a Steamed Papaya-I give them props for creatively substituting the slimey dark brown papaya seeds with the slimey gigantic sea cucumber. Kudos! However, creativity, excellent broth, nor anything else, can ever make sea cucumbers taste delicious.

Soy Sauce Braised Whole Fish with Dried Bean Curd, Tofu Skin, Fried Tofu, and Eggs-Delicious and homey, but knowing that the 2 fish came out of polluted waters scared me. I had visions of walking out of the banquet all radioactive.


  1. Yup. That slug is as unappetizing as it gets in the culinary world, but sea cucumbers are expensive delicacies throughout Asia.

  2. Wow... the sea cucumber! How interesting! Thanks for the rundown of the dishes. I desperately want the steamed and fried buns with condensed milk. I've decided they're good for me.

  3. Dear Dillettante,
    I ran across your blog looking for information on Shenyang restaurants for a work project, but besides an intense interest in food, I think we have a few other things in common, including a mutual aquaintance named Bridget. I'm preparing for the FSOA and was put in touch with her through a mutual friend in BJ. Anyways, love your posts, and photos.
    Very Best,