Since returning to Nanjing, I have been embarking upon more culinary adventures. Some of my favorites are below:
1. Noodles. China has amazing noodle shops: very casual, super fast and incredible noodles. Varieties include 炒面 (fried noodles), 拉面 (hand pulled noodles), 刀削面 (thicker, knife-cut noodles), 粉丝 (vermicelli noodles) and 冷面 (cold noodles). Other than the vermicelli noodles, I think those types are usually made of wheat. Noodles will come in a soup or not, according to what you order and are topped with a meat or egg and some vegetables. I love getting noodles, though technically I live in the part of the country that usually eats rice. Noodles are more fun and I missed being able to get a huge, steaming bowl for only 15 RMB.
2. Dumplings. 生煎包 are so yummy. They are pipping hot, pan-fried dumplings made of pork. Especially popular in Shanghai, Nanjing also has great local options and at least one location of a popular Shanghai chain. I bring everyone that comes to visit out for dumplings, if you are looking for any motivations to come on over.
3. Fried rice. Need I say more?
4. Tofu. China has a million and one varieties of tofu and it is fun to try new ones. My roommate is vegetarian, so we often opt for tofu when we go out to eat. 麻婆豆腐(mapodoufu) is one classic dish, sometimes made with meat. It is stewed tofu in a spicy sauce.
5. Roasted fish (烤鱼). It was excellent and I have become much better at eating with chopsticks and at avoiding the bones when I eat, so the experience is more enjoyable and less alarming.
6. Skippy peanut butter. No explanation needed.