Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Street food dinner

I dropped by the supermarket to pick up some organic vegetables, but was short on money and too lazy to go buy some meat. And eating vegetables without meat is one of those nonsensical religious notions, so I was in a quandary.

Fortunately the first thing I saw coming out of the metro entrance, was the kebab barbecuing man. I ordered five at 2 RMB a piece, for a total of 10 RMB (~ 2 NZD). The vendor doesn't even ask me any more if I want the spicy red stuff shaken over the top of them, he just does it. Small remote control included for size perspective.

2010-11-24 - Shanghai - Street Vendor - 01 - Mutton kebabs

I was gnawing on one of the kebabs, and I spotted the bread vendor. She sells bread for 1 RMB a piece, which you can then optionally slather with chilli paste. So in order to satisfy my vegetable requirements, I ordered two for a total of 2 RMB (~ 0.4 NZD).

2010-11-24 - Shanghai - Street Vendor - 02 - Bread slathered with chilli paste

And the resulting barbequed spicy mutton chilli sandwich looks as follows.

2010-11-24 - Shanghai - Street Vendor - 03 - Mutton chilli sandwiches

Really the kebabs are best eaten hot off the barbeque, but I decided to do this on a whim instead. The most interesting part is actually seeing how they cook all these things on the spot, so I still need to take my camera out one of these nights.

Junk food update

I was at the supermarket a couple of nights ago and was lacking energy, so seeing these gummy candies at the counter I only bought them because they had probiotics and looked packed with goodness.

2010-11-21 - Shanghai - Junk Food - 01 - Yake grape candy

In fact, as each individual lolly is individually wrapped, I believe these actually legally qualify as medicine. Regardless, having eaten them all I lacked the reinvigoration I had expected to get from eating them.

2010-11-21 - Shanghai - Junk Food - 02 - Yake grape candy

In the supermarket tonight, I didn't have anything to eat and having eaten some street vendor deep fried radish lumps, I felt like my essential fats and carbs were taken care of. So surely these savoury and spicy looking squares would either be pork or tofu, providing me with protein?

2010-11-23 - Shanghai - Junk Food - 01 - Spicy rubber squares packet

Bland and tasteless, must be tofu. I did not bother eating more than a couple and even then I just ate them to get some food in my stomach. They were rubbery and oily.

2010-11-23 - Shanghai - Junk Food - 02 - Spicy rubber squares

I really need to get a smaller camera so I can take photos out and about, rather than taking them at home with my larger camera.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Street food yet again again

I live at a non-central metro stop now, and depending on the time of day there are a range of street vendors selling different kinds of food. In the morning, there's the dude who cooks the pancake sandwich things. In the evening, there's the guy barbecuing mutton kebabs. Also in the evening are a range of other vendors, selling pieces of bread they've baked on their cart, different vegetables and meat which you can select and have cooked, various goods which are deep fried and so forth.

The key obstacle to purchasing something for me, is queuing. I am too late in life to spend time standing around waiting for something, especially in a country where they do not queue but rather crowd around. So it took me a while to get around to trying what I uneducatedly call "pancake sandwich things".

These are only sold in the morning, which is a pity because I would buy them whenever I pass!

2010-11-21 - Shanghai - Street Vendor - 01 - Pancake sandwich

The vendor basically has a large flat griddle. He breaks an egg onto it, spreads it round roughly to cover the surface. Then he breaks another egg onto it and spreads that on top to get a more consistent layer. Next he sprinkles chopped pieces of two green herbs on top, one is coriander and the other one is possibly green onion. Once the thing is cooked enough, he folds it over, breaks a crispy deep fried wafer of sorts into it. Spreads ground chilli onto it, then brown paste over that. Then folds it up, cuts it in half and you end up with the two pieces you see.

2010-11-21 - Shanghai - Street Vendor - 02 - Pancake sandwich

I've bought them twice now. Once for 3 RMB at a vendor more in the Jing'an area, and another time for 2.5 RMB at a vendor just outside my metro stop (these ones here). You would think what would define the taste would be egg and fried wafer, but really the taste that stands out if the fresh herbs, especially the sharp freshness of the coriander.