Dress: LE pattern modal wrap (same in solid, sim, darker)
Necklace: Emerson Fry (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Earrings: Jeweliq contessa (sim, sim, pink, white)
Bracelets: J.Crew & ON (sim, sim, sim)
Bag: Brahmin anytime (sim, sim, luxe)
Shoes: Guess kissani (worn here - sim, sim, peep)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I finished reading Kitchen Chinese by Ann Mah this weekend, which is about an American-born Chinese gal named Isabelle in her mid-twenties who decides to move to Beijing for a new start. Though I was born in Taiwan, my family moved here when I was three and I was raised here, so I felt an easy bond with the character of Isabelle (or as well as person can bond with a fictional character).
There's a lot than can be gleaned from the novel in about how an American-raised child of foreign parents can act and feel very much one way (as an "American") but still be perceived very differently in another way (because they look Chinese or [insert non-Anglo race of your choice here]), but I think I'll hold off on that for another day and probably a much longer post.
What caught my interest initially were all the references to and memories of good home-style Chinese food that the story brought up. My mouth was salivating through much of the novel. So after I finished the book, I felt inspired to try some good ole Chinese cooking for myself and globbed onto the idea of making zhajiangmian.
Zhajiangmian is a noodle dish made with thick wheat noodles and a salty soybean paste. It's kind of like Asian spaghetti, you can add in ground pork, diced tofu, carrots, onions, garlic, etc. It's traditionally topped with julienned cucumbers and scrambled eggs.
It's comfort food for me since my parents used to make it for us all the time and they changed the ingredients around on us all the time for variety. The key is the soybean paste (I grew up using the SzeChuan sweet bean sauce, with a bit of hot sauce for saltiness and a kick) and using big thick noodles - all easily found at my local Asian food mart.
I've never made this dish before but I've seen my mom do it a ton of times so I figured I didn't need a recipe (here's an actual recipe) and winged it from memory and used ground turkey which I already had. It turned out ... well it certainly satiated my craving, but I could have used the help of a recipe to remind myself that I didn't need to use a can and a half of the bean sauces - hello, salty city! (The sauce itself wasn't terrible, but considering how "savory" it is, I think I have enough sauce for about 20-30 servings).
Are there foods from your culture and family that you sometimes crave? Do you know how to make any of them? How do you satiate your cravings?