What's for Dinner #35 - The Summertime In The City July 2018 Edition

The majority of halal restaurants in Beijing are chainish. They have the same menu with 300 items. They are very popular among locals and domestic tourists as an “ethnic” experience. It’s hard to find out if a particular restaurant is run by Uyghurs or Hui (the two largest Muslim ethnicities in China). And if you ask about what’s good, they will just point you to the most expensive dish. Ordering what other people are ordering doesn’t give you better results. Neither does choosing a very busy place over a moderately busy one. So we just chose one near where we live and every visit we try something different.


These two were excellent. The noodles were freshly pulled, perfectly al dente, and the broth isn’t too heavy or meaty. A few piece of lamb cartilage and meat garnish the dish. A steal at 15rmb. The salad (12rmb) dressing was slightly acidic and perfectly cut through the richness of the following two dishes.

My first time ordering fried rice in China will probably also be my last. Very similar to what we get in America, including the MSG. 18rmb. The skewers were duck (25rmb). Well, what the kid didn’t understand and failed to tell me was it was duck offal. I’m going to say kidney and liver. It was fine, but not done well enough to justify the cost. All the chainish halal restaurants do these skewers the same way: cumin seasoning, heat if you want it, and grilled. It works for lamb meat and fat cubes (the fat cubes taste a lot better than it sounds.) But it doesn’t work for most offerings (chicken necks, chicken knees, etc. )

I never had this fruit before. The vendor said just wash and eat so that’s what we did. Tasted like very sour berries. I loved them.


Fried rice is not really a restaurant dish. It is basically a way to use up leftover rice.


I enjoyed the muslim meals I had in China. They were a nice change from non stop Chinese food. Hand-pulled noodles are usually made right in front of the shop. In Peking I ate a couple of times at a halal restaurant only a few doors from my lodging in a hutong/residential neighbourhood. There were only muslim customers, mostly men, every time I walked past.

There’s a good Sichuan restaurant listed in my China travel guide. Apparently its authenticity is “approved” by Sichuanese government officials who work next door. I did go there, it’s far away, though. I could get the name and address from the guide book if you want some Sichuan food.

Your fruit is Chinese bayberries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrica_rubra


Made Tyrolean dough parcels filled with quark and asparagus from scratch for the first time the other day. They looked so hideous but I was proud of myself. I have no specialised tools. What kind of tool is most efficient for this kind of parcels? There’s cutters and there’s clam shell moulds. Any others?

Before adding cheese. Wine is sparkling Riesling from Bremm (my trip last year).

Garlic Speck I brought back from Austria. Used a tiny piece in this meal. I sliced it into small bits, fried in butter and tossed all over the parcels. It’s called “Speck-butter sauce”, most typically served with this meal.


The same meal I had in Innsbruck. I like mine quite a bit more!

Today was faster and simpler: leftover potted SV duck leg with lentils and greens.


Looks great!

Hey HOs! The votes are in and MIDDLE AMERICAN (USA) has been selected as our Cuisine of the Quarter, just in time to hear all about your 4th of July picnics. Check it out! MIDDLE AMERICAN (USA) - Cuisine of the Quarter, Summer 2018 (Jul-Sept)

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Smoked Veal tartare. Wow.

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It was a long day - my sister and I visited with Mom this morning. She was having a good day today, so that was a plus. Sis and I went shopping for a new upholstered chair for her (one that doesn’t rock or swivel) at Home Sense, but didn’t find anything we thought she’d like.

Did a quick stop at the stupidmarket near home, so I didn’t get home until about 4:30. Tossed the ribs into the oven and quickly made a coleslaw (barely tolerable, even though I added grated carrots and radishes to the store-bought bag of cabbage…supermarkets could make a LOT of money packaging wedges of fresh green and purple cabbage in smaller packages for us singletons!) and a corn and butter bean salad with red onion, red bell pepper, and slivered basil (needed more salt), and deviled eggs. Fastest side dishes I’ve made.

The libation was vodka and lemonades. Dessert was store-bought dessert shells standing in for shortcake biscuits for strawberry shortcakes with homemade whipped cream. The berries didn’t have enough time to macerate, so I poured a tablespoon of Licor 43 around the dessert shell. Not bad.

Back to the grind tomorrow.


I am also mystified how those bags of coleslaw are just so bad compared to a wedge of shredded cabbage! But yeah, even the smallest head of cabbage will make coleslaw for 20 somehow…


In my experience, cabbage keeps basically forever in the fridge if you wrap it tightly in saran wrap. I buy the smallest heads of red cabbage I can find and keep them for a month or more, using just a quarter at a time!


My fish market always has zip-style sandwich bags filled with freshly shredded green cabbage prepared in house for under $1 (.78 cents iirc). I really appreciate being able to buy it when I don’t have room in the fridge for a head of cabbage but want to make slaw.


Long time lurker, first time poster. :slightly_smiling_face:

I made lamb burgers with caramelized red onions, goat cheese, thick cut bacon, harissa mayo, and arugula. The lamb patties were made with paprika, cayenne, garlic, and fresh mint. The buns were toasted in the skillet with the lamb “grease” from the patties and some butter.



If you keep posting photos like this we will eventually find you and show up for dinner! :yum:

Seriously though, that looks fantastic.


Welcome to WFD, for your first post, impressive your lovely lamb burger, good lighting for photo too. Keep them coming!


Well, very slightly smoked, but it was enough to be sensed. Lit up some burned hickory chips, tossed the meat and chips under a glass container and “infused” with smoke for 30 minutes. The original recipe asked for apple wood though.

That looks awesomely delicious.

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Had some leftover butter chicken in the freezer. Heated it up mixed with some frozen spinach and served with rice.


Thanks for naming the berries for me!

Send along the Sichuan place. I’m here for a while so it’ll be a fun excursion one of these weekends. As long as it’s on the west side of town, that is. Getting to the other side of town is as enjoyable as a root canal. Makes NYC traffic seem pleasant.


True, but I have eaten some good ones, especially with seafood or with scallop or fried with cha siu. Wok hei is important, as well as some good ingredients.

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The forseeable future will involve ceviche, California rolls, coctel de cameron, smacked cucumbers, zoodles with fresh blender sauces, and probably a few salads as well as chicken on the grill.