Saturday, October 4, 2008

why go to China...

when China comes to you? The other week I was on campus at UD and was hoping to meet some Chinese students. These girls were walking by and I essentially stalked them. I ran up to them and asked where they were from and explained to them that I was hoping to meet some Chinese friends. (It would be a total weirdo thing to do to anyone else except an international student. Trust me, NO ONE initiates with them and I think they would really like it if more people did.)

So we exchanged names and email addresses and I had them over 2 weeks ago for dinner. For future reference, tortellini and salad- not a good thing to serve to Chinese people. They don't like cheese or raw veggies. (I knew that, yet somehow I thought this time it would be different.) I'm convinced these girls were off to the Wah Fu after they left my house.

So I came up with a better idea! They came over again last night and I drove them to a local asian grocery and we bought ingredients for hot pot. If you've never had Chinese hot pot you don't know what you are missing!!! It is essentially healthy fondue. Now the ironic thing is that Steve and I had a date on Thursday night and we went for our first time ever to The Melting Pot. It is a fondue restaurant. It was very very good, but pricey. I guess I haven't had fondue since the '70's and I didn't realize how much it is like hot pot.

Hot pot is my very favorite way to eat Chinese food. In China, you go to a restaurant and sit at a huge table where there is a hole in the middle where they put a gigantic pot with fire under it. It is usually divided in half where you boil a very very spicy soup and usually some kind of seafood broth in the other. Then you order tons of ingredients to cook in the hot pot. Similar to The Melting Pot, they give you sauces that you put your cooked food into. Only these are delicious and usually spicy Chinese sauces. While the food at hot pot is so yummy, it is even more than a meal. It is a social experience. Usually you end up eating hot pot for hours with your friends. And I love it!

When we got married, our friends Ross and Cindy Queener- who live in NYC with access to Chinatown, got us an electric hot pot. I have to say, we have not used it nearly enough. But I always want to have an excuse to get it out. So last night was a blast. Our friend Sarah came over too and we just ate and ate. It was a great way to get to know my new friends. Unfortunately, the Asian grocery was mainly a Vietnamese grocery so the Chinese sauces and ingredients to put in the pot were a bit limited. (Boo... no fish balls or pork balls.) But we made due and got even a bit creative. And when all was said and done we were chi bao le! (very full.)

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