Extensive guide on ordering bubble tea

Bubble tea in China are like Starbucks in the West. They are custom made and highly addictive. When you order bubble tea in China, you can specify the amount of sugar, ice, and what to order. After the ordering, the cashier gives you a receipt with an order number on top. The store will call out the number (in Mandarin of course) when your tea is ready.

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Milk tea chestnut oatmeal

When I was in Shanghai, I lived with one bubble tea/milk tea per day. There was such a wide selection of tea stalls and tastes that I hardly repeated my tea order. I will present you the ultimate bubble tea guide in later posts, stay tuned~
This morning, my bubble tea craving kicked in so I gathered up the basic ingredients for the base of bubble tea and started brewing. It is simpler than you thought! I also found packages of cooked chestnuts laying around in the kitchen, so I tossed these goodies in my milk tea oatmeal. Chestnuts are such a comfy food in this weather.

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Shanghainese cold noodle

In a hot summer day, something refreshing is the way to go. Cold noodles are popular around Asia and depending on the country and region, they are prepared differently. Various noodle types, toppings and sauce are assembled together to create the ultimate refreshing meal! In Korea, cold noodles are called Naengmyeon where traditionally, buckwheat noodles are served in a stainless-steel bowl with an iced broth, cucumbers, pickled radish, boiled egg and or  beef. In Japan, soba noodles are topped with green onions and dried seaweeds, severed separately with a dipping sauce. Mien tron, the Vietnamese take on cold noodles, uses glass noodles as the base and are stirred in with coriander, sweet onions, carrots and shrimps. In China, there are numerous delicious version of cold noodles. The famous ones are Liangpi from Shanxi, sesame cold noodles from Beijing, pulled-chicken spicy cold noodles from Sichuan and so on.

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Porridge, sweet or salty?

Porridge is a nice warm bowl of grains typically cooked in water or milk. It is often served for breakfast. Depending on where you live, it could be salty or sweet.

In Asia, porridge is also known as congee (粥). Uncooked rice to water ratio is often 1 to 10. They are cooked on stove on high until water is boiled. Then, fire is turned to low, rice is slow cooked for 90 minutes to 2 hours. The side dishes are savory. You could make your own savory dish, or go with the store brought toppings. In the left picture, there are the three most common toppings: pork floss, salted kale, and pickled mustard plant stem. I like the last one the best, it is salty and crunchy. It balances perfectly with the congee. For salty congee, the choice of grains is not just limited to white rice, other popular choice are millet, glutinous rice, brown rice. You can cook them in chicken stocks. You can even cook them with chicken or with pumpkin. Congee in China can also be sweet, ba bao zhou (八宝粥)has eight ingredients including goji berries, chinese red dates, black rice. Ingredients are cooked together on the stove. A simplified version of sweet congee is black rice boiled in water. You could add granulated sugar during and after the boiling.

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Bolognese zuchinni noodle

I love pasta for its sauce. I would cut down on the carbs just to add more sauce and cheese. Because CHEESE is amazing! Zucchini noodle is the perfect solution! It has the form of spaghetti and holds as much sauce as you want. These noodles are fairly straightforward to prepare. The idea is that you spiral slice a zucchini and combine it with pasta sauce. Here we will be making bolognese sauce, which you can also use it on regular pastas. Read more to find out specific tips for making zucchini noodles.

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Tea leaf eggs

Tea leaf eggs is a direct translation from the Chinese word 茶叶蛋, pronounced as, Cha Ye Dan. They are sold over the street venues and they are absolutely delicious, healthy, and good for gains! The eggs are often steep with black tea leaves, five spices and soy sauce. As they are steep with cracked shell, the sauce leaves marble patterns on the eggs. Because of this, they are also referred to as marbled eggs. Perhaps this can be your new Easter egg decoration?

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