In Chinese, 盒子 (hézi) literally translates into box -- an edible box, of course. A typical “box” that you’ll see sold as a quick street food item consists of chopped chives and eggs (or some other variation of that) stuffed into a dough “box,” although that box is shaped more like a crescent moon. I like to think of them as the older cousin of dumplings. Both are like savory pocket pies, but hézi usually are larger, have more filling, and a crisper skin.
Turnip cakes are a classic at dim-sum restaurants, and have always been my favorite item (I save room for an entire serving for it each time...) While the more appropriate name is radish cake, they are an incredibly savory dish featuring veggies, sausages and rice flour. They're a bit of a time commitment, but nothing too extreme -- block out an hour and a half-ish, and you've got yourself some turnip cakes. And paired with some hoisin sauce and Lao Gan Ma chili crisp sauce...well, that's as good as life gets.
Back in Ames, I mentioned that a lot of the Chinese restaurants were so good because they were authentic, but it turns out I've found my new favorite Chinese restaurant here in College Station!
For such a small city like Ames, the number of Chinese restaurants is actually quite large. Even better, these restaurants are probably some of the most authentic Chinese places I've been to.
Tian Jiu, otherwise known as fermented cooked rice, is a popular southeast Asian tradition, as it has many uses in addition to being a great-tasting rice pudding.
Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates and is popular particularly in Guangdong.
As both Guangzhou and Xiamen are coastal cities, we were able to eat lots of fresh seafood during our stay in these two cities. And really, the variety of the food was incredible: we not had the staple fish, shrimp and sushi but also had the opportunity to try some rather interesting items.