Deciphering the Chinese Refrigerator

This might help you decipher some of the side dishes you see in the refrigerated aisle at a Chinese supermarket. I always snag a few of them for when I’m too tired to cook at home.

Vegetable and green beans: probably my favorite ready-to-eat side dishes, this lima bean concoction is slightly sweet and you get full from the beans and a lightness from the green leaf veggies.

Hot and spicy seaweed: this definitely packs a punch of heat, especially if you keep eating bite after bite, because the layers of spice will stack up on your tongue.  The seaweed isn’t mushy at all, and has some give back when you bite into it. The texture is really enjoyable and fun to eat.

Seasoned pig ear: you’re pretty much just eating cartilage. It’s nicely seasoned and savory, however, I would NOT recommend this dish to people who haven’t had it before. I have a feeling it’s one of those dishes that you only like and want to eat, if you grew up on it.

Cooked jellyfish: love how it’s mixed with radishes and carrots. To be honest, if you didn’t even know you were eating jelly fish, you would just assume you were eating some type of vegetable because they have a lovely crunch.  Visually, they just look like noodles.

-Joyce Huang

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