Exploring the Miracles of Neiwan

When what we are given decides what’s for dinner

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After weeks of eating out we were longing for home-cooked food. We walked past tofu wang at his store & he gave us a bag of tomatoes. “Eat this with sour plum. It’s good!” Then my friend had an idea – hey lets cook dinner instead. We could get some eggs from our lady landlord to make tomato egg soup!  “Are you serious?” I exclaimed, “You sure you can cook?

Although she claimed that she has been cooking since she was eight, the idea of boiling tomatoes & eggs still sounds a bit weird to me. Anyway I went along with the idea and bought some cooked meat to go with our tomato egg soup. (If the tomato egg soup turned out awful, at least I would still have proper meat for dinner. haha)

After getting our sliced meat, we saw Pork guy smiling at us from his stall across the street. When we told him about our cooking plans, he rummaged through his fridge and gave us a carrot, 2 potatoes and an onion to add to our soup. How nice! He even said that we shouldn’t have bothered to cook, that cooks every night and we could join him for dinner instead.

wow…with all this ingredients, if only we had preserved vegetables to flavor them, it’ll be perfect. So we asked tofu wang if he knew where to get them. He ended up giving us a bottle of preserved vegetables which he has kept for years. Wow thanks so much!

Meanwhile, wild mushroom auntie who has been listening into our cooking conversation went into her kitchen and came back with some dumplings & wild ginger flower herb of some sort. She gave them to us and said that all we had to do was to just steam them together in a pot. Okay. I’ll leave that to our lady landlord to figure.

And so.. It all started out with a bag of tomatoes and our plan to make tomato egg soup. A walk down Neiwan’s old street and we emerged at the other end carrying bags of ingredients for tomato egg soup, carrot-onion-potato soup and maybe – If we could persuade our lady landlord to cook for us –  preserved vegetables with braised pork.

Cooking process

finished dish


Written by clarine chai

June 7, 2011 at 4:24 am

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