One year in China. Let's do this!

Chef Boyardee, Meet Chef Charlotte

I can’t cook to save my life.  The thought of doing anything that doesn’t involve sticking a Hot Pocket into the microwave and waiting for 120 seconds for the delicious cheese to be zapped to perfection is a terrifying, sweat-inducing idea.

And when cheap, tasty food can be prepped in about five minutes with only a dollar spent in China, it is easy to stay far far away from the devilish place that is my apartment’s kitchen.

But as Chinese New Year rolled around, I thought it was time to choose a month long resolution.  A goal.  And from this decision came my next month’s project: “From Couch to Kitchen.”

Now, this foray into the kitchen won’t be easy.  Mostly because I hate doing the dishes.  And I can never seem to get the stove top to work.  Oh, and I live in China.

Look at the size of that beastly vegetable.

Look at the size of that beastly vegetable.

At the trip to the wet market this morning to pick up some fruit and veg for this project of mine, I felt like a four-year-old playing the “What’s That?” game where I pointed at every vegetable having absolutely no clue what it was.  Being informed of the name didn’t help either – what does one exactly DO with bitter melon, I asked?

"Yes, sir, can I have a hunk of that nice raw meat hanging on that hook there?"  If this picture won't convince you that I am on my way to becoming the Julia Child of China, I simply don't know what will.

“Yes, sir, can I have a hunk of that nice raw meat hanging on that hook there?” If this picture won’t convince you that I am on my way to becoming the Julia Child of China, I simply don’t know what will.

While wandering the aisles of Carrefour and spending far too much time reading the milk labels to see whether any of the characters might scream out, “Hey, Charlotte, this is real milk!”, I started to realize the obstacle I was facing.  What if, by chance, I saw a “Year of the Horse” deal and bought some horse meat dumplings without realizing?  My mind naturally started to race.  So I walked out of Carrefour half an hour later with a box of Corn Flakes and raisins.  Great start.

All I see is dirty dishes to clean up later.

All I see is dirty dishes to clean up later.

So this is where I need your help.  I am looking for some quick, easy recipes.  Things I can make in ten minutes.  And extra points for you if your recipe includes bitter melon.

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5 Responses »

  1. Bitter melons are delicious fried! Just fry those suckers up with chopped up tomatoes and onions. Make sure they get extra crispy, almost burnt. I usually eat it with roti (Indian flat bread), but if you can get your hands on some pita bread then you are in business!

    • Thanks for the recipe idea, Rosh! I will be sure to try it, and let you know how it goes! That sounds pretty easy to make and hopefully I can find a Chinese equivalent of roti to pair it with to make a nice little meal! Thanks again.

  2. You might like this:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/34-insanely-simple-two-ingredient-recipes

    I recommend the banana-oat cookies. They are great for breakfast or a snack. And you can add raisins and cinnamon or chocolate.

    • YES! This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for! Thanks for sending this my way, Maizy. Two ingredients is just about all I can handle right now…and these all look so delicious. Brilliant! Keep the links a-coming!

  3. my mom makes bitter melon soup. I think she boils the bitter melon with a large hunk of pork, like about half the size of a basketball-sized chunk of pork. She cuts the bitter melon into quarters and then into large chunks around 3 inch cubes. Then she boils the whole thing for maybe 3 hours? Haha this was a bs recipe, but it tastes really good! 🙂 The melon is all soft and delicious! I’ve never made it before, just going off what the soup looks like when I eat it 🙂

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