Taiwanese friends are the best. They introduce you to all kinds of weird foods.
Here’s a sample. There’s a lot in the picture, but I’m specifically interested in the bumpy brown thing stage center. Comment in your guess as to what it is. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.
This particular feast was courtesy of my friend’s wonderful parents, who were throwing her new baby (hi, Kai) a Welcome to the World party at Mandarin Restaurant in Fountain Valley. Interesting point: There are no visible hills in the area, so how can it be a valley?
This is not your PF Chang’s, egg fu yung, crispy noodles on top Chinese food. It’s authentic, taste of the homeland, “Oh my gosh, I’m white and don’t recognize anything” Chinese food.
But it’s tasty.
This was an appetizer platter. All cold meats and ... and ... noodles?
Orange shrimp and garlic shrimp. The Americans sighed relief.
Roast duck. It's surprisingly meaty, if that makes sense. Only a couple little pieces, and you feel like you ate a petite fillet of beef.
And speaking of beef, this thin-sliced steak over baby bok choy was perhaps the most tender I've ever had aside from Crock-Potted.
Steamed sea bass with ginger and scallions. REE-diculously tender, moist, and buttery (from the fish fat, not actual butter). Leftovers were Monday's lunch. And since it's a mild fish, I was able to microwave it without fishing up the kitchen. Apologies to all who stopped by my cubicle and beheld fish vertebrae on my plate.
Dessert. A kind of rice pudding cratered out like mashed potatoes and filled with sweet red bean paste. There were juicy raisins, maraschino cherries, crushed peanut, and some green and yellow things that I couldn't identify. Super tasty ... I'm still working on leftovers.