One thing I've learned from my globe trotting friend Mistress J. is that people in developing countries eat 'weird' food. Breakfast pastries containing spicy chunks of fish, dried little fish whole, and most disturbing of all - Pizza Hut pizza ;) . While my tastes are quite a bit more adventurous than my father's - still the most exotic foods I've tried have all been Americanized versions of 'ethnic foods'.
So I decided to start trying new foods. Lucky for me there's a huge pan-Asian market near me. I just started looking through one of the seafood aisle. I saw several things I couldn't identify. Most were called "Fish Cakes." I asked the woman next to me how you eat them, and she said you put them in a soup, you can add a bunch of different kinds (she pointed to a few different packages), chicken, and udon noodles. Sounded easy enough. Oh, and she recommended that I use frozen udon noodles "Because they're really chewy." Hmmm.... Do I want chewy noodles? I wondered. But I figured I'd just do as she said. Now, it's important to point out that I don't really eat fish. I love sashimi, crab, and lobster, but I don't generally eat cooked fish.
The top package is frozen udon noodles with soup, the middle is tempura fish cakes, and the one on the bottom is boiled fish cakes with beefsteak plant. (I have no idea what a beefsteak plant is.)
So I took out a can of chicken broth & just dumped everything in. The noodles came with two packets - one was a sauce and one was like sesame seed crispies.
And here's how it turns out. It was actually really good. The noodles were indeed chewy - pleasantly so. The boiled fish cakes tasted about like you would expect a boiled fish cake to taste. I didn't love it, but it was okay. And the tempura fish cakes were really yummy. They taste like the inside of an eggroll... like shredded carrots & cabbage. And I really liked the now soggy sesame crispies. Very good. My first experiment with new food = A.
Oh, and I picked up this little guy.
It's called a lotus egg bun. Sooooo yummy, it's an egg bread filled with a sweet paste - presumably lotus flower paste, it's a delicate floral flavor, almost like jasmine. This one gets an A+ for cuteness and super yumminess.
Ok - I recognize that these were relatively tame selections, and there were a lot of things I was afraid to try (pickled plums, huge radishes in a cloudy liquid, huge prickly fruits). But you know, baby steps. Any recommendations for what I should try next?