Dear Food Diary,

The western side of China has a lot of food that we are more familiar with, perhaps due to the change in landscape and culture exposure towards the west. There's more grassland here and noticeably more farming, therefore a meatier diet. Fun fact: watermelon is 西瓜 (xīguā) literally means melon of the west!

Admittedly we have been eating more meat, however still follow our "flexitarian" diet. Our flexitarian diet means we don't buy meat but whenever offered food which may include meat, we don't refuse because ① it's rude to decline, ② we proudly accept free food, and ③ we're on strict budget to make it to Europe (haha and becoming stricter.... Managing approximately 4 to 6 NZD per day)

① 哈密瓜 (hāmìguā) honeydew melon ② Fresh yoghurt with plenty of sugar ③ Black goji berry tea ④ 饼子 (bǐngzi) thick round bread thingy

① Assortment of bakings ② 馕饼 (nángbǐng) pizza base bread with round dotted patterns ③ 馕饼 baked inside a kiln

Food gifted to us because we are hungry cyclists: ① 手抓饭 (shǒuzhuāfàn) Xinjiang specialty "use your hands to eat" rice ② Homemade wonton soup ③ Boney pieces of mutton ④ 大盘鸡 (dàpánjī) Big platter of chicken with potato and chilli

Cooking on the Road

We try to keep our food as healthy and full of nutrition as possible. Every time we visit a supermarket we always buy three to four types of vegetables for the road ahead. Sadly they don't keep well in the hot weather. As for protein, we always carry boiled eggs for snack, eat tofu and occasionally get meat meals free from kind strangers.

① Lucky day we got to use fresh noodles ② Don't forget to add your veggies ③ Pot full after a long day of cycling ④ Rice carb day

Basic ingredients we add to our cooking:

  • Oil
  • Soya sauce
  • Rice or noodles
  • Vegetables and protein rich food:
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • Chinese leafy greens 青菜
  • Mushroom
  • Red onion
  • Green pepper (not spicy one)
  • Eggs
    *Tofu skin strips 腐竹
  • Dried Soy milk skins 干豆腐皮

Summer is coming

We've heard great news that during the summer season (July and August), melons and grapes will become very cheap. Currently the watermelons are at ¥2/kg or NZD 40¢/kg, and it can go as low as 5毛/kg or 10¢/kg. We cannot wait for the cheap melons to come!

We went into a dried fruit shop in Dunhuang (敦煌) looking to buy some raisins and nuts, and coincidentally the store owner is also a cyclist! We ended up chatting all afternoon over chinese tea and talking about life in China versus New Zealand.