Authentic Chinese University Foreign-Devils Menu-to-Die-From (1985)

In the mid-80s, when we lived and taught in China, our Foreign Experts’ Guest House sported a unique menu. The fare changed, though not a lot, week-to-week. Here’s a menu I found while rummaging through old papers. It’s appropriate, I think, because my strong sense is that our chef, who really did hate all wei-gwei (foreign devils), almost certainly found the bases for many of his dishes by rummaging (but not through old papers).

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  FOREIGN EXPERTS’ GUEST HOUSE MENU

wooden kwai-dze/chopsticks

 

(Note: all spellings are as shown on menu.)

 

BREAKFASTS ITEM

OMOLETTES WITH SAUCE OF CHOOSINGS– hot or no heat or very hot heat [peppery fried eggs floating in 1/4 inch of formerly hard lard]

EGGS HAD TWO FOUR BOILS  [two hard boiled four-minute eggs]

BUTTER OR OIL TOASTING  [Wonder-like white bread from the oven with oil…or…oil]

BREAKFASTS EGGS WITH MEATS OF SOME KIND [pork chunks in oil with scrambled eggs]

FRUITS VARIATIONS  [every ‘variety’ of bruised banana known to North China]

 

LUNCHES ITEM

BEAN CRUD IN SAUCES  [maybe a typo]

MANTOU  [large, semi-sticky, round balls of barely-baked blindingly white dough, like eating the Pillsbury Boy’s tummy]

BOILINGS JIAO-DZE  [the most popular item among foreign-devils, very much like the pork-filled dumplings you get at Chinese places here–each order was slightly under a jin, about one pound–it was a good idea to stock up, order a jin or two extra and bring to the dorm room]

FRYINGS JIAO-DZE  [stick with the boiled dumplings, avoiding the melted Crisco.]

PORK OF SOME KIND  [Day-to-day, anyone’s guess]

–Note:  Decency requires that I not search for an appropriate photo.–

BEEF OF SOME KIND  [usually chopped and sauteed tripe over rice]

–See note, above.–

HASH CHICKENS FLAKINGS [no: not poultry-marijuana, rather scrambled eggs in oil with dark meat.]

 

DINNER TIMES ITEM

SUAN LA TANG  [Hot & Sour Soup–in Chinese, the “sour” comes first–there was a reason]

CHICKEN CUTS  WITH HOT OR NOT HOTTEST SAUCES [dark meat ‘cutlets’ in soy sauce and hot oil;  the choice was illusory]

DUCK IN AROMAS  [not Italian cuisine; half a chicken that, if placed on a scale, bone would far out-weigh flesh–aroma provided by soy sauce and about a jin of pepper and salt]

EARS OF PORK IN SAUCES VARIATIONS  [just not fun]

BEEF OF SOME KIND  [the gristle-lover’s cartilaginous delight]

BEAN CRUD SALADS  [dry; with peppers on the side and, at times, with lettuce-of-some-kind]

BOILINGS JIAO-DZE  [as above, your safest bet by far]

DESSERTS–BEAN CRUD and RICE PUDDINGS   [enough said]

 

 Would We Teach in China Again?

                                                  You Bet!

                               Ching Man Yong/Bon Appetit!

 

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