Mar 202011

Steaming Baozi in many colors and flavors plus lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice things. This young lady graciously let me take her picture. Most people urged me to take pictures of the food but not them! I always ask permission.

A bit closer

And a bit closer

Everything was absolutely delicious!! Fresh – Wholesome and colorful. A Foodie’s delight! Thank you Hubei Market Street Vendors. I appreciate your patience, samples, answers to crazy foreigner questions and especially your delight and pride in your work! Inspirational!

Mar 192011

Remember – in Hubei you have to eat standing UP or walking

Remember I said I saw a child slurping soup from a paper bowl while on the back of an e-bike winding through traffic. Well – Anything is POSSIBLE

Then I turn away from waffles and see GARLIC and STUFF artfully arranged in glass bowls to lure you over.

I get closer

And closer


White ones (made with sugar) and Purple ones – made with soy sauce and spices – kind of sour

I never imagined a Garlic Pickle and NOW I’ve seen one 🙂
and so have you

They are crunchy and sour/sweet – delicious in a strange and new sort of way.
Yes those are chicken feet pickles
they are good too!

Mar 192011

The Hubei Street Market is a humming, crowded amazing place – famous in China and especially in Chinese literature as the home of food dreams 🙂 I had a delightful time trying different foods, talking with vendors and being the center of attention (“The foreigner LIKES our food!”)

The Market Street

Wuhan people like to walk and eat at the same time. There are few places to sit and eat, so you either stand around or walk. I watched a small child (maybe 5 or 6) spoon soup from a paper bowl while riding sidesaddle on her mom’s scooter winding through traffic – never spilled a thing and didn’t look worried either!

Empress of Rice filled Pastry

This amazing food magician makes these delicious pastries with a spicy rice/tofu filling.

A Closer Look

Oh My were these GOOD!! Hot and Fresh! If I didn’t like the weather and air quality of Shanghai/Beilun/Ningbo i would MOVE TO WUHAN AND GROW VERY FAT!

Hubei Noodles

They also had these fabulous Hubei breakfast noodles. These noodles are sooo good my husband would rather I quit talking about them because he didn’t have any. Well let us just say Peanut and chili and tofu sauce with chopped scallions on fresh noodles. Stir it up well so all the noodles are coated and EAT QUICK while they are still HOT. I loved them so much I asked for them at lunch time (not knowing they were only for breakfast). The 老板娘 lǎobǎnniáng (boss-lady or restaurant owner) felt sorry for my crestfallen look – so she made these noodles for me even though it was lunch time.

Emma and I agree that in general Wuhan people are very nice and warm hearted. Everyone wanted to help us find places, try the best foods, etc. And EVERYONE made sure we knew that Chairman Mao wrote a poem waaay back in the day about Wuhan spicy fish!

Speaking of FISH

Most of the Hubei street vendors want you to SEE them making food. Although I was too full of rice pastry to try the chocolate filled fish shaped waffle I was facinated by the contraption that cooked the waffles while you wait. The vendor was very proud of his machine and rightly so. Next time, more days in Wuhan, more food, and we will eat the waffles FIRST!
So the smell is amazing – draws you over to see what could possibly smell so mouth watering and then the performance BEGINS.

First he pours in the batter

Then he adds chocolate and other goodies

Then adds more batter

Then closes the fish mold thingie

And flips it to cook evenly

And then turns the wheel to the next mold to take OUT the finished fish waffle and start another!
I could have watched this all day but there were other food delights…

Further along we found:

There was a little machine whirring in the back – looked like a mini electric guillatine pounding on a piece of white tofu
In front are samples of the cross section of the block – with different kinds of sweets inside – jellied fruit, sesame paste
All the vendors give samples – these were also delicious!

Mar 192011
My best friend in China is Emma Chen.

Emma is a writer, calligraphy artist, and teacher. She wrote a book about education in China and is planning lectures and a book tour. Emma often invites me on trips to places in China I might not ever see. Last week we travelled to Wuhan in Hubei Provence where she had meetings with TV and academic people. We visited Wuhan University, a Daoist temple and the famous Hubei Market street – home of a million different delicious foods! I will report on each part in different posts. Emma – thank you for all the opportunities and all the patient answers to my crazy questions!