Monday, September 04, 2006

Emily called me fat when I told her I wanted to write about this...

I have noticed a strange phenomenon. Whenever I see someone on TV or in a movie eating Chinese food it always looks amazing, and yet whenever I eat actual Chinese food I am always totally disgusted and end up throwing most of it out. Chinese food just never satisfies me like it should, and yet I allowed myself to be fooled by Chinese food on TV again and again.

There was one item on the Chinese repertoire that I finally found that never disappointed. It was from a particular restaurant in NYC's Chinatown, and their Bao was absolutely amazing. Bao are Chinese barbecue pork buns which are fluffy white buns filled with a savory mixture of minced Chinese barbecue pork, soy sauce, oyster sauce, scallions and sugar. When I lived in the neighborhood I would get two or three orders and nothing else and the waitress thought I was a crazy white girl (which I guess I am). But much to my great dismay, I recently found out that the restaurant closed! I have had Bao from other places, but I am convinced theirs was the best. So, I am now without Bao, and without any Chinese food options at all!

I am just shocked at how much TV can influence me to order something I know for a fact I don't like. I watched an episode of Nip/Tuck today and there was Chinese in one scene, and I almost ordered it for dinner even though I know full well that I would not actually want to eat it once I got it.

Damn, I really want a Bao right now!


Anonymous said...

I always called them BBQ pork buns, but those are my all time favorite chinese food item too! You just mademe want some so badly!

Haystacks said...

Chinese "Takeout" Food (not the food they actually make in China. I don't know about that) Also Makes me feel incredibly sick. I don't know how people can stand it.

Kat said...

I do totally agree that most Chinese takeaway stuff is pretty loaded with oil/msg/salt, unfortunately. But to be fair, I think it's a little bit like a Chinese person saying wanting some American food, but McDonald's making them feel a bit sick! Then again, I grew up in Hong Kong, and a lot of time they don't real lay off the salt and oil either. Cooking it yourself is probably your best option. (That post totally made me want to get some Chinese food though.)

Kunoichi said...

For me, it's sushi.

The deli in the grocery store I work at makes sushi trays of different types. They're quite popular, so I often see them go through my till. Every time I do, I find myself salivating. They look so deliscious and tempting! I'd never tried sushi, so one day the kids and I picked up a larger tray with a good variety in it so we could do a taste test.

None of us liked it. In fact, I couldn't even bring myself to try a couple of them, and the ones I did try made me gag. Even so, when yet another sushi tray goes through my till, I find myself thinking that maybe I should pick one up for myself for lunch.

Anonymous said...

there's an all you can eat chinese about a minute from where i work, and we occasionally have office outtings to eat lunch there, and all always invariably spend the afternoon complaining that we feel ill and promising ourselves we'll never eat there again. For some reason this doesn't seem to stop us repeating the mistake again after a few weeks.

BeeBop said...

i love Chinese food. i could eat it breakfast, lunch n dinner. bad chinese takeout is like bad pizza, u talk about how bad it is, but u usually eat it anyway, then find another place to get it made better next time. although i try to make myself the dishes i love, i have bookmarked this recipe but not made it yet. seems like a lot of work. more work than goin to chinatown, NYC and buying one for 50 cents.

Anonymous said...

Where's all the arguing? C'mon Kate, Buf Puf and the rest of the Hilarity Gang. I want some of your wordy retorts. C'mon now! I need something lengthy, unedited and not to the point. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I feel that way with Panda Express. I'm not sure if anyone knows what Panda is, but in Southern California it's the king of fast food chinese. I used to live off of it. It sucks, but it's oh sooooo good.

Valerie said...

I enjoy your blog so much. I often crave chinese food and, like you, I never finish it. I'm thinking about getting some right now... LOL

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is why on television they always eat chinese takeout, from the container with chopsticks. Never a plate or a fork in sight. And they always have about 15 containers even if it is just two people skinny people eating. Every. Single. time.

Sam said...

Anon above: You must be a Gilmore Girl Fan

You know what I've always wanted, but it looks and (people tell me) it's gross?? Those sandwiches that come in a vending machine that are cut on the diagnal and in those little containers.
I really want one before I die.

Anonymous said...

anon said: "Where's all the arguing? C'mon Kate, Buf Puf and the rest of the Hilarity Gang. I want some of your wordy retorts. C'mon now! I need something lengthy, unedited and not to the point. ;-) "

Clearly you are a fat basher, conditioned in a simple-minded Pavlovian manner by today's fascist media which holds up ideals that no person can possibly achieve. An endless parade of anorexic marathon runners, bicyclists, and jockeys have made it impossible for that 10 year old 230lb girl with stars in her eyes to dream of someday riding in the Kentucky Derby.

And what about all the completely unrealistic portrayals of the rock climbers (I am one) that are endlessly circulating? Does being obese automatically disqualify me from attempting a 5.12 pitch on El Cap? You know why there are no fat rock climbers? It's because we have been conditioned to believe that only thin people look good stretched out on the rock 2000 ft in the air holding on to microholds the size of fleas. When I show up at the gym, you have any idea how I feel when the mortified instructors ask me how much I weigh and then start frantically looking through the technical specs for their climbing wall? If they're so concerned, shouldn't they have a wall that will support the average American woman, instead of all the anorexic climbers who could do a static hang on a coat hanger without it breaking?

I don't want to be accused by the Tucker Max crowd of straying from the topic of this post and creating a straw man - so I'll get back to my point. Where was I? Yes - the Kentucky Derby. I guess you think it's just *normal* that every horse in the pack looks like they don't have an ounce of fat on them. Where are all the fat horses?! If you went to the horse farm tomorrow and window-shopped for a horse, you would just laugh at the fat ones, because the fascist media has conditioned you to be an equino-sizist. If I went over and said I didn't want a black horse, or a Jewish horse, they would look at me like I was crazy, but apparently asking for a non-fat horse doesn't even cause a raised brow in today's size-obsessed community. Equino-sizism is the last form of acceptable equine discrimination.

I'm not even going to go into how difficult it is to find equipment for a short, fat horse. I think all of us on this board have had the same frustrating experiences in the bridle department at one time or the other..

Also, I find it very interesting that you use the phrase "not to the point". Is this some sort of juvenile dig at what shape we are? Some of us have lives, we're not interested in your punishing Spartan ascetic grueling rituals such as walking or eating whole grains. I bet you spend entire hours a year just exercising - well, I don't have time for that, I have a family that expects me to be there with them on the couch in 3 hours when House comes on..

FM said...

give it up anonymous loosers

Your attempts at humor are cringe inducing and painfully pathetic, I feel embarassed for you guys. You just made a fool of yourselves.

Don't envy intelligent people (like the ones you've just criticized) the outcome is what you've just done - fall on your faces.

Anonymous said...

fm said: "give (incorrect capitalization) it up anonymous loosers (sic - should be losers)

Your attempts at humor are cringe inducing and painfully pathetic, I feel embarassed (sic - should be embarrassed) for you guys. You just made a fool (grammar - should be fools) of yourselves.

Don't envy intelligent people (like the ones you've just criticized) (punctuation?) the outcome is what you've just done - fall on your faces."

Yeah, fm, I'm guessing you're one of the "intelligent" people. Go back to work, you freaking moron.. and use a dictionary next time you post your illiterate crap.. buffpuff and kate might be longwinded and irrelevant, but at least they speak English beyond a third grade level.. ROFLMAO..

T. Comfyshoes said...

Back to Chinese food - how can you not like it? Sacrilege!

Grocery store sushi is a worse sacrilege than not liking Chinese food though. No wonder you gagged.

littlem said...

Two words for those commercials.

Food. Porn.

They're inevitably followed by either Kirstie Alley for Jenny Craig or Gisele Bundchen for Victoria's Secret.

(The ones that have Italian food are also murder. And who decided that having what appears to be the Pilobolus Dance Company posing for Jello in their "wiggle" commercial -- in chocolate and vanilla colored outfits, no less -- was a good idea?)

Always order your Chinese food with no MSG, ladies (and gentlemen). Otherwise, you risk a frightful headache and eventual brain damage.


Anonymous said...

Hello there, I'm a Chinese girl from Singapore, love reading your blog.
I just wanted to say that the Chinese food you get in the US is often adjusted somewhat to suit perceived Western tastes.. So, for example, it tends to be sweeter. Most Chinese people don't survive solely on fried rice and chop suey. We don't call it "chop suey" either. :)
Oh, and Chinese takeaway generally doesn't come in anything that vaguely resembles a pagoda.
But you're right -- bao rocks!

- Lynette :]

Regina said...

This summer I got a job as a waitress in a good Chinese restaurant in downtown Chicago. I have always loved Chinese food and still do, but I have now been eating Chinese about every third day for the past three months and I even have it for breakfast sometimes. Today I am officially OVER Chinese food (but I still love it)!

Laura said...

I love chinese. The only good place in town here makes it with too much msg, so I can only eat a little of it, but the last place that I lived had an awesome one just down the street from my work. I would have it about once a month. And to echo everyone else, damn, now I want chinese.

FM said...

Anonymous 7:28 PM

My comments got to you? Of course, look at the bitterness of your reply and the predictability of it! You criticized my spelling --rolls eyes-- oh wow, how original can you be??? Not only are you jealous of the fellow posters' intelligence and writing method, you can't even come up with something original to say. I mean, c'mon, you tried to satirize their style and who thought it was funny? No one! You only suceeded in making a bitter and tightass fool of yourself (boy are you wound up, aren't you supposed to be funny?).

Poor guy, I really feel sorry for you - you're not only a nut case but a charity case. The fatties that run this site are being way too generous in tolerating trolls like you.

BTW, fatties, when is enough going to be enough with your open door policy to trolls, haters and nut cases?

Kunoichi said...

Grocery store sushi is a worse sacrilege than not liking Chinese food though. No wonder you gagged.

Actually, the stuff made in the store I work at is, I'm told by many customers, really good. I know it's extremely fresh, too. I actually didn't mind some of the middles - it turns out that it's the cold rice that makes me gag! LOL

As for Chinese - there are dim sum places all over where I live and no matter how often I tell myself I'll try something new and different, I end up back at the dim sum places, getting way too much for one person (I'm the only one in the family that likes it), then battling intestinal discomfort about an hour later, because it's really not good for my digestive system. But ooohhh... it sure when down good!

Anonymous said...

Yea! I stirred the pot! Kentucky Derby and "loosers", you guys rock!

Inverarity said...


I was going to echo the first comment -- just say no to grocery store sushi. But if you don't like cold rice, you might try sashimi instead.

KentuckyDerby said...

anon at 5:14: "Yea! I stirred the pot! Kentucky Derby and "loosers", you guys rock! "

Hey, I tried dude, but it's like everyone else on this thread is fixated on Chinese food right now and I can't tear their attention away. Only bite I got was fm, and I'm throwing that one back in the lake since it's not smart enough to keep.

I am just dumbfounded as to how you guys are just locked onto Chinese food with the intensity of a megawatt laser. I can't even *imagine* seeing something on TV that I know I hate eating, and that I know will make me feel like crap, and then running out and buying it!! Every time I see the Hardee's monster thickburger advertised, I cringe and ask "who would eat one of these things just because it's on TV?" Now apparently I have my answer.

littlem, I read the first two lines of your post and agreed completely. It IS food porn. It's meant to manipulate people with food control issues and make them run out and buy a 1200 calorie burger and some fries. Then on your next line you completely lost me.. how does Gisele Bundchen have anything to do with Chinese food? If anything, you would see her and decide NOT to get the Kung Pao chicken with enough calories to feed a family on a 3 day hiking trip. Are you seriously implying that big food is working in cahoots with the media just to make you feel bad?

Big food rakes in a lot more money through showing you those ads on TV than the diet industry does. Maybe you should reevaluate who your real enemies are?

Heather said...

I am once again putting up the "do not feed the trolls sign". Seriously, ignore them...they will go away.

Regarding the topic at hand, Chinese Food: love it! There is an awesome buffet near my mother's house that is a must-stop every time I go home. They have a section where you pick the fresh (raw) ingredients that you like and they whip it up for you right then and there. YUMM-O (to quote Rachel Ray).

Kunoichi: I agree with you about Sushi. I think it always looks absolutely beautiful. I've never tasted it (no way in hell would you get me to eat raw fish and seaweed), but I always am amazed at the presentation. Someone told me that they do make a vegetarian sushi that uses carrots instead of fish. That might be good, except for the seaweed part.

Anonymous said...

I am not a troll. I am the anon pot-stirrer. I come here a lot and leave comments occasionally. In the past I have logged in using my Blogger display name, but sometimes I choose to lurk and be anon. I am NOT a fatty hater! Far from! I love the fatties here and the fats in my life. I am not really into the fat acceptance movement as it's been defended and described here. I am not a fatty myself. I fit into the normal range (whatever that is) and am not obese or overweight. I have had to lose 25 lbs before. I did it in the usual ways (cutting back, trying to be more active), and I kept it off. I have also used hoodia in the past. It worked for me. I just enjoy this place and love the girls' writing and the blog and hope they do get on TV, score a book deal, whatever (if they even want that). It would be nice to get paid to think and write. I was here way before the Tucker Max people. I was just joking around with you guys when you get into faux-intellectual arguement mode, quoting studies and shit. It is such a snooze. But I'm not hatin'! Peace out to all, including the trolls, the haters, the devotees, the food-obsessed and the fans (like me).

fm said...

anonymous 9:14 is a troll, we can clearly tell who is a troll or not - the troll telling us he's not one, whatever.

A hint, troll boy: Try to be original. Everything that you've just stated has been said before on these comments, but more eloquently. It's clear that you're trying to copy other people's methods and words. (The real snoozers, as someone else said on the other comments, are people like yourself),

You are not funny, so don't even try.

Yeah peeps, it's the last time I feed this annoying, unoriginal troll.

Anonymous said...

fm, I am anon at 9:41 above (there is no 9:14, so I guess you meant me). I'm not a troll. I'm a woman who has commented here many times, almost from the get-go. "Try to be original", well, I'm always trying. I'm not copying anything anyone said ("methods and words", nope, honest!). I was never trying to be funny. I just think when y'all get on yer high horses and try to argue the assholes off here it's so so so boring.

buffpuff said...

Well, Anon at 5.59, instead of taking the piss out of those of us who attempt to give as good as we get from said arseholes, perhaps you might try aiming your poison pen at them next time around?

I'm a sucker for sweet and sour anything on the Chinese front, though I rarely eat it these days. I'm definitely more of a sushi girl. It's quite expensive in London but the quality's usually pretty high.

Heather, re. raw fish – I used to feel iffy about it, but then I realised I'd been eating smoked salmon and gravadlax for years and they're both raw, albeit cured. Obviously it's a personal thing and, for all I know, lox might make you barf too, but if you like it, be bold and give the sushi a try and feel the love begin. (Go easy on the wasabi though. Inhale at the wrong time when you're eating that and your eyes won't stop streaming for hours).

Kelly said...

I had dim sum a couple of weeks ago and we got a plethora of bao. Yum!

Tim said...

Chinese food's the best, but, why are Asian people mostly skinny, but whenever I go to Chinese diners all the non-asian people, myself included, are all fatties? I think it's a conspiracy to fatten up the west!!! Who's with me? Now, gotta get back to my dozen egg rolls ;)

Anonymous said...

Chau Siu Bao (BBQ pork buns) are one of the best things in Chinese Dim Sum and I have yet to have a good one outside of Hong Kong.

"Chinese food" in Western countries can not hold a candle to the real stuff from China. The flavours here are phenomenal.

Now, I may have to go to Dim Sum this morning.