Three Cup Chicken

I love discovering the food-words that exist exclusively in certain languages. Shememodjamo, for instance, is Georgian for “I accidentally ate the whole thing”, to describe situations where one continues to eat despite being full. This word needs to exist in more languages.  This Three Cup Chicken dish is most perfectly described as 下饭 (xia fan) as we say in Chinese, which translates to “sends the rice down”, ie the robust flavor renders the dish perfect with rice. This word, understandably, has little place in other languages.
three cup chicken
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Asian Chicken Salad

“You know, I’ve never spoken with an Asian before.”

I was perplexed more than anything. The statement was from a colleague. A colleague whom I didn’t know well, a colleague whom I had just met and whom I was engaged in rather pleasant small talk with prior to his sudden proclamation that I was the first Asian he had ever spoken with.

I was perplexed. Yes, I was offended because I’m not a different species, dude, so how has this experience been for you? But more than anything I was perplexed because we are literally everywhere, where do you live such that there is no Asian shop or restaurant in the vicinity?!
asian chicken salad
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Arepas with Black Garlic Chicken & Salsa

Foreign restaurants in Beijing when I was a child definitely lacked diversity. There were the French, the Italian, the Japanese – all of which were mediocre at best. More “exotic” ones did open but their lifespans lasted as long as this arepas dish would in your fridge.  My favorite pastime was reading Time Out to discover all the new strange and wonderful openings and sell the idea to my father. Trying out these restaurants with my father was my second favorite pastime.
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