China & Palestine


Original Word: Red

New Word: Huge!

Nationality: Chinese

Language: Standard Chinese (Mandarin), Cantonese, Shanghainese

Population: 1,343,239,923

The largest population in the world.

Capital: Beijing

All Chinese food is not created equal! China is the largest country in the world. The cuisine of Chinese is divided between eight regions.

Chuan (Szechuan) – I think of hot spice because of the Sichuan pepper.

Hui – It is a mountainous region so there is less meat and fish.

Lu – Grains are used which is unique to the rest of the regions.

Min – It is usually served in broth or soup.

Su – Usually, centers on soft textures.

Yue (Cantonese) – Dim sum originates from this region. They are small bites.

Xiang (Hunan) – Hot, spicy, and deep colors are typical for this region.

Zhe – More mellow in flavor. (Wikipedia)

As you can see I had many options to chose from. I decided to cook from the Xiang (Hunan) region. We have a Cantonese restaurant in Beeston and we eat there often. So, I wanted to change it up a bit. I wanted to try something different.

Hunan Beef

500g/1lb beef, thinly sliced

1 tbsp ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp black pepper

1/3 cup mirin

red chiles, minced (use as desired, I used 2)

1 tbsp cornstarch

onion, sliced

snow or sugar snap peas

noodles, to serve

Mix together ginger, garlic, soy sauce, black pepper, mirin, chiles, and cornstarch. Reserve 2-3 tbsp and leave in the refridgerator. Mix the marinade with the beef and let sit overnight or for at least 2 hours. Stir fry beef. Set aside. Stir fry veg. Set aside. Stir fry noodles and mix in the beef and veg. Serve!


Original Word: West Bank

New Word: State of Palestine

Nationality: Palestinian

Language: Arabic

Population: 4,260,636

124th largest population in the world.

Capital: Jerusalem (Ramallah and Gaza for administrative reasons) (Wikipedia)

I am going to claim ignorance on this issue. I have an elementary understand about Middle East issues. I was not aware that not every country (US, Canada, Australia) does not recognize the State of Palestine. I decided to go ahead and keep it on the list because the majority of countries do recognize it.

David and I love, love, love falafel. I usually buy the mix at the local whole food store. I did make it from scratch once and it wasn’t very good but I did bake them. So, I have come to the conclusion that falafel should always be fried. Some of our friends made some falafel for our Greek night and it was great so I thought I would give it another try. The results were awesome! I can get a can of chickpeas for .23p at a store which makes for a cheap meal!


1 can chickpea, drained and rinsed with water

1/4 onion (red or white), chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 egg

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

2 tbsp flour, additional for dusting

1/2 tsp cumin (maybe more)

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp paprika

cayenne pepper to taste

salt and pepper

oil for frying

Run chickpeas, onion, and red pepper in a food processor until it is a chunky paste. Mix in everything else. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Form into balls, dust with flour, and fry in oil.

I serve mine with hummus, pita, salad, and tzatziki.

Let me know what you think!


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