Friday, April 15, 2011

Tell Me Tuesday: Double Feature!

Ok, lets be honest. We have all done it. We have all been there. We have all been "that guy" (or gal depending upon your respective gender). "That guy" that says something with the best of intentions... but then can't quite follow through on it.

Yup. I've been "that guy" for the past couple weeks. Here you all have been, sitting on the edges of your seats, biting your nails with anticipation, twitterpatedly awaiting my tell me tuesday blog to appear, only to be disappointed each day that went by without word of my culinary escapades (ok, that might be overstating it... but, hey, lets not burst my bubble). My bad.

In my defense, I have been insanely busy. Yeah, yeah, I know-- who isn't? But between play practice five to six times a week, plus work, plus relationships, plus church, plus [insert more stuff here]-- something had to give. Don't worry, once the play is done in the first week in May, I'll be back to having very little to do and lots of time for internet oriented shenanigans.

I am proud to say, though, that despite my lack of time (and often, motivation) to get the ball rolling, I have successfully completed the first two TMTs!

First up: Non-descript Jiaoze!

As you can see, the bag looks as non-descript as ever.

Welcome to my kitchen. This is where the magic happens people.
The waters-a-boiling and ready for jiaoze.

The Jiaoze being cooked. Usually jiaoze cooking does not look like this. The water is usually relatively clear. That was my first clue something had gone awry.

Most of my jiaoze exploded/ruptured while cooking. So instead of dumplings, I mostly have a puree of carbs and jiaoze filling all mixed together.

This is me saying, "Well, what can you do?/This is disappointing." with my face.

Non Descript Jiaoze puree in a bowl! I put soy sauce all over it, and just went to town. I figured it would pretty much would taste the same as if they didn't explode in my kitchen.

Now you see it...

Now you don't! It ended up tasting ok. I am still not sure what was in it, even with the contents on display. Some sorts of cabbage/lettuce and mushrooms and ... stuff. Can you tell I don't cook? It tasted "green" to me. Leafy even.

The Verdict:

Cooking: FAILish
I cooked them properly, they just had poor structural integrity. But they definitely looked nothing like jiaoze when it was all said and done.

Eating: WIN
I ate the whole bowl, and didn't have to resort to a back up peanut butter sandwich.

Likely hood I will buy it again: LOW.
There are much better, more meaty jiaozes to be had. I like vegetables, but not the green leafiness in this one.

Second: Black Sludge Balls

This is a slightly different package of Black Sludge Balls, but hey, they still look pretty sludgy to me. FYI the proper term for these is "glutinous rice balls". Sounds a little bit better than Black Sludge anyways.

Into the pot!
Incidentally, you cook most frozen things in China the same way: put it into boiling water and then wait for it to float! Nice and simple for a cooking idiot like me.

Hey look! They float!

They kinda look like eggs...

Ok, now they definitely look like eggs.

A couple of them kind of ruptured after the straining of the water, so there is a little bit of black sludge smeared around. I'm still not 100% sure whats inside. I think it is actually a kind of sweet bean paste.

Let's eat some Rice Balls!

You might never guess from the look of them, but these are actually very sweet. The outside is a very mushy/sticky rice concoction, with the inside being sweet.

The Verdict:
Cooking: WIN
Except for a few ruptured balls, everything went off without a hitch and took no more than 10-15mins.

Eating: Semi-Win
I ate enough to be full, but that turned out to be not very many. I ate only about half the plate. Turns out a few go a long way.

Likely-hood I will buy them again: Meh.
They were ok. I might buy them again to share with Sunny and Flight. I guess its possible I might get struck with a craving to eat them again. But that probably won't be soon.

One last piece of business: I am going to Japan next week! I will be in Tokyo for about five days. Expect pictures and perhaps a story or two when I return (or while I am there).

AND, if you have any ideas on things for me to do while in Tokyo, let me know! Sound off in the comments below and Tell Me how to see Tokyo!

~J.L. Smith


  1. i like that your last sentence rhymed... twice.

  2. "Tell me how to see Tokyo"...leave the airport? :) I also agree with lifeandblahlahblah, the rhyming is cool. The step by step pics= awesomeness.

  3. Lol. I didn't even realize I was rhyming!

  4. "lifeandblahlahblah" really? just because i'm not a cool blogger

    and you're just so cool you rhyme all the time... panto influence? can't hear the accent via writing.

    and agree, play by play pics: nice... esp the sideways one...