Day 44: Rice and Friends, Dali

Day 44: September 4th

Yesterday as we were lounging around the hostel, we came upon a little brochure for a cooking class called Rice and Friends. They were going to teach us to cook some of our favorite dishes.. GongBao Chicken and my all time favorite, Fish Fragrant Eggplant. We ate so much eggplant when my parents were here… I think they’ve had their entire year’s quota. 🙂

So at 10am, a pretty sleepy eyed Emily, Bill and me head to our cooking class. We are joined by our chef, Luxi and another aspiring cook, Hilda, a backpacker from Norway.

We were each handed small baskets and told we were heading to the local markets to buy some fresh produce. The market was like any wet market that I’ve been to in India or in Singapore. There was a LOT more meat though.. Dali also apparently has a lot of vegetables that are only found here… mini papayas is one that I remember. They look like lemons and are pretty sour and used only for seasoning. It was fun but really really crowded.

After picking up some basics ingredients we made our way to the cooking school itself. The business was started recently by Luxi and she has converted the entire upper section of her home into the cooking school. The terrace had a lovely view of the mountains and was all set up for the four of us. We had a wonderful day chatting with Luxi who is not only a great cook and host but also just a really nice person. She gave us the basics of Chinese cooking and I have to say the final product was amazing. I couldn’t believe we had actually cooked all this food. Bill in particular paid special attention to the eggplant dish! 🙂 Something about how it would make him a better husband! 🙂 Fine with me!

After all this food, we could barely move. We’re currently back at the hostel with our bellies full. Its our last night in Dali. Tomorrow, we head to Kunming for a night before we fly out to Europe.

Although we’ve really enjoyed some downtime in Dali, we’re looking forward to being on the move again and in Europe. We’re also going to be seeing Bill’s parents there. Looking forward to hanging out with them.

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The Market

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Tofu with a side of coagulated pig’s blood?

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Our cooking set up

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Eggplant: The before picture

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Bill, the chef.. learning to make my favorite dish

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Bill, me, Emily and Hilda

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Tofu Salad

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