about 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
2 large carrots, sliced and steamed
1/4 cup sliced celery
2 slices of smoked tofu, cut into strips (in Sichuan it comes in pieces a little smaller than a slice of bread, a dark brown and smoky color)
2 tbsp. chopped onion
1 tbsp. pickled red chilies or black bean sauce (both Sichuan specialties)
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
cooking oil (In China I use canola oil, because olive oil is much too expensive)
Heat a pan and add about 2 tbsp. oil. Cook the celery and onion until softened. Add carrots, tofu, chili or black bean sauce, and vinegar; stir until heated through. Stir in rice; stir fry until rice is hot. You can add a little water if rice gets too dry. You can add more seasoning to make it as spicy or mild as you want, but the smoky flavor will dominate the others.
Gan bian tu dou si – “dry fried” potatoes, a spicy local version of French fries
Move it or lose it
Recycling is alive and well in China, but it takes an individual and very labor-intensive form. Some call them the “garbage people,” but in fact they’re local entrepreneurs who spend 10 or 12 hours a day at the local neighborhood collection sites. These people salvage every recyclable item, carrying the results away at the end of the day on three wheels, to local recycling centers that will pay them cash. This load looks a little precarious.
Kevin Morris, another American teacher at UESTC, has written an article about these local people on his blog, Barking at the Sun. Unfortunately, his site is currently blocked in China, but you can visit it through the link in the sidebar to the right.
Ready to go