Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Chinese Translation of Common Baking Ingredients

image I’ve recently found my love for baking.  I’m still in the early stages where every baking attempts are still a hit and miss.  Finding locally produced ingredients is difficult as they normally do not have English translation.  For imported ingredients, most of the time, they cost an arm and a leg. 

If you are adventurous and would like to use locally produced ingredients, I have translated the most common baking ingredients in Chinese with their pinyin to help you with your purchases or recipe reading.

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Where to Shop for Baking Ingredients in Beijing

Ever since I bought the toaster oven last year, I have been maximizing the use of it by roasting chicken wings, chicken breast and recently baking.  After attending classes at The Hutong on cupcake and cookies, it gave me the courage to bake some of the recipes at home.  The only thing which made me cringe when I bake, is the cost of ingredients.  If you are after ingredients that you’re familiar with and would not wish to purchase the local equivalent, your pocket will hurt quite a bit when you plan to bake.  Here are some locations across Beijing where you can purchase your baking ingredients.

Jenny Lou and Jenny’s Shop

imageThis specialized supermarket has been a go-to place for expats in Beijing.  They carry a lot of imported products which will soothe your cravings of food from home.  This supermarket used to be owned by partners and when they split up, each partner retained their own name as the store name.  The items inside the shop remains the same with just a change of name.

At Jenny Lou and Jenny’s Shop, you can find your basic baking ingredients with some hard to find products.  They have imported and local wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cake flour, potato flour, bread flour, gluten-free flour.  You can also find cookie, cake, and brownie mix of famous international brands.  They also have baking soda, baking powder, pure and imitation extracts, unsalted butter, cream cheese, vanilla pods, pre-made icing, Nestle’s various chocolate chips, Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder. 

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Espresso Meets Galette des Rois

Every month, I usually receive an email from Pantry Magic on their latest promotion and events.  I signed up to their newsletter when I bought baking items for my aspiring baker sister, Karen. 

Pantry Magic


The store is located at Unit 108D of Nali Patio along Sanlitun North Road.  They sell imported and quality products for your baking and cooking needs.  They also provide knife sharpening services for RMB 20 and carries cookbook and baking books for amateur and professional individuals.  The price is a little bit on the high side so I would suggest you only purchase something from them if you’ve already exhausted all avenues.


Of Red and White.. Wines

I never was a wine, liquor, champagne or beer drinker.  First, I’m allergic to some of them especially champagne.  Second, I never had the opportunity to try any of those when I was young.  Third, I don’t want to get drunk and do something stupid.  Fourth, I never like the taste.  However, since I joined the corporate world, the need to socialize and drink is needed.  Thus, my quest for alcohol which won’t cause me allergies and suit to my palate began.

Last autumn, Carrefour Shuangjing had its first annual wine fair.  It was a perfect place for me to search for that elusive wine which I will like.  I remember going and trying different kinds of wines from Australia, Italy, Argentina, China, France and US.  After trying several, all of them taste the same.  However, there was one wine which stood out and I came home with 4 bottles of them.  The wine, Brown Brothers Moscato.   Brown Brothers is an Australian wine company.  I have a partiality with Australian companies since that’s the first country outside Asia where I was able to visit.  Also, my first job in Beijing is with an Australian company.

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Mooncake Invasion!!!

I’m invaded by small, round cakes everywhere I go.  I give away a box, I receive 2 boxes.  When I walk in the street, everyone’s carrying boxes of these cakes.  The usual clothes sale counter at the mall is filled with this mooncakes!!  I can’t seem to hide from them.

Anyway, enough about that drama.  Seriously, I received 2 boxes, gave 1 away, the next day got 2 more boxes, gave 1 away, then the next day got 2 more boxes again.  Some boxes are fancy like the one in the picture to your right which I received yesterday.  Some contain 4, 8, 12 mooncakes.  Some give away tea (Papa.. I have tea for you again!), while others give away the stinky Chinese wine!

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I Luff Dogs.. But Not Their Meat!

doggie I love cute, tiny, short haired dogs.  In China, you can only have small dogs as if they are bigger than the allowable dog measurement set by the government, they have the authority to keep your dog and kill it.  So.. most dogs in my neighbourhood are small.

Anyway, as a dog lover, I can’t understand how people can stand to eat dog meat.  I remember once after church, Marco and I were walking along the west gate of Chaoyang Park looking for a place to eat.  We entered a Korean restaurant and was looking at the menu.  Marco chose something based on the picture.  When I asked him if he was sure, he replied, “Why? It looks good!”  I told him, “You want to eat dog meat?”  After telling him that’s it’s dog meat, he veered away from that page and ordered other stuff.

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New Concept: Toilet Dining!

toilet1When the dark restaurant became a fad in Beijing, my Friday dining group went to one of these restaurants to experience it. It was relatively expensive as the waiters need to wear night vision goggles to lead you to your table and serve your food. You order and pay for your food at the lobby area and leave your things in the locker before they lead you to your seats. It was messy, fun and quite an experience. You get to appreciate more those who were born with visual difficulties.

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What Is This Dish?

funny-menu-bloopersFor a person traveling in a country where they do not speak the same language, it is difficult to relay what you want to say or do. One major headache especially in China even for me, is ordering dishes in a restaurant. Not all restaurants have English menus and if they do, the translation doesn’t help. If you look at the picture I got from another website on the right, you will know what I mean.

A friend of mine experienced going to a restaurant where they have different prices for English and Chinese menus. He said if you can’t read the characters on their promos, you might miss something cheap.

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