I'll start off by saying that I have greatly enjoyed the Games here in Beijing. But I do have a gripe that is shared by many other people.
While the events have been fun, the food inside every venue leaves much to be desired. Or should I say, the lack of food. I know that it's common at many sporting and entertainment venues to restrict bringing in food, but it's also common to have food available for purchase. But no. Hot dogs and sausage links listed on the the menu at every venue are almost always "sold out." Sandwiches are nonexistent. The only things available are usually popcorn, Snickers, ice cream, and Tsingtao beer, which is what I have been mainly subsisting on. (You would think that with McDonald's as a corporate sponsor, we could at least get some ultra-hydrogenated fries and sad cheeseburgers.) Granted, everything is reasonably priced, but when you're on the verge of starvation in the middle of a 4-hour event, you would gladly overpay for a dinky club sandwich or frankfurter.
My recent poor eating habits prompted me to make a heathy vegetable dish today, the first time in over a week I have had time to cook at home. I decided to just stir-fry some snow peas with Sichuan preserved vegetable and dried shrimp, a non-spicy and slightly healthier alternative to my addictive Sichuan Dried-Fried Green Beans. The ingredient list is compact, the cooking times are short, but the stir-fry still comes out very flavorful.
Sichuan-Style Snow Peas
Adapted from Gourmet
Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal
- 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons Sichuan preserved vegetable, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried shrimp, chopped
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Rinse the snow peas and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel (otherwise, water droplets will cause oil to splatter.)
- Heat the oil over high heat in a wok. Stir-fry the Sichuan preserved vegetable and shrimp until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the snow peas and toss to coat with oil.
- Stir in the rice wine and sugar and cook another 4 to 5 minutes. Salt to taste. Transfer to a plate and serve.