Here’s another extremely belated post from winter break when I could still enjoy my parents’ homecooked meals.
You bing, or Chinese fried dough, is similar to you tiao, or the Chinese donut. Instead of a stick shape, you bing is a round shape, usually with a small hole in the middle. So theoretically, the you bing is actually more similar to the shape of donut than the so-called Chinese donut.
Both are risen dough (my dad likes to just hack it with store-bought pizza dough) rolled around in some oil, then deep-fried. The result is a treat that is crispy on the outside and massively chewy on the inside. Traditionally, you bing is eaten for breakfast and can sometimes be dipped in warm soy milk, like you tiao.
For our own health and convenience’s sake, we don’t make you bing on a regular basis. But when we do, it’s an indulging, savory start to the day.
About a month ago, I visited a good friend of mine who is Iranian, and she treated me to what I believe to be a pretty traditional Iranian lunch.
First up was Iranian tea, which is brewed with cardamom. The teapot is brewed on top of a bigger vessel, which has hot water inside. Because the tea itself is very concentrated and fairly strong, it’s diluted down with the water for a milder taste. We had our tea with some chickpea cookies (nokhodchi), usually eaten during the Persian New Year.
The main course was lubia polo, Iranian green bean rice, a mixture of aromatic basmati rice, bits of beef, tomato paste, green beans, turmeric and onions. My friend insisted on a dollop of Greek yogurt on the side to temper the strong flavors of the rice, which was served with a simple salad.
Overall a simple, savory lunch that packed strong flavors in small sips and bites.