cook like a local: hua juan(r)

A friend shared these handy photos and recipes on her wechat today and gave permission to share them. Maybe you’d like to try to make this Chinese classic?

They are a steamed bun shaped like flowers. 

Here are your instructions:

 

 Three full bowls of flour

 use one spoon of yeast and warm water until a soft dough is formed

cover with plastic wrap 

wait about 30 minutes and dough should look like the above picture

roll out the dough and spread butter on top 

roll up the dough and cut into triangles

They should look like this

 

turn the pieces over so the widest part is towards the bottom

press down the middle with a chopstick to make the flower-shaped pattern

From the bottom, pinch the middle together

now it looks like this

Put on a steaming tray for 15 minutes.
Enjoy the delicious results!

 

Instructions in Chinese:

和大家分享一下做黄油花卷全部过程

️~~满满的三碗白面
️~~面里放一勺安琪,用温水或面(软)
️~~最后用保鲜膜包上
️~~等待30分钟后拿出来
️~~擀面皮、刷黄油后卷起来
️~~卷好的面切成三角形
️~~切的不要太大
️~~切好的面宽的下面窄的上面摆放
️~~正中间用筷子按压
🔟~~从后面捏一下
️~捏好后花卷的造型就出来了
️~上锅蒸15分钟
️~美味的花卷出炉咯

Hohhot songs

Well friends, if you’ve wanted to increase your repertoire of songs to sing at Chinese banquets or KTV that will make your local friends swoon, this is one to try out! The post below is dated yesterday and there’s a song embedded in the wechat link. You can scroll down to read the lyrics (Chinese only) as it plays.

I’ll be honest, I don’t love the guy’s voice, and the song, while nostalgic, takes “cheesy” to a whole other level. That said, it mentions all the classic Hohhot icons and it would still win you friends to learn it 🙂

There are some great photos in the post, worth a scroll through even if you don’t listen to the whole song.

Error: Embedded data could not be displayed.

If the page doesn’t display correctly try this link.

If you’re interested in another Hohhot song, you can look up “Hohhot Night” 呼和浩特的夜晚. It’s available on xiaomi music and I’m assuming any Chinese music player app. I haven’t found the song above on player apps yet.

Also, after listening to both songs it seems there a list of things that must be included when writing a song about Hohhot. Here are some of them.

  • drinking alcohol
  • the grasslands
  • chi le chuan
  • the sky
  • evenings
  • romance (even better if it didn’t quite pan out)
  • ding xiang (lilac trees)
  • zhong shan lu, xin hua square, or other famous location
  • bei zi, hot pot, or other famous food. 

What else needs to be included to write a hit song about Hohhot? Leave your suggestions in the comments. Bonus points if you actually write song lyrics and leave them for us!

a Hohhot movie

I haven’t seen it yet, but recently saw this posting on wechat about a film about Hohhot, filmed in Hohhot, and even uses the local dialect as the language for the movie.
You can use a translation program for the details of the page embedded or linked below, but the basic plot is the story of a boy born in Hohhot in the early nineties, the struggles of his family, and the changes his family experiences as China (and Hohhot) change around them. The Chinese title is ba yue (August) and the English title is Summer is Over. 

Error: Embedded data could not be displayed.

If embedding does not display properly, try this link.

 

If you’ve seen the movie, leave us a comment with your thoughts.

Anda Union getting good press

If you haven’t heard of Anda Union, you should check them out! They are arguably the most internationally famous performers to come out of Inner Mongolia. 

This week they made international news again, being included in this list by the Huffington Post of the best albums of 2016 that the Grammy Awards missed. 

If you want to hear them, both links above have video! 

I haven’t heard this particular album yet, but I’m glad they’re getting some recognition. What do you think? Have you heard the album? Is it Grammy-worthy?

Leave us a comment!

iMoment Coffee Shop

If you still haven’t found your perfect hang out, we’re happy to introduce iMoment Coffee Shop. Connect with them on wechat using this QRcode.

1884818040

For the coffee lover, finding a nice coffee shop must be the first thing you do in Hohhot! By recommendation we found iMoment Cafe, a mysterious cafe hiding in an office building.

Why is it called iMoment Cafe?

1994808219

First, the English letter “i” shares the similar pronunciation with the word “love” in Chinese. You can tell the founder (a Taiwanese girl who speaks great English) loves coffee, wants everyone to enjoy their moment here in iMoment.

1663371507

Second, iMoment Cafe is a reminder that people need to drink the premium specialty coffee. It’s not just a regular commodity, they treat every cup of coffee seriously. I am sure iMoment Cafe has high standard in its coffee. They use LOVERAMICS’s cups for the coffee, created using state of the art equipment by Lamarzocco and Victoria Arduino’s Mythos.

1098170037

They also offer a selection of classic desserts to go with your morning coffee.

2014335204

The other part of menu was equally impressive, king size panini with fresh garden vegetables, cuttlefish ink and other healthy ingredients on the dishes. Apart from the coffee, the food is definitely worthy trying.

iMoment Hohhot

609622712
They claim they are the furthest shop on Hohhot’s map of specialty coffee, but it’s definitely worth finding. From the warmth of the Taiwanese baristas to the food and drinks, it’s a spot to go! (and actually it’s not far at all )

Address:
內蒙古呼和浩特市賽罕區騰飛路51號金隅時代城(金隅朗峰)15號樓C座4樓
4th Floor,No.15 Jinyushidaicheng,Chilechuan Avenue

 

photos by Hilary Lee photography, used with permission

Express VPN

I try not to link to pages that require a VPN to load, but since this one is about VPNs, I’m breaking from my trend.

Below is a video from Express VPN called “5 Best ways to use VPN”. The majority of people use a VPN purely for unblocking Netflix and other streaming websites, so they don’t know about all the other cool bits and bobs you can use a VPN for!

Watch the video below, and if you like it, Express VPN

Use this link and we’ll both get 30 days free!

 

Toys R Us

If you’ve been to City Mall (Mo Er Cheng) recently you might have seen the “Toys R Us coming soon” display. I’m always curious when a new foreign/international brand comes to Hohhot. Although I love life here, it’s not like we’re known as being a test-market for foreign brands entering the Chinese market. Also, in a country that has pulled off fake city governments, fake Bank of China, these fakes, and where 40% of online commerce deals in fakes, I’m not eager to believe it’s real.

Hohhot itself has had its share of fakes in the past. I know of at least one fake Starbucks location (two if the one down by Madison Patio ever opened up). Hohhot had a fake Ikea in 2002/2003. Last week or so there was also an advertisement in one of the Hohhot expat groups on wechat for a teacher at a Waldorf School. Again, I could be wrong, but my best guess is that if you ask the Waldorf School accrediting agency (or whatever their formal alliance is) if they have a school in Hohhot……I think they’re going to say no. The ad also mentioned the need to contact the principal, which isn’t how Waldorf Schools work. And I’m veering away from the topic of this post now, but their foundation of religious principles, lack of testing, and emphasis on social transformation don’t seem like ideas that would be well-received here. Which is again why my best guess is that it is not a true Waldorf School.

Anyway, because I’m such a phenomenal journalist (please laugh) I’m trying to get the true story: I wrote an email to the Toys R Us corporate office to ask if our newly arriving Toy R Us is legit.

I need you to vote in the comments with your guess:

  1. They won’t even write back.
  2. They’ll write back that we are indeed being graced with the presence of Toys R Us.
  3. They’ll write back that it’s as fake as all the other things linked to above.
« Older Entries