A child plays on her scooter under decorations put up ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year at Ditan Park, Beijing on February 2nd 2016. Chinese people around the world will celebrate the start of the Year of the Monkey on February 8th. Credit: AP Photo/Andy Wong
Pollution levels are measured by the Air Quality Index, which goes up to 500. Or, rather, 500 is as high as the scale measures: It’s the level at which “everyone” in the city is at risk for serious health problems if they decide they need to breathe that week. On a bad day, Beijing breaks right through that ceiling. At the time we talked with our source, during Beijing’s first official smog “red alert,” he said, “Pollution levels got up to 700 … I’m not even sure how that happened … Today’s the nicest day we’ve had, and it’s 401.” That’s right – a 700 on a scale that only goes to 500. At its worst, Beijing’s air reached levels of bad that the people who measure filthy air for a living hadn’t even contemplated.
If you’re an American and are trying to compare this to anything you’ve breathed recently, don’t bother. The absolute smoggiest parts of L.A. (the most polluted city in the U.S.) hit 130 on a bad day.Most of the city hovers from 40 to 70. In other words, a “bad day” of smog in Beijing is five to 10 times as bad as the smoggiest days L.A. will ever see.
快过年了，较你怎么做饺子馅！ Guys it is almost Chinese New Year (this year Feb 7th is 除夕 or “new years eve” and the 8th is the beginning of Spring Festival!)
Soooo, that means dumplings. (in the north anyways.) Here is a recipe for a popular dumpling filling, “三鲜” translated as “three fresh delicacies” - generally includes shrimp, pork and veggies, here it includes sea cucumber and bamboo shoots (fancy & delicious). Dumplings are eaten after the new years eve feast, close to midnight on 除夕。
Maybe I will post recipe for the wrappers next! :) enjoy!
饺子馅的做法（三鲜馅） Three Fresh Delicacies Dumplings Filling Recipe
Fresh (raw) Shrimp 200g Re-hydrated Sea Cucumber 100g Winter bamboo shoots 150g Pork Shoulder or Arm meat 200g Fresh Ginger (sliced) 10g Green Onion 20g Ginger powder 20g Onion powder 50g 1 egg white Fine Salt 10g Ground Black Pepper 3g Cooking Wine 30g MSG 10g Chicken Boullion 10g White Sugar 10g Sesame Oil 25g Soup Stock 350g
WOW that’s a lot for just one type of dumplings! OK.
1、虾仁洗净剁成泥，加精盐、鸡蛋清搅匀； 1. Thoroughly wash shrimp and chop into paste (you can leave bigger chunks if you want!). Add some of the salt, egg white and stir until evenly coated;
2、水发海参入锅，加姜片、葱节、料酒、鸡精、高汤煨入味，捞起切成细粒； 2. Put the sea cucumber into the wok/pan, adding the ginger slices, spring onion, part of the cooking wine, chicken boullion, soup stock and simmer until it picks up the flavors, then take out and cut into fine pieces;
3、冬笋切成细粒后，入沸水锅中氽一下捞出； 3. After finely chopping the bamboo shoots, put them into boiling water and simmer for a bit before removing;
4、猪前夹肉去皮洗净，绞成茸，加精盐、胡椒粉、料酒、白糖、味精及适量清水搅打均匀； 4. Remove pork skin and wash clean, shred into bits, add the rest of the salt, pepper, cooking wine, sugar, MSG, and a little water and stir until evenly mixed.
5、再加入虾仁泥、水发海参粒、冬笋粒、姜末、葱末、香油和匀，三鲜饺子馅即成。 5. Add in the shrimp paste, sea cucumber, bamboo shoots, ginger & onion powder, and sesame oil. The filling is ready to go into the dumplings!
Notes: Dumpling filling should be sticky but not super-wet. If it’s like soupy, you put too much water. Should be paste.
p.s. I have used several different pictures, some of them obvs have different ratios - many people use chives and/or eggs in place of spring onion and/or sea cucumber - feel free to substitute here and there. Chicken would also be fine instead of pork but not traditional.
The Chinese art of Kung Fu originates from the times of the emperor, according to legend, more than 4,000 years ago. In Beijing city, you can see the modern day theatre version of this ancient martial art. At the lively Red Theatre venue, extreme skill and performance are taking place every day of the week.