Today was my last full day in DC! I spent it furiously editing footnotes in my last legal paper, packing, and whipping up a nutritious/delicious bento for the flight (It’ll be on the blog tomorrow!). I also hung out with my favorite DC people at Chinatown Express, one of the last legit Chinese places in Chinatown, distinguished by chefs standing in the window making noodles by hand. Yes, all their noodles and dumplings are made in-house, IN FRONT OF YOU, and are sold for dirt cheap. The truth is, I’ve been thinking about dumplings for days. I was freakishly productive all day in anticipation. A sexy preview:
ON TO WHAT I ATE!
Breakfast: (1) Poached Eggplant Okayu: I had leftover eggplant from last night’s amazing eggplant operations (stewed in mushroom broth, umeshu, shoyu, and sake). The end product is really flavorful, and I thought it might dissolve well into a rice porridge. I was right; the flavors defused really nicely into the 1/2 cup brown rice and 1 cup broth and short pour of rice milk. Topped with roasted and ground sesame seeds, as well as a bit of shiso furikake. Definitely had a smoky, delicious flavor profile! (2) Steamed Bok Choy: just simple steamed bok choy with a dash of shoyu and seto fumi furikake.
Lunch: (1) Chow Mei Fun-style glass noodles with eggplant, tuna, and shiitake mushrooms, topped with a poached egg and scallions. Sauce strong points = umeshu, shoyu, curry, and bbq sauce. I love love this stuff. (2) Steamed Bok Choy with shoyu and seto fumi furikake.
Dinner: DUMPLING PARTY AT CHINATOWN EXPRESS. I’m not even kidding, I ordered a round of steamed pork soup dumplings and veggie dumplings. Housed the pork dumplings, saved the veggie dumplings for breakfast tomorrow. The picture below is actually my dinner. The server thought I’d be sharing with the table and placed the dish a bit farther away, but SHE WAS WRONG.
On my last night, I just wanted authentic Chinese and to laugh at inappropriate jokes with my friends. Maj success on both fronts. I’m going to miss these people so much!
Yes, they make their noodles, dumpling wrappers, and buns by hand, AND they hang the ducks in the window. All good signs.
“Eric, look really proud of your noodles…”
And that’s it! It was a great last night, and I’m already scheming all kinds of Chinese bentos!