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Success! – Yak Poutine!   Leave a comment

Success! I have done it. Yak Poutine.

With the first trial of the yak poutine, it was definitely something along the normal frites, gravy and cheesecurds of Montreal.

To introduce, la poutine originates in a small county town somewhere in Quebec Canada (specific location argued), and is a staple in many restaurants in eastern Canada.

The basic components of the poutine are french fries, cheese curds and a gravy or salty sauce. Available in many chains, the likes of KFC

and McDonald’s will never compare to St. Hubert’s or other small Quebec shops. It’s true that the platter is loaded with oils and fats, but if you have the right ingredients and the right chef, it’s an amazing mixture that ignores being scientific and enjoys the life of eating. I prefer my fries crunchy, not soft, with the cheese soft but supple, warm and aromatic, and the gravy spiced and salty and hot, not warm.  Some prefer an entire soft mass, like mashed potatoes with toppings. But that’s not poutine then.

 

Scroll to China.

It is by far a long stretch away to get anything remotely related to poutine, especially good cheese.

So I improvise.

In a quaint little hidden secret alley of  Lijiang is a grungy but homey Tibetan restaurant. I first came to have a great meal of Tibetan cuisine, and a large variety of dishes were all exceptional. I was served a dish with sweet, fried yak cheese, put some in my mouth and finished it, licking the plate clean and all.

A ‘Reminder Revelation’ occurs. Cravings, deep cravings for poutine emerge. Eyes open wide .O_O.  A soft, low, heavenly voice, whisper-to-the-ear chill came: …~ Poutine ~…  it chimed so sweet, tastebuds rejoicing in the memories of Montreal …~ Poutine ~
And I was determined to have some the next time I was here. I hope I am credited with bringing the style of poutine the mountain regions of China ..!

From the image at top, it was trial 1. Clearly something awkward and confusing to the chefs, waitresses and customers of the restaurant, but I persisted. A small crowd formed. I continued the request …

Details of the yak poutine:

1 / Fresh local potatoes sliced and deep-fried to a crisp, with a bit of chili for taste. No salt added.
Individual result: Absolutely amazing on it’s own, requiring no salt to taste. It had a natural potato aroma, sort of yam-like, and not the empty starch taste you get in your local fast food chain. Crunchy. The ‘nacho’ chips were one thing, but fries will be next.

2 / Fresh yak cheese fried cut to small chunks and sweetened.
Individual result: Again, another amazing thing to have. A light cheese aroma, a bit oily, but sweeten quite a bit. Great with bread, dry roast baba (a type of local cake), rice and crackers. Soft and delectable. Perhaps less sugar for the next platter. Great with the chips.

3 / The sauce. Made of a previous Tibetan beef stew and boiled with added corn starch to thicken.
Individual result: Was not warm enough, was watered-down (from the less content) and had too much starch. But individually, it had a slight hint of the stew and the peppers and light spices that made it a great stew. Again, the starch was a bit much, as it quickly cooled into a gelatin. Next time add more salts and chili powder, less starch, no added water.

Combination: High potential to be a great dish! A few modifications and it’ll be a huge culinary wave across China and the Himalayan countries! … at least with Canadians.

“Which restaurant is it? I want some!”  Said earlier, it’s a little hidden restaurant in Lijiang, off the main road of 七星街 (Literal translation: 7 Stars Road) and the following is their plaque… Care for a try? Drop me an email as you wish.

 
Zang Ba Bao Butter Tea Museum (Tibetan Restaurant) : 藏八宝酥油茶馆 (ZhanBaBaoSuYouChaGuan)

 

…~ Poutine ~
Darwin Ma
Pullman Lijiang Resort and Spa team 

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thePULL : short – Santa’s in China during the Summer   Leave a comment

A small little weekend reminder…

Santa Claus is rockin’ it in China while he waits for the snow!
And the bigger question … who inspired Kris Kringle’s appearance in the back alley of a kindergarten in Lijiang, southwest China?!

 

 

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