For average Westerner Chinese cuisine appears to be something shrouded in mystery. Many new tastes (often very odd). Vegetables and fruit you’ve never seen before (and can’t even begin to guess what they might be). Unbelievable kinds of meat (or should we rather say sources of proteins – hard to tell if you fried insects can be counted as meat). All of that makes eating in China a real adventure which, however thrilling, can also be tiring at times. Adventures are good to make your life more interesting. Nonetheless in everyday life you’d prefer something relatively ‘normal’ for a meal. What would be a safe choice?
You can try to seek refuge in western food (like KFC or McDonalds) but in China they are not only very expensive but also taste differently than things in Europe (this visit can be quite disappointing). Much cheaper choice are chao mian (炒面) – stir-fried noodles. To simplify the description you could say it’s something like Chinese spaghetti. There are different kinds of this dish. The one popular in Zhejiang province are noodles with egg, cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots and soy sauce. It makes very simple and tasty meal for a price around 8 RMB (less than 1,5$). The amount of noodles you’ll get for this price is also enough to satisfy the hunger of practically anyone (at least it’s more than one girl is able to eat). That is a perfect dish for those tired of weird tastes as well as those tight on budget.