Adventures in Eating & Cooking
小白熊 (directly translated to Little White Bear) is one of those hole-in-the-wall shops that oozes of China. It’s a cramped little space with dirty dilapidated chairs occupied mainly by people hollering orders in Chinese. For those who have not wandered China’s 胡同 (hu tong) and alleys, the ambience may seem lacking. However, I thought the setup really captured the essence of China’s food joints.
My favorite thing on the menu is the Wontons in Red Oil. Unlike the traditional method of serving wontons in soup, these little piglets are served dry in the house special red oil, scallions, and 榨菜 (salty pickled veggies). They’re also daubed in these mysterious brownish crumbs, which add remarkable flavoring to the wonton skin. I’m speculating that they may be crunchy pot scrapings from frying the oil (sounds gross but these can be gold for spicing up a dish). They may also be some ground up spice that was fried in the red oil. No matter, the crumbs really jazz up the wontons’ flavor! The wontons themselves are handmade by the old lady who runs the store. Although made from simply cabbage and pork, these wontons are pretty exceptional compared to other restaurants. They are really authentic– even my mom said they tasted truly like Tianjin.