{In My Hood} Broad Beans – Plus Ate Six

Broad beans {or fava beans} are in season here at the moment and I have to admit it’s not a vegetable that I would have associated with Chinese cooking before living in Shanghai, mainly because I’d only ever eaten Cantonese food before.

Now I know that broad beans are used widely in Sichuan cooking stir fried with preserved vegetables and chilli,  and in Shanghai are stirfried with Chinese bacon which is similar to proscuitto but drier and saltier.

Walking around the Old Town or the back lanes around the French Concession at this time of year you will see people sitting out on the streets hunched over an enamel bowl and popping beans out of the pods.

For a few kwai extra you can buy them already podded in the wet markets. They are so tender the smallest ones don’t need their skins removing after a quick dip into boiling water. I’ve been paying the extra 2RMB – I’m afraid I lose interest in the podding after the first ten minutes!

You can see the small mangoes in the photo above – they have been around a couple of weeks now. Lychees came in this week and the watermelons are getting larger and sweeter.

In a matter of weeks the plum rains will come along, the humidity will rise along with the mercury level. It won’t be long before I’m moaning about how hot and sweaty I am.

There’s something reassuring about the changing seasons don’t you think?!

What’s going on In Your Hood this week?

P.S. Not {In My Hood} at all, but if you have two minutes to spare check this out – a photographer spent 11 years documenting Chinese families and their belongings. It’s fascinating – another reminder that the wealth of this country is in the coastal cities and that it’s not all flash Ferrari’s and excessive spending in the Middle Kingdom.

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