A Peek into China’s Hostesses

hostess - master

Hostess clubs in China are nightlife entertainment that only the rich can afford. Similar to the hostess clubs in Japan, in Chinese establishments the rich men pay for an attractive woman’s company, service, and conversations. And, if they like the woman enough, they ask for the girl to leave with them and continue businesses elsewhere. In Chinese, these type of hostesses are called 女公关, which translates loosely to “female public relations”. Recently, the top hostess club in Zhengzhou was shut down by the government, and Sohu News created an infographic to explain the modern world of Chinese hostesses.

HOW TO BECOME A QUALIFIED HOSTESS

how to be a hostess

 

To become a hostess, you would first need to have the right look,  the right figure, and be within the proper age range. Since hostess clubs depend on high-class customers, they can’t allow their hostesses to be from the lower classes, so they prefer white collar workers, models, and art school students.

Step 1: Interview

After meeting the initial criteria, you need to be interviewed by 3 to 5 interviewers. Good looks + good body: 60. Highly educated + high alcohol tolerance: 80. Can play the role of a flight attendant: 100. According to a report on Zhengzhou’s Huangjia Yihao, all candidates are interviewed by at least 5 interviewers who rate you based on your appearance, height, education, skills, and culture, and then the overall score is broken down into a price.

Step 2: Professional Training 

Physique, etiquette, smile, and conversation skills. After the training is completed, a hostess can officially start working.

 

HOW DO HOSTESSES MAKE MONEY?

how to earn money

 

Work Hours: 9PM to 2AM

Main Work Locations: High-class Hostess Clubs, KTV and night clubs, bars

Work Responsibilities: Accompany clients, drink with clients, sing, and others

how to earn money 2The most famous hostess club in Beijing, Tian Shang Ren Jian (Passion Club), was one of the most expensive clubs in Beijing before it closed. The club was membership only. VIP customers included socialites from China and abroad, entrepreneurs, domestic and international film and TV stars, as well as ambassadors. Clients need to pay an initial fee of 1,000 to 3,000 yuan to talk to girls. To have a girl’s company for an entire night costs at least 5,000 yuan.

Huangjia Yihao was praised as an ideal “platform where politicians and businessmen communicated”. Gold card holders mostly treated others to discuss contracts and projects, or to ask for a favor. The previous report quotes that the club earned over 500,000 yuan per night. The reason that visiting the club became a symbol of social status is that the hostesses only chatted, sang, and drank moderately. If customers touched them inappropriately, they would be told off.  A girl’s company cost 400 to 800 yuan, and to take her out was extra.

The infographic points out that a hostess could purchase an apartment and make all the payments in a prime location in the capital in just a year. Their only real concern is prostitution crackdowns.

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How to Celebrate Laba Festival

labacollage

 

The twelfth lunar month in Chinese is called La Yue(腊月), so the eighth day of this lunar month is La Yue Chu Ba (腊月初八 là yùe chū bā), or Laba (腊八 là bā). The day is also known as the La Ba Rice Porridge Festival.

The three major customs on Laba are ancestor worship, Laba Rice Porridge (腊八粥) eating and Laba garlic making.

Ancestor worship (祭祖): At the end of the year, working people get more free time to prepare for the sacrifice to the ancestors. The reason lunar December is called La Yue has a lot to do with the custom of sacrifice. First, the worship of ancestors, called “腊” in Chinese, and the sacrifice for the gods, called “蜡”, both frequently took place in the twelfth month, which led to the traditional name of the month: La Yue(腊月). Second, winter is the slack season for farmers so they have time to find things to burn in the sacrifice. The radical of “腊” represents the sacrifice of meat to one’s ancestors (“月” symbolizes meat).

Laba Rice Porridge (腊八粥 là bā zhōu, photo left): There are several legends about the origin of porridge eating on Laba: some claim it is of Buddhist origin; some say the porridge, made of red beans, has the power to exorcize evil from little kids; others say the porridge is in memory of a poor couple. The custom of porridge eating has been well-known throughout history, from the royal court to common people. The most “authentic” porridge is made in Northern China, especially Beiping (北平). Laba porridge is mostly made of rice and sticky rice, but can also include sugar, red dates, lotus seeds, walnuts, chestnuts, almonds, longans, hazelnuts, raisins, red beans, peanuts, water caltrops, roseleaf and other “treasures” (hence its other name, “eight treasure porridge”). Almost every region in China has its own local recipe for  Laba porridge. Eating hot porridge is great in cold winter, and the grain and nuts are considered healthy winter fare.

Laba garlic (腊八蒜 là bā suàn, photo right): It is an old Beijing custom to soak purple-peel garlic with vinegar and a little sugar. First, pare the old skin of the garlic, then put the vinegar and garlic into a jar and seal it up for keeping ’till the Lunar New Year’s Eve. When the whole family gets together for the dumpling feast on Spring Festival Eve, they take out the Laba garlic which will be crisp, with a vinegary flavor and a green color. Vinegar with the aroma of garlic is the best seasoning for dumplings.

Green Mung Bean Recipes

food-greenbean-master

But let’s get back to the facts. For most Chinese, TCM is a holistic system designed to describe and understand bodily functions, diseases and everyday diet. It’s an ancient discipline established more than 2,500 years ago that is still relevant today. The central tenets of TCM revolve around the need to balance yin and yang, as well as the relationship of changes in our natural environment to the human body.

With these beliefs deeply engrained in Chinese culture, it’s natural for Chinese families to decide their daily dietary choices by employing the principles of TCM, one of which is to choose your food in accordance with the season (顺时而食 shùn shí’ ér shí); for example, eating watermelons in winter or strawberries in autumn is common, but it’s also important to remember that TCM deems consuming out-of-season foods as detrimental to one’s health.

In keeping with this spirit, we’re going to pick out an in-season favorite: green mung beans (绿豆 lǜdòu). Harvested in mid-August, and dried under the sun, green mung beans are both tasty and help prevent heat-induced diseases. Originally sourced from India more than 2,000 years ago, green mung beans can now be found all over China and have become an integral part of the country’s diet.

Green mung beans are best eaten in high summer and early autumn because of their “cold” nature. The TCM bible, the ”Compendium of Materia Medica”《本草纲目》, describes them thus: “Green mung beans are sweet, cold in nature and non-toxic (绿豆甘、寒、无毒 lǜdòu gān, hán, wú dú).”

Cold here is not so much a straightforward statement of temperature as a concept in TCM, which essentially revolves around the need for the human body to strike a balance between hot and cold. Put simply, when the temperature outside rises, the human body becomes more susceptible to surges in internal heat. Once this happens, and the balance between hot and cold is upset, conditions such as inflammations and ulcers arise, and the body is overcome by heat (上火 shàng huǒ).

The green mung bean is the perfect remedy, and as your designated TCM doctor for the day, I would prescribe several bowls of chilled green mung bean soup, which has the additional benefit of being a top cure for hangovers!

From the perspective of nutriology, green mung beans are high in protein and vitamins, and also contain calcium, phosphorus and iron, which are essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Now we’re clear on why you should be eating the beans, let’s get down to the how you should eat ‘em. Served whole or as bean paste, the Chinese are very resourceful when it comes to green mung beans. Their starch is made into noodles, and their sprouts into salads or as part of stir-fry dishes. They’re even commonly used as ingredients in various desserts. Here’s one you should easily be able to follow:

 

Green Mung Bean Paste Cake (绿豆糕 lǜdòu gāo)

Ingredients:

200g green mung beans
100g sugar
10g vegetable oil
20g malt sugar
50g red bean paste

Step 1. Peel the green mung beans by soaking them overnight. Absorbed with water, their skin should be fairly easy to separate—simply by rubbing the beans gently in water. The skin will float to the top while the beans sink to the bottom. Drain the water with the floating skin to leave the peeled beans.
Step 2. Steam the beans to further soften them and use a food processer to finely blend.
Step 3. Place the blended beans in a large bowl, add sugar, malt sugar and oil, and stir until even.
Step 4. The mixture should now be quite thick and basically resemble bean dough at this stage.
Step 5. Divide the dough into smaller pieces, before digging a small hole in each piece and filling the depression with red bean paste.
Step 6. Cover the hole so the red bean paste sits snuggly inside and mold into whatever shape you desirea moon cake mold would be perfect to celebrate the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.
Step 7. Steam the cakes for four-to-five minutes. After they’ve cooled store them in refrigerator for three hours.
Step 8. Serve cold.

Bean sprouts are derivatives of green mung beans and are also a signature ingredient in many Chinese dishes. Here we offer a simple salad recipe you can put together to work up an appetite.

Bean Sprouts and Asparagus Lettuce Salad (绿豆芽拌笋丝 lǜdòuyá bàn sǔn sī)

Ingredients:

150g green mung bean sprouts
80g asparagus lettuce
1g salt
5ml vinegar
2ml sesame oil
1g sugar
5ml soy sauce

Step 1. Immerse the bean sprouts in boiled water for few seconds. Remove the sprouts before they get too soft and set in a colander to drain the remaining water.
Step 2. Shred the asparagus lettuce into thin threads and mix with the bean sprouts.
Step 3. Add the salt, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar; mix until even.
Step 4. Serve cold.

Hainan Chicken

 

Wenchang chicken is usually made in the baizhan (白斩, plain chopped-up) or baiqie (白切, plain and sliced) way, which involves first boiling and slicing the chicken, then dipping the pieces in cold sauce. This helps retain the chicken’s original taste while allowing the sauce to warm on the skin. Below we list three sauces you can use: the first is salty with a touch of ginger and garlic spice; the second is sweet and sour; and the third sauce is a fragrant mix of ginger and spring onion. Whichever option you choose, don’t let all the painstaking preparation go to waste by skimping on the presentation. All the ingredients for the dipping sauce must be organic and fresh. Local people also use leftover chicken oil and broth to cook their rice, making for the perfect side dish: Hainan chicken rice (海南鸡饭, Hǎinán jī fàn).

There’s a saying on Hainan Island that “if you don’t have Wenchang chicken, a feast is impossible” (无没有文昌鸡不成席, Wú méiyǒu wénchāng jī bùchéng xí) or more colloquially, “it’s just not a party without Wenchang Chicken!” Below, we do our best to help you recreate its special flavor so you can get your party started without a hitch.

Recipe:

1 whole chicken, about 1.5kg
整鸡 zhěngjī

2 tablespoons salt
盐 yán

80g ginger, crushed
姜末 jiāngmò

50g spring onions, cut in 5cm pieces
香葱 xiāng cōng

3 tablespoons sesame oil
芝麻油 zhīmayóu

1. Find a pot big enough for your chicken, then fill with water and boil. Add the crushed ginger and spring onions.

2. Place the chicken in the boiling water for 10 seconds and then remove. Bring the water to a boil again, and repeat three times.

3. The third time, leave the chicken in the pot. When the water has reached boiling point, reduce the heat and let simmer for a half hour, or less if using a smaller bird. To check if the chicken is done, stick a chopstick into the flesh under the leg. If the juice runs clear, the chicken is cooked. If you are not sure, test with a meat thermometer.

4. Make your sauce of choice: salty, sweet-and-sour or fragrant.

5. Transfer the chicken to a plate and drizzle with sesame oil. Leave it to cool before cutting into bite sized pieces. Serve together with sauces and Hainan chicken rice (optional).

Sauces

Option 1 – Salty

4 tablespoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons minced garlic

6 tablespoons light soy sauce

Option 2 – Sweet-and-Sour

6 tablespoons vinegar

3 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Option 3 – Fragrant

100g sliced spring onions

3 tablespoons minced ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

50ml hot oil

Combine the spring onions and ginger together and pour over the hot oil while mixing in the salt and soy sauce to taste.

How to Cook with Chinese Vinegar

food-how to cook-master

In Chinese cuisine, the role of vinegar is just as important as soy sauce.  A popular saying goes, “ Firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea are the seven daily necessities.” (开门七件事,柴米油盐酱醋茶 kāimén qījiànshì, cháimǐyóuyánjiàngcùchá).

Chinese vinegar is mainly categorized into three types: white rice vinegar(白米醋  bái mǐcù), which has more of a  light yellow color, black rice vinegar (黑米醋 hēimǐcù) and red rice vinegar (红米醋 hóngmǐcù).

White vinegar has a mild flavor with less acidity, making it perfect for pickling and dressings. One simple and popular dressing, usually poured on thinly cut white radish, mixes white vinegar with light soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Alternatively, for a  cucumber or cabbage salad dressing, mix the vinegar with light soy sauce, garlic, red pepper, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Many online Chinese recipes also recommend white vinegar for making Sichuan-style pickles.

Known also as “rosy rice vinegar,” red vinegar gets its fancy name from its transparent rosy color. It is usually blended with white vinegar and sugar to make pickles. Red vinegar and chili sauce make good companions for seasoning hot dishes like sour soup fish.

 Black vinegar has a much stronger fragrance and acidic flavor, and is best for dipping and cooking meat. No dumpling morsel should go without it! Mix it with soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil for the ultimate plunge. Much like dark soy sauce, black vinegar is also used for meats and to add color to your dish. It is a must for sweet and sour fish or pork spareribs. Chinese nutritionists claim you should add black vinegar when you stir-fry potato slices, lotus roots or bean sprouts. This helps to preserve nutrients and adds a nice crispness. The most popular brand of black vinegar in China is Zhenjiang vinegar (镇江香醋 Zhènjiāng xiāngcù), which originates in the city of Zhenjiang.

Adding an ounce of black vinegar when you are stewing beef can soften the meat and make it taste better. Vinegar is also handy for reducing the strong odors (腥气 xīngqì) found in soy beans, eggs and fish. You can even try adding a few drops of vinegar when cooking seafood to get rid of a fishy smell!

Many Uses Of A Rice Cooker

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21 Surprising Things You Can Make In A Rice Cooker

Monday, April 8, 2013 | By:

You may know that in addition to living up to its name, the rice cooker can also be used to steam buns or warm last night’s leftovers. You may have gotten it as a Christmas present, or just thought that you should have one but never really bothered to use it because you don’t need to cook rice everyday. Here comes the surprise: a RICE COOKER does not only make RICE!

Previously, we have presented a simple Rice Cooker recipe — pork ribs and lotus root soup, a keynote dish of Hubei cuisine. As an update, here is a list of 21 more things that you can make with your rice cooker. And let’s face it, there are dozens and maybe hundreds of innovative recipes out there for your discovery. Read, create, and experiment!

Via BuzzFeed

1. Tofu and Asparagus

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Put the ingredients in, turn on the rice cooker, come back 15 minutes later and you have a meal. Find the recipe here.

 

2. Mac and Cheese

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Using chicken stock makes for some interesting mac and cheese. Find the recipe here.

 

3. Chocolate Lava Cake

Source: allmoneyblog.blogspot.com

Yes, you can even make delicious chocolate cake. Recipe here.

 

4. Pomegranate And Quinoa Salad

Source: slapdashcook.blogspot.com

No more burnt quinoa! Find the recipe here.

 

5. Cheesy Jalapeno Bread

Source: insunee.blogspot.nl

Find the recipe here.

 

6. Black Bean Chili

Source: cookingwithmykid.com

Find the recipe here.

 

7. Poached Pomegranate Spiced Pears

Source: jeanetteshealthyliving.com

Rice cookers are surprisingly great for poaching fruit. Find the recipe here.

 

8. Lemon Risotto with Shrimp

Source: ifood.tv

So easy! Find the recipe here.

 

9. Mahi Mahi

Source: wolfsoup.com

Find the recipe here.

 

10. Steel Cut Oats

Source: tastespotting.com

Recipe here.

 

11. Balsamic Dijon Chicken With Farro And Mushrooms

Source: cleaneatingmag.com

A complete meal in one pot! Find the recipe here.

 

12. Banana Bread

Source: wideislandview.com

Find the recipe here.

 

13. Wheat Berry Salad

Source: tinyurbankitchen.com

Find the recipe here.

 

14. “Stir Fry” Cabbage

Source: teczcape.blogspot.com

Other veggies would be good too. Find the recipe here.

 

15. Rice Cooker Bibimbap With Salmon and Spinach

Image by Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times

Get the recipe

 

16. Banana Pudding With Caramel Sauce

Source: bakingmakesthingsbetter.com

Making caramel in a rice cooker is seriously impressive. Find the recipe here.

 

17. Vegetable Frittata

Source: justbento.com

Recipe here.

 

18. Apple Upside Down Cake

Source: cavolettodibruxelles.it

This is brilliant. Find the recipe here.

 

19. Vegetable Hot Cake

Source: shizuokagourmet.com

This is kind of like a big vegetable pancake. Find the recipe here.

 

20. Rice Cooker Chicken Biriyani With Saffron Cream

Image by Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times

Get the recipe

 

21. Japanese Anime Bread

Source: seriouseats.com

10 Most Famous Brands of Chinese Liquor

baijiu - master

You have probably heard of China’s favorite liquor: baijiu, a Chinese distilled alcoholic beverage with a relatively high alcohol percentage. But what are some of the baijiu brands out there? Fenjiu, Erguotou, Wuliangye, Jiugui, Daqu, Maotai, and Red Star to name a few. There are even 12 different fragrances used to classify the various types of baijiu. Which ones are the most famous? Here is a list compiled by China Whisper that can help you get more familiar with the unfamiliar world of baijiu.

Via China Whisper.

1. 茅台Máotái

Maotai-spirits

“Produced in the town of Maotai, Guizhou province, Maotai is one of the best-known brands of Chinese liquor (or baijiu). Maotai is called China’s official “National Liquor.” The most expensive bottle was one from Five Star Maotai made in 1955, which went for RMB 1.26 million. Maotai offers an exceptionally pure, mild, and mellow soy sauce-like fragrance.”

2. 五粮液 Wǔliángyè

Wuliangye-liquor

“Headquartered in Yibin, Sichuan Province, Wuliangye is another popular brand of high-end Chinese distilled spirits which is comparable to Maotai. Wuliangye—made from sorghum, rice, glutinous rice, wheat, and corn—is up to 52 percent alcohol.  Wuliangye features lasting flavors, mellow savor, luscious and refreshing tastes, harmonious and just-right flavors.”

3. 泸州老窖 lúzhōu lǎo jiào

Luzhou-Laojiao

“Luzhou Laojiao is one of the most famous liquors in China. Its history can be dated back to 1573 in the Ming Dynasty. It is a strong (more than 50% alcohol) but clear liquid with a sharp aroma of fermented peaches.”

4. 古井贡酒 Gǔjǐng gòng jiǔ

gujing-gongjiu

 

“Gujing Gongjiu or Gujing Tribute Liquor is produced in Bozhou, Anhui Province. It was originated in 196 A.D.. For some time, it was a tribute drink for the imperial families of China’s dynasties. It received very good comments due to its unique style, ‘limpid as crystal, fragrant and refreshing, with prolonged pleasant aftertaste’.”

5. 剑南春 Jiànnánchūn

Jiannanchun-1

 

“The Jiannanchun Liquor is produced in Mianzhu County, Sichuan Province. The liquor has a history of more than 1,000 years. Jiannanchun Liquor is has strong, rich fragrance, pure and sweet flavor, refreshing and lingering taste, and a unique ‘Daqu-flavor fragrance’.”

6. 洋河大曲 Yánghé dàqū

yanghe-daqu

 

“Produced in Yanghe Town, Jiangsu Province, Yanghe Daqu Liquor has a history of more than 400 years. It has three specifications, namely, 64 degrees, 61 degrees and 55 degrees. Yanghe Daqu liquor is a kind of pure and transparent liquid, with fragrant and strong scent, soft and smooth taste, sweet and refreshing flavor.”

7. 西凤酒 Xīfèngjiǔ

Xifengjiu

 

“Xifengjiu (or Xifeng Liquor), one of the famous and time-honored liquors in China, is produced in Fengxiang County, Shaanxi. It boasts a long history that dated to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Xifeng Liquor is refreshing but not tasteless, strong but not pungent, harmonious but not excessive acid, sweet, bitter, spicy and fragrant flavor.”

8. 双沟大曲 Shuānggōu dàqū

shuanggoudaqu

 

“Produced in Sihong County, Jiangsu Province, Shuanggou Daqu Liquor is renowned both at home and abroad for its ‘strong aroma, sweet taste, harmonious fragrance and lingering aftertaste’.”

9. 郎酒 Láng jiǔ

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“Langjiu is named after the town of its origin place, Erlang (near the Chishui River, not far from Maotai), in Sichuan province. Langjiu is made from cool, fresh spring water from the Dragon Cave and aged clay pots. Its history can be traced back to the Han Dynasty and the time of Emperor Wu.”

10. 汾酒 Fénjiǔ

Fenjiu

 

“Fenjiu liquor is a fairly typical example of lightly scented liquor. The Fenjiu name was already known during the Southern and Northern dynasties (420-581 AD). Fenjiu looks clear and tastes soft and sweet. It may contaion 38%, 48% or 53% alcohol, and it has light fragrance and taste. In 1915, Fenjiu won a gold medal at the Panama Pacific International Exposition.”

 

Drinking culture is big in China, know the drinking etiquette. Alcoholism is a big problem too, read about the darker side of drinking

Wondering if there are good ways to cure hangovers? Try these traditional Chinese methods

My Line Dancing

Line Dancing is getting more and more popular.   It is good for our physical, mental and spiritual health.  Normally it is the ladies who are interested in it.

4 years back, I pass by a place that was doing line dancing.  I immediately went in and enroll myself.  Was I really interested in line dancing?  I must have been.  Otherwise I will not have enrolled myself in the line dancing class with no second thought.

If the teacher is not good in teaching, it is not easy to learn line dancing.  I saw many students, after many years of line dancing, still do not know how to do the basic steps.  I have been under 5 teachers before.   Among the 5, one is the best.  But she is always absent from class.  Thus I went to another center.

In the new center, that teacher was lousy.  One of her classes eventually ‘close up’ for the students eventually got fed up and left.  However, her fees was very cheap.

I used to teach my “classmate’ who are new and do not know how to dance in their house.  Our teacher said they have improved a lot in their dancing.  However they never tell the teacher that it was me who has taught them how to dance easily.   They got all the fame without me.

Sometime, accidentally, stranger see us dance.  When it suddenly rain, stranger will run into our class for shelter.  Then they will see us dance.  After that they gave big applause.   Both my teacher and i know that they like and has enjoyed my dancing.  I danced beautifully.  My daughters loved my dancing.

My friends said I danced beautifully and gracefully.  If one knows how to roll and move the joints of the body in every direction, one can dance beautifully.

Once I was in a party.  It was our teacher who threw said party.  The music ‘Beat It’ was played.  It was a song from Micheal Jackson.  The day before the party, out teacher taught us to danced that song.  I went through it at home, after the class.  In the party, when ‘Beat It’ was played, only my teacher and I were know how to dance it.  Everyone was so surprise that i danced that song so beautifully and amazing;y.  Someone video taped it.  Till now people is still talking about my dancing in that dance.  I was so surprised.

The admiration of people on my dancing always made me feel very proud.