These are not Zucchini.
I know, the label even says “Zucchini”. But they’re not.
These are cucumbers.
I’ve done this twice now- TWICE I’ve bought cucumbers, thinking they were zucchini. Oh, the trials and tribulations of living in a foreign country.
The first time was when we were having some work colleagues over for dinner. They are Chinese and I was trying to bust out my wicked kitchen skillz moves with the goal of cooking Chinese food for our new Chinese friends. Luckily, I own the Chinese cookbook equivalent of the Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. It’s amazing. It’s taught me how to properly stir-fry, break down a chicken, the differences between light and dark soy sauce, and how to shop in a Chinese food market.
What it has not done, apparently, is teach me the difference between a cucumber and a zucchini.
So my Zucchini Squash pancakes turned into “Oh shit! I need a Chinese recipe for Cucumbers!”
Fortunately, the cucumber salad turned out great. Our guests even said that it is, in fact, a traditional Sichuan dish. WIN.
So tonight, we’re making a Greek dinner (just for us), with awesome filet steak and roasted veggies. I had every intention of adding zucchini into the pile of roasted veggies, but now it’s “Hey! We get some cucumbers…on the side…of our plate…maybe they’ll taste good with the steak…?….?…Maybe?…?…”
I’m adding this to the list of things I cannot find in China. I give it a solid effort, then decide to live without. This list has included:
1) Black beans (but I eventually found these at Sabrina’s. Thank GOD. They were $4 per can, and I was so relieved that I bought two.)
2) Aluminum Foil (though we brought a GIGANTIC roll from the US. Not looking forward to this running out.)
3) Limes. I know, this is weird. We found them one time when we first got here, and took it for granted. I haven’t seen them in the last several trips to the grocery store(s). I’ve been looking.
4) Ice Cream for taking home and putting in your freezer. We have a Dairy Queen across the street from us, and this serves quite well to cure any craving, and though they nicely serve Oreo blizzards, they are lacking in the mint flavoring department, so we are making sacrifices. Also, Ice Cream is available via Haagen Dazs stores at ~$5 per scoop. So very worth it if you need a solid fix and don’t mind blowing 10 bucks.
5) Nice baking dishes that don’t cost $50. No pyrex from Macy’s here- The Chinese typically don’t have ovens, and the baking dishes, though technically available, are outrageously expensive. A small set of glass oven-proof dishes will run you about $100-$400.
I know that there are more things, but I can’t think of them. And our dinner is ready, so it’s time to go enjoy my roasted veggies+sautéed filet+and cucumbers. Cucumbers.