There are a lot of things I miss here in Beijing, decent skincare, “normal” toilets, and my friends and family of course. But MOST of all I miss my home cuisine, and the ingredients that are easy to buy in Western supermarkets. I wanted to recreate some foods that my family in Beijing misses, share my recipes, and where to get the ingredients. If you see a blond lady on a bike with a toddler and bags of groceries, that’s me, on the hunt for little pieces of home.
I will start with an easy recipe that I really miss made from the supermarket. Hummus is a simple recipe and the ingredients are easy to find in Beijing. A great recipe to teach the ayi, and can be made together with the kids. Hummus is an old time favorite with our 3-year-old daughter, served with carrot sticks and pita chips. I like to give my toddler a simple version with less salt, but I made a variation at a ladies night and it was received well. Chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste) are easy to find at the international stores like jenny Lou’s and April Gourmet. Fresh basil, pine nuts, and pitta bread are available at the Sanyuanli Market. If worse comes to worse buy a jar of pesto, just don’t tell anybody. If the children are scared of green food, omit the basil and see how they devour this healthy snack.
Beijing Basil Hummus with Pitta Chips (serves 4)
1 can chickpeas, drained, keep some of the juice aside.
1 table spoon tahini.
1 table spoon lemon juice.
4 table spoons olive oil.
2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts.
1 bag fresh basil.
4 slices pita bread
- Blend the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, basil, pine nuts and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a food processor.
- Season with salt and pepper and add some of the chickpea juice if its not creamy enough.
- Cut the pita bread in triangles and toss in the rest of the olive oil and salt.
- Roast the pita triangles in the oven on 180, for around 8 min or until golden brown turning them after 4 minutes.
- Serve and dip
Pauline van Hasselt has just started working for Beijing Kids. Born in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, she moved with her husband and her 3 year-old daughter to Beijing in June of this year. Prior she lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, Paraguay, Texas, and London, studying and working as a chef. Pauline enjoys biking around Beijing, finding markets and new restaurants, reading crime and fantasy books in bed, and most importantly, turning her house into a home for her family.