We took an afternoon trip to an organic farm about a ninety minute drive outside of Kunming, and walked around the grounds. Those cherry tomatoes were some of the sweetest, most intensely flavored that I’ve ever had (yes, we picked a few off the vines before feeling guilty about taking so many).
At the end of our walk, we headed back to the main entrance, where Haobao has a relatively large kitchen full of freshly picked vegetables and freshly slaughtered meat. This marinated pork belly turned into this bad boy, studded with peppercorns and lathered in chili oil.Fresh romaine lettuce tossed in a tangy fermented bean sauce.Stir-fried squash and cauliflower: Some chili eggplant with scallions.Deep-fried ribs with mint and chilis.And this was something that I wish we’d ordered: We were too stuffed, unfortunately, to commandeer a whole chicken. I could stuff my face with cauliflower all day, and I basically finished off the ribs by myself. The dishes we had were relatively simply dressed or seasoned, but the ingredients were flavorful and fresh, strong without being indulgent or overwhelming. Chinese cooking showcases most of these vegetables as they are, but relatively isolated – I’d be curious to see how these wonderful ingredients might come together in a more composed dish. But, delicious food, and a serene walk full of surprises and lessons, seeing all these plants and fruits in the fields.