YOT Green Adventure 2012 - Karen Shum Mung-kay

YOT Green Adventure 2012 - Karen Shum Mung-kay

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Karen enjoying her breakfast at Shenghu Hotel.
Karen enjoying her breakfast at Shenghu Hotel.
Photos: YOT
Lhasa, Tibet is located at around 3700 meters elevation above sea level. Along with its high altitude, the high consumption of meat in Sichuan style is also known to be a part of Tibetan cuisine.

Red chili coming in various shapes and sizes always find its way into all kinds of almighty meat including: mutton, yak (beef), chicken, and pork. Like fish balls on a stick sold on Hong Kong streets, muttons and mutton fatty chunks are sold on a stick on portable trolleys here. The street chief would rotate the sticks skilfully to allow the fat to ‘spittle’ on the fire below.

After the mutton turns from copper red to a sizzling brown, you can sprinkle a bit of chilli powder or some yummy spice on top.

As a vegetarian, I've watched this process with interest but no grumbly tummy.

Vegetables here are also appealing. My favourite were the potato slices fried lightly with oil, salt, and a little onions. I could never grow tired of it.

During a visit to a shepard's home, we had our first taste of some Tibetan homemade food: Suuyou tea and Zaamba, and Cat’s Ear.


Suuyou tea is commonly believed to prevent altitude symptoms by Tibetans.

Suuyou tea is brewed from the oil extracted from the sheep's milk. Mixed with Tibetan tea and milk, Zaamba is a flour-like substance made from Qingke harvested outside their doorsteps. Mixed with Suuyou tea and kneaded together in a sheep skin bag, it is served straight away after being squished out the bag.

But the most memorable food was indeed the smelliest dish of all time - Cat's Ear is made of Qingke, like Zaamba. It does look like the name, and is made by pinching the strip of flour into thumb-sized pieces. The smell of Cat's Ear is absolutely intoxicating - a combination of molded cheese, oatmeal, and fermented rice wine. Swallowing the sweet and sour taste was quite a challenge for those students experiencing altitude sickness, as it reminds you of and will definitely makes you puke!


The very smelly Cat's Ear

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