For health and healing.
I have been fighting off a cold for the past month like a Ninja warrior. Everyone around me has caught it, suffered severely, then been plagued by a lingering, hideous cough. But I don’t have time to get a cold. Not now, anyway. Fortunately, I have a secret weapon.
It all started this summer (Sigh! Remember summer?) with a lovely dinner for our Chinese publishing partners. When I asked the editor of Best Life what his favorite Chinese food was he said “Szechuan Hot Pot.” I had never heard of it, and despaired of ever getting to taste it.
Then my yoga teacher told me about a great new Chinese restaurant called Asia, on Susquehanna Street in Allentown (about a mile from my house). While there I noticed an unusual number of Chinese people dining. And they seemed to be eating different foods than what I recognized from a typical Chinese restaurant. When I asked May, the lovely lady whose husband is the chef, what they were eating she said it was from their Chinese menu. (I know, this gets confusing.) But, she said, I couldn’t see it, because it was written in Chinese and no one had translated it. I asked if she had Szechuan Hot Pot on it and she said yes, of course—do I want beef, pork, or fish?
The first night, I tried the beef. But I have since had all three, and they are all truly amazing. It comes in a giant steaming bowl filled with a savory broth that is so freaking hot it makes the insides of my ears burn. In addition to the meat and broth, there is savoy cabbage, celery, and ginger. You can even get brown rice instead of white. It’s happiness in a bowl. The point is, the yummy soup and the spicy hotness chase any cold germs or viruses far, far away.May is so nice that she will even put the Szechuan Hot Pot in our own soup pot that we bring for takeout—so we save a plastic container from ending up in the ocean.
When I am not fighting a cold, I try all sorts of new foods from the secret Chinese menu. It turns out that real Chinese food is not nearly as sweet and fried as the American version. And by the way, the buns the chef makes with the Peking Duck are as good as the famous Pork Buns made by David Chang from Momofuku in New York City.Actually, they are better. Because they are right down the street. In Allentown. No reservations required.
I know this cold will get me eventually. Probably over the Christmas holiday, when I can really surrender to it.Until then, you can find me at Asia. And after then, when I am sick in bed, you will probably find my husband showing up at Asia with our soup pot. It’s the only thing I’ve ever tasted that is as good as my homemade chicken soup that I make when everyone else is sick.