I had resigned myself to eating fish for this trip, since most Chinese people associate fish with a vegetarian diet. Attempting to explain that my version of a vegetarian diet did not include fish was a daunting task, given that a number of Chinese people are buddhist or have friends that practice buddhism and the buddhist version of a vegetarian diet usually includes fish. As a result, I had become a pescetarian, but only while dining in China. The irony is that, in the present day, I eat a pescatarian diet.
At the time, I didn't know very much Mandarin Chinese, so when I asked my Chinese friends what that dish was called, they told me it was "Pao Mo"*.
Despite my poor Chinese language skills, at the time, I have remembered the name of that dish, to this day. Pao Mo* really was a memorable meal and I still salivate at the thought of it.
Although, I had to compromise my conviction to maintain a vegan diet in China, this was one time that I didn't mind being a pescetarian.
Here's a toast to the talented chefs in Xi'An China, the great people on our missions team that I got to experience this with, and the wonderful dish that is Pao Mo. Ganbei*!
Ganbei = bottoms up (a.k.a. cheers)