Archive | December, 2011

The Snacks Of Taiwan

28 Dec

The culinary culture of the Chinese people goes back a very long time; and while Chinese food can be enjoyed in every large city in the world today, true gourmets know that only in Taiwan is it possible to enjoy fine authentic cuisine from all the different regions of China.

In Taiwan, where it seems the people live to eat, it is said that there is a snack shop every three steps and a restaurant every five. These establishments serve all kinds of Chinese food, from the roast duck, smoked chicken, lamb hotpot, fish in wine sauce, beef with green peppers, and scallop and turnip balls of the north to the camphor-tea duck, salty fried chicken with spices, honey ham, stir-fried shrimp, dry-fried eggplant, and spicy bean curd of the south. As the island’s economy has developed rapidly in recent years, its culinary culture has expanded beyond the traditional Chinese foods to Chinese-style fast-food chains, thus bringing greater complexity than ever before to the art of Chinese dining.

Snack Of Taiwan

Pearl Milk Tea:
Also known as “boba milk tea,” pearl milk tea originates from Taichung and is made from a mixture of black tea, milk, and sago pearls. The combination of fragrant tea and chewy sago has made this beverage popular not only in Taiwan but in other countries as well. At many Chinatowns across the world, you can find this refreshing beverage.

Pearl Milk Tea

Shrimp Pork Soup:
With seas on all side, Taiwan enjoys a bounty of seafood that is served up in a wide variety of snack foods that have become ingrained in the culinary tradition of the island. Shrimp pork soup is one of these dishes that has become a night market mainstay. This dish is made mostly of shrimp potage flavored with stewed pork and a thickening dash of potato starch to add flavor and chewiness. Add a splash of black vinegar to complement the sweetness of the soup and make this tasty dish even more delicious. Shrimp Pork Soup

Oyster Omelet:
Sea-fresh oysters are an important ingredient in this popular snack, available at just about every night market in Taiwan. The oysters are coated in potato starch and tapioca. Eggs and leafy vegetables are added to the mixture, which is skillet fried over a high flame. A sweet and sour sauce further adds to the addictively delicious taste.Oyster Omelet
Meat Rice Tamales:
These tamales are made of glutinous rice, mushrooms, peanuts, egg yolks and pork all wrapped up in bamboo leaves, which impart their subtle flavor. Originally eaten only during the Dragon Boat Festival, this dish has become a year-round attraction at night markets throughout Taiwan. Meat Rice Tamales
Stinky Tofu:
With stinky tofu, the greater the smell, the tastier the results. And while many people are put off by the smell, those who take the plunge are usually won over by this distinctively yummy treat. Stinky tofu is made of large squares of fermented tofu fried in oil and then cut into four smaller pieces and served with a garnish of pickled cabbage. The combination of the crispy outside and soft inside is part of this dish’s charm. Stinky Tofu

Coffin Sandwich:
This Tainan specialty often turns heads for its very unusual name. The sandwich is a thick slice of bread with a hollow center filled with a mixture of chicken meat and liver, shrimp, carrots, potatoes, and milk. The filling is then covered with another piece of bread and cut into four pieces. Best when eaten hot.Veggie and Meat WrapCoffin Sandwich

Veggie and Meat Wrap:
These wraps are packed with goodies, including boiled cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced fried egg, barbecued pork, peanut powder and powdered sugar, all wrapped up in a thin spring roll skin and served warm. This delicious treat is one of the most popular snacks at night markets throughout Taiwan.Veggie and Meat Wrap

Oyster Vermicelli :
No night market worth the name is without this unassuming little treat. The quality of this dish is judged by the freshness of the oysters and chewiness of noodles. The dish is made with a type of red vermicelli that does not crumble easily. The noodles are served in a soup stock with fresh oysters and soy stewed large intestines and flavored with black vinegar, a special sauce, and a garnish of cilantro.Oyster Vermicelli

How To Cooking Snickerdoodle

24 Dec


This delicious recipe for cake-like snickerdoodle cookies is from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook titled How To Be a Domestic Goddess. After trying multiple recipes, these are the best – soft, but with a good crumb. Nigella seems like such a wonderful and talented person – I even heard her on NPR a few weeks ago!

Snickerdoodle Recipe (from ‘How To Be a Domestic Goddess’)

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 baking sheets, lined with parchment or greased

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine the flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt, and set aside for a moment. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the 1/3 cup sugar until light in texture and pale in color, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Now stir in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth, coherent mixture. Spoon out the remaining sugar and the cinnamon onto a plate. Then, with your fingers, squeeze out pieces of the dough and roll between the palms of your hands into walnut sized balls. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on your prepared baking sheets.

Bake for about 15 minutes, by which time they should be turning golden brown. Take out of the oven and leave to rest on the baking sheets for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


How To Make Mango Avocado Arugula Salad

20 Dec

mango-avocado-arugula-saladI love the colors in this salad; the mix of arugula, mango, avocado, red onions, cilantro, and red chili peppers make it look fun. I’ve always enjoyed salads and am fortunate that my kids also love salads, especially the younger one, on those days that he decides to be a picky eater he will still eat his salad and ask for more, for some odd reason he really likes the onions and can’t get enough of them, then he goes for the avocado, next the mango and finally the arugula. I used a red chili pepper for this salad to give it spice and color, but you can also use a milder pepper if you find chili peppers too hot, though once you remove the seeds and membranes they lose a lot of the heat, I debated using some crushed garlic instead, but I feel like I’ve been adding garlic to everything (seriously sometimes I feel like I can’t cook unless I use garlic, cumin or cilantro) so I’m taking a garlic break just for this salad. I like to use a little bit of creativity to keep salads interesting, a salad should be more than just a bowl of greens, I mean greens are good, but there are so many other additional ingredients and flavors that can be added to really make a salad stand out and have its own character.


6 cups arugula leaves

1 mango, peeled and cut into long slices

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

½ red onion, sliced

1 tbs lime juice

Spicy orange vinaigrette

1 tbs champagne vinegar

4 tbs orange juice, about ½ orange

2 tbs lime juice, about ½ lime

4 tbs olive oil

½ tsp cumin

2 tbs finely chopped cilantro

1 red chili or hot pepper, sliced

Salt and pepper


Combine all the ingredients for the salad dressing in a jar, close it tight and shake until the ingredients are well mixed.

Soak the onion slices in warm water with a dash of salt and 1 tbs lime juice for about 10 minutes.

Rinse and drain the onions slices.

Toss the arugula leaves with half of the vinaigrette.

Add the avocado slices, mango slices and onion slices to the arugula mix, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top.

Serve immediately.

How About Stewed Conch ?

15 Dec

The word Bahamas is attributed to the Spanish “baja mar,” or under the sea. Accordingly, seafood was a prominent factor in this meal. Amazing we got through eleven meals before cooking fresh treats from the ocean. And by all accounts, the seafood that defines Bahamian cuisine is the conch — pronounced conk. To find this and other ingredients such as sour orange, I biked up to south Williamsburg and to the inimitable Food Bazaar. Aside from bird peppers and fresh guava, I found everything I needed, and even then I found acceptable substitutes in scotch bonnet peppers and frozen guava paste. I don’t think I managed to get as much meat as I should have, the one pound of crawfish yielded at most two ounces of crawfish tails, and given that the recipe calls for two tails, I’m pretty sure that the crawfish they get in the Bahamas are much bigger. Anyway, it was tasty and tangy and spicy and a great start into the meal.

For a country so small, what a doozy it turned out to be. As it turns out, Brussels is nothing like Nassau, and ingredients that are commonplace in the latter are well nigh impossible to find in the former. After much careful substitution, reading and strategising, I bring you my unique twist on a classic Bahamian dish: deep-fried conch. Queen conch is classified, in many parts of the Caribbean, as an endangered species. You’re not allowed to catch it anywhere in the United States, and its export is prohibited in the Cayman islands and quite a few other places. This is probably one of the reasons that I was unable to find conch anywhere in Brussels, much to my disappointment. On the other hand, I did manage to find whelks, a fellow marine gastropod (that’s sea snail to you and me). Whelks used to be fairly commonly eaten in the UK, Belgium, and France, although they’ve fallen out of favour in recent decades.

I’d certainly never eaten them, and wouldn’t have thought to give them a try otherwise. Having heard how similar they are to conch (although apparently slightly fishier, tougher and less sweet), I felt compelled to make turn Bahamian cracked conch into cracked whelk instead. The batter is light, crispy and flavourful. But whelks are definitely an acquired taste – it smells really strongly of fish, and tastes briny. It is also quite chewy, so you really need to pound it with that mallet. It actually tastes like a fishier version of deep-fried oysters, which can be very good indeed. If I had to make it again, I think I’d make it with calamari or another slightly subtler seafood. A conch can live up to 25 years ,different from human,others animal love conch also like stingrays ,but the question is many people ask how to get a conch out of its shell? All u need is a hatchet to put a hole at the top of the shell,an u take a knife insets it in the hole,an u push the conch out,an then u see the beauty of the conch,nice an tender meat,an one amazing fact is that a conch don’t have no bone,its all muscle an a delicacy food.

Wife Cake Tastes Pretty Good

12 Dec

I have learned to become a pretty good cook and baker since going vegan because with many food items if we do not make it ourselves we simply cannot have it. So of course I have been trying out cake recipes till I found one that would triumph over non-vegan cakes on any taste contest. With this recipe in my arsenal, I decided to bake and decorate a Valentine’s Day themed cake for my wife using cake decorating roses. Why allow professional cake decorators to have all the fun? Anyone can learn how to decorate a cake and with practice learn to decorate a cake that rivals that of professionals, even learn the use of cake decorating roses. No matter for what occasion, you can decorate your cake to fit it. A hand decorated cake makes such an impact and is instantly more personal and heart-felt than a cake you simply purchased. Also the real fun is personalizing a cake and making it your own, being creative and seeing what you can create.

For me, it was definitely the latter. A conscious decision to try to make things better. After years of trying to work at my marriage and remaining miserable and unfulfilled, on New Year’s Eve 2004, I vowed that I would find myself a lover who could meet my needs. I began to understand that an affair with a single man held equally as many problems, just of a different kind. This was a man who wanted more than to be the equivalent of my ‘mistress’. He didn’t want to be fitted in when I was available. He wanted all of me and a proper committed relationship with a future together. What I really needed was to have an affair with a married man who understood the rules. That there would be emotional attachment, but that this would in no way impinge upon the feelings that either party had for their spouse. That this was totally separate from that relationship.

Something special happens when you combine great taste and pure art. Living with a custom cake designer has allowed me to view first hand the creative process of the perfect cake creation. Let me tell you what I’ve noticed as “official cake taster”. Do not start a project until you have found it, it is the source from which you draw the energy and creativity. Without it you are just “making a cake” and your client may as well go to a grocery store and pay half the price. Many professional cake artists will turn down a cake order if the necessary inspiration is lacking. Turning down an order may seem harsh but no one deserves an uninspired, half-hearted effort for their wedding, birthday or other special occasion. Once you find the inspiration the creative juices will start to flow and the initial idea will start to blossom into a true work of art.

Braised Fish – Delicious Chinese Dish

8 Dec

Braised fish in soy sauce is the basic craft of Chinese dish. The distinguishing characteristics are it looks red and glossy, rich in smell and thick in gravy. Both sides of the fish slice must be fried to become golden yellow, a thin crispy layer of skin should be left on the top before you take it out of the hot oil pot. Carp can see in the near infrared and near ultraviolet ranges and are far more sensitive than the average human! Also carp hear extremely well too and they can hear sounds in overlapping frequency range to humans (which means what you hear they hear including 10 decibel bite alarms contacting your line!) Carp learn to fear due to instinctively programmed negative associations so anglers must beware of all they are doing! Now read on to discover more about fish senses and how to use them to your advantage to catch more fish!

It seems to me he would appreciate all that free food and in response kindly jump on your hook by way of thanks. But then maybe he also does not particularly like hearing the vibration of your tight lines in the water sending out vibrations like so many wind turbines on your doorstep. Or maybe he would prefer a more musical melody coming down your fishing lines from your bite alarms set at full volume! As quoted by someone, the saying that “Chinese not just enjoy eating but believe eating good dishes may bring harmony and closeness towards the family and relationships” is true. Chinese dishes are extremely unique and tasty dishes that have gained acceptance and found its variations on the way.

The real key of the dishes would be that the dishes items are fresh and crisp and usually non greasy. The Chinese cuisines owned by this category in addition have a strong aroma. The soups if thin in the consistency, do understand and when thick are extremely creamy having a strong flavor. There is lots of deep-frying, stir-frying, pan-frying and grilling utilized by Jinan chefs. Further, the Jiaodong cooks are recognized for dishes items having a light taste. A few of the famous Chinese cuisines with this category are Bird’s Nest Soup and Yellow River Carp in Sweet and Sour Sauce. A carp can see into near infrared so when at the surface or slightly out of the water do you think there is half a chance your own body heat will give you away like you were dressed like a luminescent Ronald MacDonald?! Mr Carp in all likelihood would know all about you in ways you have no conception of and that science has yet to discover. A carp can see into near infrared so when at the surface or slightly out of the water do you think there is half a chance your own body heat will give you away like you were dressed like a luminescent Ronald MacDonald?! Mr Carp in all likelihood would know all about you in ways you have no conception of and that science has yet to discover.

Soup Can Make You More Beautiful

5 Dec

Sometime working groups are too busy to cook everyday, they do not even have time to sit down and enjoy a proper meal. Soup drinking becomes a good alternative for them to absorb fiber, minerals and antioxidants. Furthermore, we do not need to spend lot of time in cooking and in preparing ingredients compare to other dishes. It is believed that after boiling or simmering, the nutrients from the vegetables will be released into soup. Our body can absorb these nutrients easily by drinking the soup. Hence, those who don’t like vegetable can still enjoy the nutrients from vegetables. Collagen is a protein found in the skin and gives the skin elasticity, the production of collagen in our body is reducing with age and thus causing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Nourishing your skin with fruit and vegetable soups that are rich in antioxidants and minerals can help to improve the body production of collagen and strengthen the support structures of the skin.

Beauty needs to be nourished inside out, stress and poor blood circulation can lead to a dull complexion. Blood is the body’s main internal transport system and its proper circulation is vital for radiant skin and good health. Lotus root soup, red dates soup, red bean soup, black fungus (ear wood) soup, seaweed soup and onion soup are among the healthy soups that can improve blood circulation. As in anything in life, variety is the name of the game. The soup diet is pretty flexible because you have a variety of ingredients to play with. And while the regular soup diet is primarily soup-based, there’s no reason not to give your imagination free rein. You can make the same soup every time, but there’s no rule that says you have to do it precisely the same way each time. You can change it around in several ways.

Soups with ingredients that rich in calcium, iron and protein will help to reduce or prevent hair loss. Assorted vegetable soups especially sea vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of minerals. Protein reinforces hair and stimulates its growth. Fish soup, chicken soup, bean curd soup and black bean soup are good sources of protein. Another important nutrient for hair health is silicon dioxide which is also called silica. So exactly what the winter healthy diet should be the preferred food? First, the lotus. Raw lotus root to heat, fluid, quench thirst, cooked lotus root to the spleen, appetizers, beneficial blood. Therefore, should certainly be large lotus summer, cool autumn ought to be cooked lotus root, raw food ought to be fresh, cooked food should really be strong old” argument. Second, the eel. Autumn and winter season eating eel, not only replenishing strong, but there are specific blood vessels sugar regulation. In the wintertime diet, such as burning eel, fried eel, fried Shansi, eel porridge, etc., are health food. Third, the chestnut.