Archive for the ‘Food’Category

Christmas in South Carolina

Location | Bluffton, South Carolina

This year I decided to spend my mom’s birthday, December 23rd, until January 2nd in South Carolina. My parents live in Bluffton, right outside of Hilton Head Island, so besides being in a resort area, it’s warm during the winters… well, except for this year. Not only was it cold, but it also SNOWED. Ok, I went down south to escape the cold weather, but unfortunately, it followed me.

Cousins digging into the food

First we had a really great Christmas dinner. My cousins had all come down from Michigan, Taiwan and California. They had gone to Disneyworld the week before, and then drove up to my parent’s house. We had a traditional Thanksgiving!? meal. Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, candied yams and various other dishes. I love Thanksgiving food!

Cooking crab. He look so sad.

The last day of 2010, my parents and I went to a seafood purveyor and got a dozen blue crabs and a lot of shrimp. We brought them home and steamed the crap out of everything. Above is the sad crab.

My dad pulling stubborn crabs out of the bag.

The crab’s claws weren’t tied together, so they were really stubborn when we tried to pull them out of the bag. We required my dad’s assistance in getting them into the pot.

Steamed Shrimp.

The final dish was the steamed shrimp. Doesn’t it all look good?

[Flickr Set]


01 2011

Beer and Governors Island

Location | New York, NY The New York Brewfest was on Governors Island. The website describes the event as:

NY Brewfest is a craft beer sampling event sanctioned by the New York State Brewers Association. A commemorative 4-ounce glass is given to all attendees at the Information Booth/Entrance. Admission allows samplings from over 300 styles of handcrafted beers from more than 100 breweries. Great local foods will be available for purchase, and New York bands will perform throughout the evening. The event is a venerable gumbo of the Empire State’s creativity.


Needless to say, I was sold. I actually had a “Connoisseurs’ Pass” which allowed an extra hour entrance to the event (well worth it). We had free reign over a lot of booths and A LOT of beer.

View from the Governors Island Ferry

Now, I am not a very large person. Drinking a lot of beer, even out of a 4oz cup, was probably not a good idea for someone with little to no tolerance. I became incredibly hyper during this event.

At least we ate some food...

So, Greg decided it’d be good to feed me. What’s good at a Brewfest? Well, spring rolls, burger, and homemade chips. We even had some ice cream after. Well, after an hour or 2, Greg decided it was time to go so I followed him out as I was feeling pretty tipsy from all the alcohol coursing through my veins.

View from the island

I actually let him go home, while I stayed on the island and laid out on a blanket… and took a nap. I woke up later and actually took a long walk from Wall Street to SoHo (after getting off the ferry, that is).


06 2010

A Brooklyn Adventure

Location | New York City

The weather was amazing this weekend. After a crazy night out with some good friends, I woke up early and headed to Brooklyn for brunch at Buttermilk Channel. I met up with Jiye and Christine and we were easily seated.

I actually didn’t know what Buttermilk Channel was known for, but their eggs looked amazing. I ended up order a spinach, goat cheese and mushroom scramble. It came with a biscuit and hash browns. I also ordered some bacon-encrusted almonds for the table (which turned out to be not so great).

Salmon & cream cheese scramble

Christine ordered the salmon & cream cheese scramble. Jiye ordered the salmon platter. There was also a (terrible) coffee cake.

After brunch, we went to Jiye’s neighborhood and hung out at Tazza and had something to drink.

Then I met up with Winnie at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It’s currently cherry blossom season and we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Winnie & me in the cherry blossom promenade

They also had some beautiful tulips, especially the double tulips (which looked like a few tulips within each other).

Double Tulip

The gardens didn’t take too long to get through, about an hour and a half. After that we decided that we wanted to eat dessert – at Junior’s! So we took the subway and went to try out the famous Junior’s cheesecake.

I love cheesecake!

Winnie got the Devil’s Food Cheesecake and I got the Strawberry Cheesecake.

Overall, it was great weekend. May 1-2 is the Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanical, but I don’t suggest going (it will be PACKED). This weekend was packed… craaaazy. If you do go, enjoy!


04 2010

A History of Bubble Tea (and Other Taiwan Foods)

Location | New York City

Bubble Tea, Boba Tea, Pearl Milk Tea (珍珠奶茶), whatever you may call it was invented in Taiwan sometime during the 1980’s. Very few people know that it was actually invented at one of my VERY FAVORITE tea shops in Taichung: Chun Shui Tang Teahouse (春水堂). Although there’s another tea house in Tainan (southern Taiwan) that also lays claim to inventing bubble tea, we all know that Taichung is superior (heh).

Chun Shui Tang originated bubble tea through experimenting with cold milk tea. If you ever have a chance to visit any of their locations in Taichung, please try their milk tea with small bubbles. You will get the frothiest milk tea imaginable, with perfectly cooked bubbles. Furthermore, their thick sliced toast with condensed milk or peanut butter is mouthwatering delicious for what it is.

Everyone should also try to cook the bubbles themselves! It’s really rewarding when you get the perfect consistency and realize that you can make your own instead of crossing your fingers you don’t get a bad batch every time you go to a tea shop in Chinatown and/or St. Marks.

Taichung is also known for their suncakes (太陽餅). They come in various sizes, but my favorite are the large suncakes. Flaky on the outside and soft, sweet and gooey in the center. Originated by a branch of the Lin Family (not directly related to me) there is a mile stretch of stores on the road into Taichung where you can find hundreds of variations of suncakes.



The oyster omelette is a food enjoyed all over Taiwan (and parts of SE Asia and China).  I bring it up here because my aunts (on my dad’s side) run a restaurant that specializes in oyster omelettes.  A mixture of egg, starch (to thicken) and small oysters then a nice sauce on top makes for a delicious snack! Top that with fried tofu or any other items and you have the perfect Taiwanese street food.

Another perennial favorite is stinky tofu. As awesome as it sounds (/sarcasm), it really does taste good. Because it is fermented tofu, you can literally smell it from a mile away. If you get your wits about you and suck it up, it’s worth a try. Really. Really, just plug your nose and eat it!

How does something so delicious looking smell so bad?

How does something so delicious looking smell so bad?

As I further my hunger… other favorites:

  • Oily Rice (油飯) – rice baked with oils, pork, shitake mushrooms and dried shrimp
  • Ba-Wan (肉圓) – a bowl with a translucent dough stuffed with meat, served with a sweet or spicy sauce and cilantro
  • A-gei (阿給) – Danshui’s (north of Taipei on the coast and my home for the summer of 2005) specialty – fried tofu stuffed with clear noodles and fish paste
  • Oyster Vermicelli (蚵仔麵線) – clear noodles thickened with oysters and in soup
  • Ground Pork Rice (魯肉飯) – what NYC Cravings is pretending to make, but in reality it’s not a glop. Ground pork marinated in soy served over rice with pickled mustard greens
  • Radish Cake (蘿蔔糕) – using white radishes that are mashed into a paste then steamed until it solidifies into a gelatinous “cake” shape. Pan fry, serve with soy sauce, AMAZING.
Radish Cake

Radish Cake

I am so hungry as I read the Wikipedia article on Taiwanese cuisine (to remind myself of what else to write about). My goal is to eat my way to Taiwan. If I come back about… 20 lbs heavier, just be nice.

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10 2009