Showing posts from 2011

A Taiwanese wedding banquet

So one of the reasons for returning to Taiwan was to celebrate my Sister's wedding with my extended family in Taiwan. As you may have noticed food is a very central theme in Asian culture. What's that title picture got to do with it? Nothing. Actually that's a picture of the rock we were suppose to climb but got rained out. We did manage a nice hike, but I'm sure that was a poor replacement for my brother in-law who was looking forward to the climb. Anyhow it just seemed like a nice picture to lead us into "The Banquet", I'm not making light of the title, 13 courses of food with no fillers. That's right no rice, no "extra carbs" just lots and lots of food. 
Ok there's 13 courses, no need for a lot of my yammering it'll be like the last post. 

Small plate appetizers to start us off. I'll spare you the other photo. We have smoked tofu, bitter melon, roasted peanuts, lilly flowers, pickled daikon radish, and pickled seaweed.  Seafood p…

Dining in Taiwan 2011 part 2

Did this pic on our drive to sun moon lake. Took the pic with my iPhone and used the colorburst app. Anyhow, not bad with an iphone and doing the photo work with your finger on a bumpy car ride up a mountain. This is part two of my food post for my trip to Taiwan. It's been really neat, I've seen a ton of interesting stuff like, temples, lakes and mountains (we got up to 13,000 ft) and of course the food. So much neat food  and I have so many pictures I decided I needed to just pick out a few highlights and go from there. 

Interesting preparation: TIlapia sliced length wise stuffed with greens and aromatics. Then folded width wise  tied and deep fried fried. The fish is extremely tender and the exterior fins and bones are completely edible.  

Green Tofu with sesame and peanuts in soy vinegar sauce. Auntie said it was made from green beans (perhaps as opposed to white dried soy beans for soy milk). Maybe fresh soy beans like the edamame you eat in restaurants I was unable to get …

Hsin Chu Fish Market

My awesome Uncle took us to the Hsin Chu fish market as one of our stops on his tour of Hsin Chu for me, my sister and brother in-law. This place always amazes me every time I stop by. The above is one of the stalls that sells dried seafood.  I'll keep this post short on the yammering and just give some pics and descriptions.
Fresh water crabs they aren't the famed Chinese hair crabs but I was told they go for at least 30 USD a piece. So there's pretty darn close to the pricepoint. Baby Shark. The famous Black Mullet (also I've heard it called Grey Mullet)  prized for it's roe which is dry cured and considered a delicacy. One of my most favorite foods. Expensive and hard to come by. Apparently the italians prize the roe as well (called Bottarga Di Muggine). They grate the cured roe over pasta. Can't say I agree with that application but different strokes for different folks I suppose. 

Street vendor had some sausage with flying fish roe. It's a sweet chinese st…

Taiwan trip 2011 day one eats

I'm still working out this blogsy software, sorry about the formatting. I decided to make this trip sans laptop and try to do everything off the iPad. I have to say, not having internet is a real handicap but when I actually manage to find access it's been pretty successful. For instance I managed to find some wireless while at my grandparents (open wifi at a hotel across the street) and uploaded a bunch of photos to start my post. I worked on the content offline and waited for more internet to post. I'm still getting use to it, I have a photo connector to download new photos from my iPad.

Anyhow first full day in Taiwan and visiting relatives and off course it's all about the food over here so day one didn't disappoint. We started our day in Tao Yuan.

Breakfast starts off with hot soy milk and fried "donut" (literally called Oil stick) in a flaky sesame bun. The donut itself isn't sweet nor is the flat bread like bun which is somewhere between a flat…

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! I celebrated in Asian style this year with a traditional Hot Pot. Basically a hot cauldron of boiling broth is at the center of the feast and an array of raw ingredients surround the hotpot. You select what you want and cook it like in a fondue and cool it off with your personal blend of sauce.
I'm actually having a Thanksgiving potluck on sunday so that's where I'll be busting out the turkey.
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! For those of you that are black Friday-ing right now best of luck to you.

Fall Short Rib Bento

Three Day Shortribs. I know it's a repeat of a former bento but I didn't name that one three day shortrib err. oh wait.. well nevermind, better come up with a new title. Anyhow, it's been a while and I don't believe my current crop of bento-ers have had the chance the taste possibly the most wonderful thing that can come out of my sous vide machine. Outside of the fact that I wanted to do my short ribs again, the inspiration for the bento is the nice cool weather we've been having, it makes you wanna have something that hearty and "sticks to your ribs" if you'll allow for the pun. Besides, Thanksgiving is around the corner and I wanted to test out this sweet potato dish. So um. Fall Short Rib bento it is! I promise to work on more cohesive themes.

Three day short rib, what's there really to say? It's meat, lots and lots of meat slowly cooking for three solid days in a water bath. Why three? It's some sort of magic number. See one day just i…

EatingWell Bento

I couldn't really think of a good coherent theme this week. It's been so busy and although I've been busily clipping new ideas and storing them away it can get overwhelming when you stare at the "future bento" tag list for my note file. As it turns out I had quite a few recipes from the magazine EatingWell so I assembled my top favorite looking recipes and off I went. I really enjoy the magazine, it's one of those that I pick up from the local bookstore when I happen to see it. There's always some interesting articles but the important part is they manage to put together some very tasty looking (while at the same time healthy and nutritious) foods. I might some day get around to a subscription, I just have so many magazines I have to "process" every month as it is.... oops I'm yammering. Anyhow healthy bento it was and I managed to score bonus points because I was able to make it a fully Gluten Free bento.

This was suppose to be Spicy Chicke…

Cooking with/for Friends 2

Hey guys, sorry about the lack of bentos lately. Work has really ratcheted up and free time has gone down to a minimum. I've had a few photos and off topic posts that I wanted to put out but simply getting a moment to write a quick post has been difficult. I'm actually doing this one over my lunch just to take a break from my deluge of emails and meetings. Anyhow, enough belly aching.

I had the great fortune to cook with a long time friend and coworker. She and her husband use to have a Persian restaurant in town and both are fabulous cooks! She invited me to help host/cook for a party of our friends just to get everyone together. We've done this in the past and it was a wonderful opportunity to learn a bit more about Persian cuisine. So given the chance I immediately jumped on it. Besides, her house is beautiful and her kitchen a joy to work in just look at the view (from the title shot) and this outdoor/kitchen grill. The indoor kitchen was just amazing it really has eve…