TaiwanYes Houston

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"You are admired for your adventurous ways." If you've been following my blog, you know I traveled to Texas over spring break. When I heard there was a Taiwanese festival happening when I would be around, I went and checked it out. Hosted by the Taiwanese Association of America, Houston Chapter, the cultural event is called TaiwanYes Houston. It's inspired by the vibrant Taiwanese night market. Except it's held during the day. Yeah, that confused me for a bit, too. However, like a traditional … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Taiwanese Snow

shaved snow

So there's no snow in Cali (except up in the mountains). When I want to cool down, I grab some shaved snow. Shaved snow: cold and creamy dessert I love how it has a silky soft texture instead of the harder quality of shaved ice. Snow seems to consist of almost ice-cream-like pieces that melt in your mouth. Yummy! How do you stay cool? … [Read more...]

NATWA Conference

NATWA brochure

"You will touch the hearts of many." I had a great time at the annual North America Taiwanese Women's Association (NATWA) convention! It's a chance to get together with first-generation and second-generation Taiwanese, to bond and to enlighten one another. This year's theme focused on compassion. Here a few highlights from the weekend: Margaret McCaffery (she fought against human trafficking and is now focused on a re-entry program for the ex-incarcerated). Her life is an inspiration … [Read more...]

Serendipity

Ding Tea

"Consider your impressions; follow them once in a while." Sometimes you can't plan for things. On the way back from a road trip this weekend, I stumbled upon Ding Tea. (They had me at the words: Taiwanese tea house.) Apparently, their tea leaves come from the central mountains of Taiwan, so you can expect a high quality drink. I also love that you can customize the sweetness level and the amount of ice in your tea. Plus, they offer golden boba.  These tapioca are lighter in color than … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Taiwanese Puff Dessert

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Well, I'm back from my trip to Taiwan, and I got to try this sweet treat! Taiwanese puff dessert: hollow, sweet ball Okay, so I'm not exactly sure what the real name of the dessert is, but it's known for its poofy appearance. There is a hollow cavity, but it has a slight molasses filling that clings to the inside of the pastry. The outside has a subtle flaky texture that crumbles easily. It's not an overly sweet dessert, but there's the hint of sugar that makes you crave more.   … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Pork Stew

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Pork stew: braised pork belly over rice This is not your typical American stew. Its sweet and salty broth involves two different kinds of soy sauce. The meat that's used is also a lot more tender (think: bacon, but juicier). It really hits the spot in these cooler days of fall. I love the piping hot dish, often accompanied by some yummy hard-boiled eggs. There's also a hint of something a little pungent in the recipe (perhaps star anise or five spice powder?). Give it a try if you want … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Fan Tuan

fan tuan

Fan tuan: sticky rice roll It's a Chinese breakfast burrito! Glutinous rice is wrapped around different fillings. Common insides include you zha gui, shredded pork, and pickled vegetables. These rice rolls are great for breakfast on the go because they usually end up pre-wrapped from the preparation process (think: sushi). I love the way the gooeyness of the outside rice pairs with the crunch of vegetables and the Chinese doughnut. What a great way to start the day! Any breakfast treat … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Pickled Cucumber Salad

cucumber salad

Pickled cucumber salad: cucumbers marinated in a sweet and salty mixture I hate pickles. They're too sour for me. Often, they make my mouth pucker. However, I really enjoy pickled cucumber salad. It's marinated in rice vinegar. There's a hint of tartness, but that's counterbalanced by a sweet (and sometimes spicy) flavor. The key to a nice cucumber salad is in its crispness. This salad is often served as an appetizer, and with its mix of contrasting tastes, it whets the appetite for the … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Taiwanese Meatball

meatball

Taiwanese meatball (ba wan): steamed gelatinous dumpling My husband loves these meatballs, but I still think they're an acquired taste. They have a savory filling (usually of pork, bamboo, and mushrooms) that's wrapped in a steamed outer shell. Unlike the firm texture of wonton skins, the outer covering yields a gooey texture (because it's made from sweet potato and rice flour). Think: mochi, but with a saltier inside. The meatballs are quite big, larger than their Italian counterparts, … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Pork Belly Bun

pork belly bun

Pork belly bun: steamed bun with slices of pork belly I've long been a fan of Peking duck--with the American version of wrappers. I don't like those authentic thin crepes that come with the dish. Instead, I enjoy soft steamed buns for holding my fixings. And what's not to love about a pork belly bun? I mean, the ingredients for an authentic Taiwanese bun are: Steamed bun (moist bread--mantou, which you can buy frozen from the Asian market and steam at your own leisure) Pork belly (gua … [Read more...]

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