Foodie Friday: Poke

Poke: Fish salad Poke places have been popping up everywhere around me. I'm not sure if it's a health trend that's spreading or what. Since I do like sashimi at times, fresh tuna salad seemed like a great idea. What I love about poke is the Asian flavor infused in it; I'm all about the marinade. Feel free to make your own at home with this recipe. Fun fact: Fishermen in Hawaii would use their catch to make poke and eat it as a snack.  … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Milkfish

Milkfish: herringlike fish Every time I see this on the menu, I think it must be a yummy fish with smooth (milk-like) consistency. Unfortunately, this variety happens to have a lot of bones. I prefer meatier fish, but since there’s a huge milkfish industry in Taiwan, I often get this when I go back. Fun fact: Milkfish is commonly found in the ocean waters near Southeast Asia. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Freshwater Eel

Ate some freshwater eel in Taiwan. Freshwater eel: elongated fish that live in shallow waters I admit it, I've had eel before. Usually, though, they're the giant kind. This time around I tried out these little guys. Really, though, they taste like typical seafood to me, fish-like but with a thicker consistency. What's really neat about this dish, though, is the story we heard right before we left for Taiwan. My father-in-law talked about how he'd catch these eels with his bare hands. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Salt and pepper shrimp: seafood with savory flavoring  I don't know what it is about English, but we like to prettify foods. For example: pig-->pork, cow-->beef. In Chinese, it's all point-blank names: pig-->pig-meat, cow-->cow-meat. That's probably why we also eat things whole, like chickens with the heads on. This is also true of the classic salt and pepper shrimp dish. Sure, you can cut off the ends, but it's not quite the same. I love how the distinctive salty taste of the … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Tofu Wrapped Shrimp Roll

Tofu wrapped shrimp roll: kind of like a shrimp egg roll, but made with tofu skin wrapper I'm usually all about the tried-and true dishes when I go out for dim sum. The other day, though, I stumbled across tofu wrapped shrimp rolls. I really like bean curd wrappers, but these were especially intriguing because they were crunchy. They actually reminded me of the phyllo dough used in baklava. The shrimp stuffing was pretty tasty, too, but I think I like the undiluted taste of whole shrimp, like … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Sizzling Seafood

Sizzling seafood: peppered seafood, served hot on a metal plate There's something a bit dangerous about eating food that's sizzling away. That's part of the allure of these particular dishes. (I blogged about sizzling chicken before.) Usually, they've all got a nice kick to them--a healthy dose of pepper. I also love the different colors on display from the veggies and meats on the platter. Here are some more hot plate pics! Q: What's the key to the sizzling? A: A cast iron plate … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Chowder Fries

I tried my first taste of... Chowder fries: French fries smothered in hearty clam chowder During my first official job after college, my colleague introduced me to eating French fries--dipped in mayonnaise. (She told me it's a European thing.) Although I still prefer ketchup, I can see why she enjoyed the creamy consistency. It gives a nice contrast to the crispy friedness. Plus, there's the added plus of fatty flavor. How did I feel about eating chowder fries? It's a hearty, filling … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Fried Shrimp Ball

Fried shrimp ball: crispy shrimp delicacy served at dim sum This was one of the dim sum treats that I fell in love with as a child. They reminded me of eating pom poms. Of course, the most exciting part of the food was the crunchy little tentacles that stuck out of the ball. (One of my kids insists on just eating the "crunchies," which kind of defeats the purpose of eating a shrimp ball.) It's a deep-fried delicacy, so I imagine it's highly unhealthy. But once in a while, you're … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Lobster Roll

Had my first lobster roll! Lobster roll: a creamy lobster sandwich How can it be that I live near the ocean and never tried a lobster roll before? On a recent trip to Laguna Beach, I stopped by Slapfish to check out the dish. (Slapfish is a great restaurant that uses family-run fisheries and seasonal produce.) Although lobster rolls originally used meat pickings from the legs and claws, my roll featured large chunks of fresh lobster. I've heard the bread used varies across different … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Fried Squid

Fried squid: spicy battered pieces of squid This is basically seafood tempura, kicked up a notch. There's a nice tang that comes with the salt and peppercorn seasoning. Often chiles garnish the top of this dish. On a side note, "fried squid" in Chinese can be translated to "you're fired!". In the old days, employees took their bedding with them to work sites. If they got fired, they would have to roll up their mattress and leave. This transformation from flat to curled mimics the way a … [Read more...]