Noodle/Pasta/Rice

Bok Choy and Pork Ravioli

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Is it getting cold over there?  Wherever you are.

I woke up this morning today, and even in my post-dormancy haze I could sense the greyish tone seeping in from behind the curtains.  I stumbled into my bathroom to finish morning my wake-up routine, went on to open my bedroom door and was embraced by a slight breeze of cold air.  I let out a few sneezes, put on a pair of cozy pajama pants (and a sweater on my 12-year-old Maltese whose name is… no kidding, Dumpling) and thought, “I really want a Starbucks toffee nut latte now…”.  And just like that, summer is officially over.

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TAIWAN BEEF NOODLE SOUP / NIU ROU MIAN

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(??)???) UPDATES AVAILABLE * 2013/03/11: online sources for ingredients added!

I’m gonna start this by saying something that seems completely irrelevant… The Japanese are marketing geniuses. No, not geniuses. Gurus! No no, NOT gurus. GODS!!! It’s like their entire way of life comes with a built-in marketing system that in comparison would reduce Don Draper down to nothing but just a raging alcoholic. I mean really, something about their culture is so mesmerizing that… OH look! Hello Kitty! (slap! FOCUS!) …that they’ve become easily one of the biggest culture exporters in the world, and most evidently in their success in pushing their cuisine into a world domination that’s stronger than the force of nature. Not so long ago who would’ve thought that Americans, the genetically-hardwired loyal patrons of well-done white meat chicken, would pay $200 and UP to surrender their fork’n knife, pick up the chopsticks (some awkwardly) and chew down a piece of raw fish on vinegary rice then moan, “Mmmmm… UMAAAAMI…”. Seriously!! Forget X-men, THIS is where human mutation takes a giant leap!

I’m telling you, it’s crazy. Japanese can sell anything like it has a halo on top of it.

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Egg Crepes

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I think that more than lunch, or dinner, or snacks and what-nots, people tend to have a more fixated idea on what a breakfast ought to be.  Even though I may have my Asian background to thank for (if I may) a broader window on other-than-American foods, I’m still sometimes a bit… pleasantly awed by what other parts of the world eat for breakfast during my travels (that’s IF I ever wake up for it… but let’s just pretend I do).

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“C” Is For Cold Capellini

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Despite the respectable effort of window displays everywhere and pretty little fashion magazines who would like us to believe that the next season is upon us and seduce us into stocking up on goose-down parkas or snuggy scarfs, the truth is that the chances of heatwaves is right around the corner on any given Wednesday, and will last well into October for the freakier parts of the world at least.  This is a confession coming from a dark corner inside a pre-season shopaholic who, almost every year, excitedly opens a box full of winter goodies sometime in September while sweating profusely in her tank-tops and couldn’t stop the idea of downing a bowl of something really cold… ANYTHING cold.

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Curry Laksa

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If you haven’t heard of “Nyonya”, chances are you have eaten it instead.  Yeah.  It may not have been as justly popularized as Thai or Vietnamese, but its low-key awesomeness is in every Southeast Asian restaurant.  The word itself means the union between Chinese and Malays, and the fushion cuisine thus born which is PURE MAGIC.  So then… why am I struggling to finish this post after writing then tearing (…symbolically) and rewriting again?  Because I JUST can’t escape the thought that people would come, and see, and “huh??” and just FADE OUT.  And I’m exhausting all my aren’t-really-there writing skills in an attempt to make this sound like a Rachel Ray’s which has let me to a desperate conclusion to say that… it isn’t.  Yes, it is complicated and consists of a blinding array of exotic ingredients.  And chances are if you weren’t those who have true affection for a bowl of spicy noodles, I’ve lost you somewhere along the second sentence.  BUT if you are those like me, it would be worth the while.

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“Rice Pie” It Is

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And I really don’t have any other better ideas so “rice pie” it is.

I’m sure we’ve all suffered from this.  From Cantonese clay-pot rice, to Korean bibimbap, to Spanish paellas.  All are different cuisines of rice plus whatnot, cooked in a sizzling vessel that forms a “burnt crust” of rice on the sides and bottom, which many would argue is the essence of such dishes.  OK, now here’s the “suffering” part.  What’s the point… of creating those wonderful, delicious, toasty crusts… if all they ever want is… to STICK TO the cookware!?  Like taking a lovely prospect to a bar to get’em drunk and they ended going home with the bartender…  No?  Nobody’s ever suffered from this?  It’s just me?  OK, well fine.  I DON’T GET IT.  I like those burnt bits, too and I was there first!!  How can it choose the pan over me?!  It’s heart-breaking that after my useless HACKING and SCRAPING at an innocent cookware that really don’t deserve this violence, I call it quit and just watch them still happily and ever-so contently clinging onto each other while I ponder with frustration, “why?”.

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Octopus 8/2

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HuuuuuGE~!  And, no.  I couldn’t help it.  I know I’m supposed to be nurturing baby tartlets, or summer fruitcakes, or at least an icy cocktail because that’s just the kind of things people like to lust over this time of the year.  Not some giant 8-legged sea monster that they rather watch strangling the Empire State Building, than laying dead in their kitchen sink.  But, no.  I.  Just.  COULDN’T.  Help it.  Have you ever tasted a great octopus?  If pure culinary bliss doesn’t do the trick, let me appeal to sentiments.  This beauty instantly brings me back to my fond memories of that wonderful and sunny day in Nice, when Jason found a specialty food shop that gave us the most succulent marinated octopus to snack with on the way strolling back to the hotel.  And I thought to myself, “Nevermind craving this back home because I would NEVER find a quality, freshly octopus… ”  Well… hello there~.

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Best Thing Out of a Can

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I’m back from my 11 days trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan and find myself dealing with something that I assume everyone’s familiar with. The fridge is and should be vacant or otherwise nurturing some… organic, furry things.  Oooonly-a-few-days-expired dairies usually get tossed in the trash after reason finally overthrows desperation (hopefully).  Remaining options hover between the 24hr McHot-line or Mr. Cup Noodles.  Don’t get me wrong.  They are both great contributions to mankind and deserve a standing ovation, but guilt is calling for something homemade.

Boy do I have a solution for this.  One of my absolutely favorite pasta and it makes in no time.

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