Posts Tagged ‘dumplings’
My post titles are always so boring.
We took advantage of the office’s walking distance proximity to Chinatown on Thursday night on a mission to get some hot pot. Alas, when we got to the place it was no longer in business. Undeterred we opted for yum cha aka dim sum at the aptly named Yum Cha Restaurant. The dim sum menu here is shorter at night but still has a decent selection of twenty or so choices that you have to order from the kitchen (no trollies on the night shift).
The food was good but I think we ordered things that were too similar to each other so there wasn’t enough of a variety in the flavors.
I’ve been saving the best for last.
The Night Market was my first meal in Taipei. After the giddiness of seeing my MV buds simmered down we MRTed it to Shilin in the drizzle to partake in one of Taipei’s best traditions. There’s also a story here of Jeff forgetting his Blackberry and harassing an unsuspecting security guard to check his email but that’s less interesting.
There are heaps and heaps of good food at the Night Market. Come hungry. This is NOT snacktime.
Our first victim: oyster pancake.
Egg with crispy edges = good, bits of green onion = good, oysters = good, gelatinous clumps of unknown origin = weird but palatable. I *think* it’s some concoction of rice flour. But why?
Follow the crowd. Hop into the long line in front of “Large Fried Chicken” (real name) and be rewarded with obvs genetically enhanced fried chicken.
Too bad there’s no size context on this because it is HUGE. I had to hold the thing with both hands. It has a familiar five spicy taste (reminds me of the pork chop at DTF). We asked for it spicy so there’s a bit of a bite thanks to that sprinkling of red stuff. Julia and I shared this and couldn’t finish. I lovingly refer to this as 8 chickens since it’s about the size of 8 chickens. The crowd does not lie.
Jeff disappeared while me, Julia, Ellen, and Kim lined up for big chicken. He returned with two servings of dumplings swimming in peanut sauce. This was an unlikely favorite of mine. It’s the peanut sauce that’s the winner here. It’s more salty than sweet with a bit of heat at the end. Reminds me of good satay sauce.
We strolled down several streets with Jess and Jeff leading the charge and stopping periodically when they came across their faves. This stall served baos with meatballs.
This was just alright for me. Tastes how it looks. Meatball with bao dough all around. Bonus points for being piping hot.
Turn the corner into another line of street stalls. They are big on sausage in Taiwan. Lots of street stalls with an astounding variety of sausage. Impressive.
The bestest stall of them all – scallion pancakes. I could probably eat these nonstop for several days. In Taiwan they are made even more delicious by a plethora of sauces – bbq, curry, etc and the option of adding eggs and/or bacon. The cakes come out flaky, buttery, and piping hot. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. After Julia and I were left hangin’ by the toilet restaurant we stuffed ourselves with scallion pancakes. OMNOMNOMNOM.
This vendor makes itty bitty mochi balls filled with red bean and rolled in ground peanuts. Pretty cool to see her doing her thing. Also pretty cool how easy it is to procure mochi desserts in Asia.
Alright. What we’ve all been waiting for. Stinky tofu. You can smell it from a mile away. My nose wrinkles just looking at this next picture.
So. I tried it. I didn’t spit it out. The verdict? It tastes like it smells.
So concludes our jaunt through Taipei. Not bad for 4 days, right? I’m ashamed to say I did not have boba (tapioca balls in the milk ice dessert kinda counts though) or thick toast. Who’s up for Taipei Round 2?
After an afternoon at the hot springs to help us recoup from our fun evening out (see: taiwanese breakfast post for non-details), Jessica’s aunt was nice enough to take us to one of her favorite restaurants. As is the common theme of this trip, no clue where in the city this is. The only landmark I have for you – this is near the first McDonald’s in Taipei.
Most of the dishes they ordered were vegetarian but she also got 2 meat dishes for me and Julia. This was interesting. They came out with a bowl of what appeared to be rice krispies. Then came a bowl of sweet and sour sauce with veggies and shrimp. They poured that entire shebang onto the rice krispies (yes, it snapped, crackled and popped). The result is oddly good. It tastes like your average sweet and sour dish but the krispies give it an interesting texture since they retain a bit of their crunch.
Seven days later, a few Benjamins shorter, and a few pounds heavier I’m finally back in the Bay Area. Hong Kong was so much fun! Who knew an impromptu trip could turn out so well? If you are ever in need of a trip to Asia, Hong Kong is a good pick – English speaking, mall loving, foodie heaven.
We took a super late flight to Hong Kong from San Francisco on good ol’ Singapore Airlines and arrived at our hotel around 10:30am local time. Tired from the long flight and the hour long trip from the airport we headed to the hotel’s restaurant, Cafe du Parc, for breakfast. I ordered the Oriental Breakfast for HKD90 (about USD12).
We had the genius idea to have a dumpling themed dinner party last week and had to act quick due to impending vacations and travels. The usual suspects arrived at my apt around 7pm to start whippin’ up dinner. We didn’t eat until about 10pm! Of course, the star of the show were pork and chicken dumplings (we ended up with about 80). The filling is made of lean ground pork, tiger shrimp, garlic, green onions, and soy sauce. We made half a batch with ginger and half a batch without. They cooked really quickly after a quick swim in boiling water (wo)manned by the other Joann (toJ) and Jen Lui.
The result was a mountain of delicious dumplings. Everyone made their own dipping sauce – from the simple (plain ol’ white vinegar) to the hot (lots of sriracha) to the creative (sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, sriracha).
To compliment dinner we had mongolian beef (?) and pork bone and daikon soup courtesy of Chef Lee and toJ, respectively. The mongolian beef was saucy and spicy. Not what we were expecting from the recipe but good nonetheless.
The pork bone and daikon soup was simple and light. It won me over with the cilantro garnish.
I tried my hand at Japanese Cheesecake (yes, again) and this time from a new recipe. I actually really liked this one. I kinda forced it out of the oven so it shrank quite a bit. Remember, Japanese Cheesecake is actually just a souffle in disguise. Next time I’ll be more gentle and let it rest in the oven for an hour or so. The texture was slightly wet (undercooked) but really nice and fluffy. The lemon juice added a nice kick and while this recipe called for less cream cheese than previous ones, it had the cream cheesiest taste of all of my attempts. If you’d like to try it out, the recipe can be found here.
We also had 3 varieties of ice cream mochi which helped end the evening with magazine reading, Britney bashing, and a classic episode of TLC’s What Not to Wear. My kind of evening.