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Octopi, anyone?

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Who doesn’t like a good rack?  A good rack of ribs, that is! This pic was taken in 2013 at Ribfest.

Here’s the trick to making awesome, fall off the bone ribs:

  • Pre-boil them to cut down on the cooking time
  • Put them in the oven on a rack with a baking sheet under it. Add a few drops of smoked hickory and water in the baking sheet and put the rack on top. While baking, this will help infuse the flavours more deeply into the meat
  • Finish them off on the BBQ. A good sauce helps, too.

C’mooon Ribfest 2014!

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So the big rage at food festivals these days are deep-fried goodies. I’ve tried deep-fried cheesecake (highly recommend it!), heard of deep-fried butter (refuse to try it!), and sampled deep-friend mars bars (sickeningly sweet!).

Pictured above is deep-fried milk. It is a sugar coated, sticky, chewy dessert that I found at a night market in Taiwan.  It tastes so good, drizzled in sweetened condense milk. You can’t go wrong with sweetened condensed milk.

If you google the recipe, it seems pretty easy and straightforward to make. I guess I’ll have to try it one day.

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Aren’t these picture perfect pancakes? Not to sound conceited, but I made them myself. My friend used the same batch of batter and ended up with a bunch of scallop-edged ones. I guess I discovered the secret to making round pancakes. All it needs is some homemade maple syrup!

Side note: Is it me, or is the first batch always a throwaway?

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Is your love not hot enough?  Do you want to spice up your love life?  How about giving your loved one a bouquet of spicy chilies on skewers? Okay, I’m just acting redonkulous. When I was in China, they presented us with this plate and added a stir-fry on top. Creative? Hei!

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Even though dokbokki is normally a deliciously spicy rice cake in the culinary world of Korea, I ordered this new-age version in a fast-food joint in China.  It was quite the interesting twist, I must say…

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As promised, here is a picture of some dessert I took at a wedding:

Chocolate torte with piece of sugar glass, mystery dessert, and a spoonful of vanilla crème brulée.  Of course crème brulée was the winner.

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These cute, yet evil looking bunnies were part of a buffet breakfast in China.  They were filled with lotus seed paste and tasted om-nom-nom-eriific. 

Normally, steamed buns are just round or oval shaped pieces of dough stuffed with a filling such as red bean paste, custard or meat like the ever-so-popular BBQ pork bun.  It can be eaten as an easy breakfast or a simple snack. 

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A tower of candied apples at the 2012 Good Food show.

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I made a visit to the infamous Kinton Ramen restaurant in Toronto.  They specialize in authentic Japanese ramen (more commonly known as “instant noodles”).  The fun thing about this place is if you eat the whole bowl (including the soup), you get your picture taken and it is posted on their site in the  “Kinton Bowler” section.  As much as I love instant noodles, I wasn’t really a huge fan.  The soup was too greasy for my liking.  However, my friends seemed to love it.  They highly recommend the shio (sea salt) ramen.  If you decide to try this place out, you need to be there early, otherwise you will have to wait an hour for a table.


Pictured above is a bowl of ramen with a slice of pork belly fat, seasoned boiled egg, scallions, bean sprouts, and sheets of nori (seaweed) in their shoyu (soya sauce) ramen soup.

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I made my first trip to mainland China last year and ventured into one of those famous “night markets” in Beijing.  For those who have never been to a night market, it’s essentially an alleyway of food vendors selling a variety of items at night.  It’s a form of nightlife in Asia and the feeling is similar to participating in a festival, only it happens every weekend.  The food items can range; from simple meat skewers to stinky tofu to sweet desserts.  The options are endless.

Displayed above (hold on to your lunch ladies and gentlemen) are a few of the interesting items I stumbled upon:

Top: It’s not the clearest picture, but if you guessed scorpion you are correct.  They BBQ these guys and serve them to any daring customers willing to try.  One vendor had live scorpions on a stick with their tails are arms still flailing about…just to amp up on the already “ewww” factor.

Bottom: pictured here are either silkworms or cochroaches.  I don’t recall.   I took the picture and ran.  


More pictures of the night market to come…

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What do you think?  According to the Food Network, pasta should be placed in boiling water with salt.  It should only be cooked until it’s al dente and then strained.  They say people make the mistake of putting oil in the water under the belief that it will prevent the pasta from sticking, à la Barilla commercials: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzW4_9eOoDs&

The Food Network also recommends that pasta should not be rinsed with cold water once it is strained because it will wash away the starch which helps the sauce adhere to the pasta.  Others believe the starch should be rinsed out because it’s bad for us. 

Personally, I think the salt (no oil) method works and I agree with rinsing.  What do you think?

(Pictured above: a nice big plate of spaghetti with meat sauce and parmesan cheese)

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Summer is coming which means wedding season too.  To kickoff the season, here’s a cute comic strip.  Enjoy!
(A display of wedding dishes coming soon….)

Summer is coming which means wedding season too.  To kickoff the season, here’s a cute comic strip.  Enjoy!


(A display of wedding dishes coming soon….)

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A cup of Mayan hot chocolate from Soma (Toronto, ON) made of a hot chocolate mix, spiced ginger, Madagascar vanilla, orange peel, chili and spices.  It was definitely a rich and creamy treat, different from the usual syrupy hot chocolate drinks you find at (no offense!) Tim Hortons.


Sidenote: try the cherry bomb truffle.  It’s like an explosion in your mouth (no picture)

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Gluten free item #15: Yamasa Tamari (Soya Sauce)

If it looks statuesque, it should.  Glorious soy sauce that is gluten free.  Where would I be without it?  Now I can resume my sushi craze. 

(Well, at least it was my saviour during my gluten-free days)