#foodie family

Daily Post Day 55: If I could have anything to eat…

…I would eat something cooked by my dad.

I really miss his cooking. He can cook pretty much anything and I’m so thankful to have grown up with a diverse palate.

It is hard to replicate my dad’s cooking on my own because I am still not familiar with the different spices, oils, condiments that he uses. I either use too much of one or another ingredient. Don’t get me wrong, I am able to cook pretty well on my own with recipes I find through magazines/the Internet…but when it comes to my father’s recipes, I still have a long way to go.

In our family, we have talked about compiling a cookbook of recipes from our father. Well, we best start gathering those recipes if we want to preserve our family history of cooking.

P.S. How convenient to write this post on my father’s birthday! 🙂

#foodie editing Internet Novel 1 plug Twitter Work in Progress

More blogs, more progress, other updates…

I think I’m getting sucked into the blogosphere this year; within a week or so, I’ve started two additional blogs and there is another one coming soon (my writing blog/”blog book tour”). Let’s see if I will be able to keep up with all of these blogs in due time….

Anyway, yes, this morning I felt inspired to start a food blog: Cinnamon Juice. You’re probably wondering where the name came from, so that explanation will come soon enough. This blog will feature various food topics, including recipes, photos, additional insight on my Yelp! reviews, and so forth. Check it out if you can!

In other news, I have finished the initial step in the editing/revising of Novel 1, which was to figure out my story arc. Now, I’m working on a “movable outline” via Powerpoint, and hopefully will have a book synopsis ready for some of my confidantes to look at in the next week or so to help me figure out any plot holes and such. Progress is coming along well….

And, my Twitter has gone public again, after a month or so of being friends-only. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter now!

That’s about all for now; my arms have been hurting a bit at work due to a new desk chair. I sure hope I won’t be getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


Which is really better? Which is really bad?

After a couple of months of curiosity/speculation, I finally caved in today and tried the taqueria in my neighborhood. I hesitated in trying it earlier due to my friend’s warning that the said taqueria had “very bland burritos”. I was looking around on Yelp! and saw some less-than-stellar reviews on how bland the burritos were, too, so I was trying to avoid trying it.

Still, my friend told me that I should try it, just to have my own opinion about it. So I did, I had a burrito from the taqueria, and…it was okay. It didn’t seem extremely bland to me, yet it also didn’t seem super delicious either. Which got me thinking….

How exactly do people measure what’s “really good” and “really bad”?

It’s probably an easy answer, that people just judge by what they know, what they have tasted beforehand. Still, it’s hard to really measure something when you don’t have anything to measure it against.

Take for instance, my first time trying Burmese food a couple of months ago.

Burmese food is similar to most other Asian cuisines, yet there are some distinct things about it as well, in terms of flavor and local specialties. I went to one of the super-popular Burmese restaurants in the city and tried one of their “specialty dishes”. I walked out, feeling “Oh, it was okay.” It didn’t make me cringe, nor did it make me feel like “Gee whiz, I LOVE Burmese food!” It’s probably because, I didn’t have much to measure it against. It would have been unfair for me to compare it to, say, Thai cuisine; even if the two cuisines are similar, there are still some things different about the two where a comparison would not be fair at all.

So how do I go about deciding whether one restaurant is better than the other?

In many ways, I guess I am still rather sheltered in terms of what foods I consume. I’m open to any type of food and am always willing to try anything new. However, I guess when it comes to deciding which place has the “best” food, it’s hard for me to say.

Which brings me back to the origin…I have only tried three taquerias in San Francisco so far. All three have been decent for me: nothing stood out as being blatantly horrible, but nothing stood out as being really great, either. I have trouble figuring out what I should be looking for in terms of greatness. Any suggestions?

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#foodie health Japanese culture Japanese food list

100 Japanese Foods to Try

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across a blog called Just Hungry, written by a Japanese expatriate living in Switzerland. I found her blog while searching for a recipe for 中華そば (Chinese Cold Noodle); anyway, today Maki has posted a long, interesting, and delicious-sounding list of Japanese foods that people should try. The list includes foods widely available throughout Japan with various price ranges. I thought I’d share the list here, but also link you guys to her blog as well. The blog is really handy in terms of Japanese food explanations and healthily adapted recipes.


P.S. I’ve highlighted the ones that I have tried so far, although there are a few I’m not sure about since I don’t have the kanji/explanations available.

A List of 100 Japanese Foods To Try At Least Once

  1. Properly washed and cooked, top quality new harvest white rice (shinmai)
  2. Freshly made tofu, as hiyayakko or yudofu
  3. Properly made misoshiru and osumashi
  4. Properly made homemade nukazuke
  5. Very fresh sanma (saury), sizzling hot from the grill, eaten with a drizzle of soy sauce and a mound of grated daikon radish
  6. Homemade umeboshi
  7. Freshly made, piping hot crispy tempura. I prefer vegetable tempura like shiso leaves, eggplant and sweet potato.
  8. A whole grilled wild matsutake
  9. Freshly made sobagaki with sobayu
  10. Mentaiko from Fukuoka, or tarako
  11. Onigiri with the three classic fillings: umeboshi, okaka, shiozaki
  12. Assorted fresh-as-possible sashimi
  13. Saba oshizushi
  14. Mugicha
  15. Kakifurai
  16. Morinaga High-Chew candy, grape flavor
  17. Karasumi
  18. A pot of oden, preferably with homemade components especially ganmodoki, boiled eggs and daikon radish
  19. Ika no shiokara
  20. Calpis
  21. Ankou nabe
  22. Unadon
  23. Komochi kombu or kazunoko
  24. Yamakake, either with maguro (red tuna) cubes or a raw egg
  25. Properly made gyokuro shincha
  26. Milky Candy
  27. Wanko soba
  28. Omuraisu with demi-glace sauce
  29. Handmade katayaki senbei
  30. Yohkan (yokan) from Toraya
  31. Ishi yakiimo – sweet potatoes cooked in hot stones, available from street vendor carts
  32. Natto
  33. Fresh seaweed sunomono (can also have some tako in it)
  34. Ikura or sujiko
  35. Tonkatsu
  36. Goma dofu
  37. Chawan mushi or tamago dofu – the same dish either piping hot or ice cold
  38. Freshly made mochi, with kinako and sugar, grated daikon and soy sauce or natto
  39. Gindara no kasuzuke
  40. Hoshigaki
  41. Inarizushi
  42. Chikuzen-ni
  43. Surume
  44. Yakinasu with grated ginger
  45. Tamago kake gohan
  46. Kabuki-age
  47. Nikujaga
  48. Spinach gomaae
  49. Fuki no tou
  50. Okonomiyaki
  51. Yakitori
  52. Ohagi
  53. Japanese style curry, with rakkyo and fukujinzuke as condiments
  54. Kenchinjiru
  55. Yakult
  56. Kakipea
  57. Takoyaki
  58. Sakura mochi
  59. Buta no kakuni
  60. Daigaku imo
  61. Kappa Ebisen
  62. Chicken tsukune
  63. Hakusaizuke
  64. Hayashi rice
  65. Goya champuruu
  66. Dorayaki
  67. Ochazuke
  68. Sakuma Drops
  69. Stewed kiriboshi daikon
  70. Takenoko gohan (or in fall, kuri gohan)
  71. Cream or potato korokke
  72. Fresh yuba
  73. Real ramen
  74. Monaka
  75. Ekiben of all kinds
  76. Edamame
  77. Chicken karaage
  78. Kuzumochi
  79. Mitarashi dango
  80. Konnyaku no dengaku
  81. Yukimi Daifuku
  82. Sukiyaki
  83. Nama yatsuhashi
  84. Panfried hanpen
  85. Nozawanazuke or Takanazuke
  86. Kiritanpo
  87. Amanatto
  88. Narazuke
  89. Aji no himono
  90. Baby Ramen
  91. Kobucha
  92. Kasutera
  93. Tazukuri
  94. Karintou
  95. Sauce Yakisoba
  96. Kamaboko
  97. Oyako donburi
  98. Atsuyaki tamago
  99. Kuri kinton
  100. Japanese potato salad

(Source: Just Hungry)

#foodie Chinese Culture feelings My San Francisco Chronicles sweet treats


Whenever I walk along Clement Street, I find myself peaking into the Asian bakeries and grocery stores there. I look inside to see the familiar yet foreign things I have grown up with–the Chinese baked goods of buns, egg tarts, red bean paste anything, etc.

Looking at the food, I feel nostalgic for some reason. Despite the fact that I didn’t grow up with these shops near my childhood home, for some reason, I feel “at home” with these shops anyway. They evoke an emotion within me, of the fact that yes, I am indeed a Chinese person.