Thursday, December 06, 2007

Chinese food around the world

Getting closer to Asia means you get more variety of Chinese food. Not that I've not had Chinese food in the Bay Area. In fact, there is a wide variety (authentic and not-so-authentic) that you can choose from in the Bay Area due to the influence of Asian immigrants to the West Coast, and to the food culture in America. From the generic Chinese cuisine to regional Chinese such as Sichuan/Szechuan, Shanghai; Vietmanese cuisine; Thai food; Japanese and Korean food; Hong Kong Cantonese including dim sum; and even closer to home Southeast Asia cuisine - you find most (not all) of it in the Bay Area, where I was staying.

Of course, there is no such high concentration of hotpots, steamboats eateries in the Bay Area compared to Taiwan. Alright, maybe it's just the season to eat hotpots in Taiwan currently. Even the supermarkets here are stocked up with so much hotpot and steamboat ingredients during their mild winter season. At home or out in the reataurants and local eateries, hotpots/ steamboats are sure to keep your stomachs warm for a while, bringing you the coziness and warmth from the inside to the outside.

Tender BBQ chicken steak/chop served with noodles, and a runny egg on a sizzling hotplate

While visiting Taiwan earlier in October and November to reccee the place before our temporary move, we did not forget to immerse ourselves in their food culture. A variety of choices as well, from street food in their night markets to local eateries serving hotplates like chicken chop/beef steak with noodles(above). Of course, we stayed in a hotel then, so some hotel food as well since it's so convenient. These are a few representations that make my mark in terms of taste, presentation and that little creativity which surprises me.

Sugar cane chicken with a light almond crust
@Hotel ONE, Taichung, Taiwan

Steamed beancurd/tofu with seafood, served in a bamboo steamer
@Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Taichung, Taiwan

We ordered this steamed beancurd dish everytime we visited the restaurant located right within the hotel we are staying in. It is absolutely delicious. The mixture of shrimps, mushrooms, scallops cooked in a oyster-based sauce of tiny shredded bits of dried scallops, topped over that smooth and silky tofu. You can try making this at home based on the picture. :P Well, that oyster based sauce is just what I decoded it to be. There might be something additional going into it.

Boiled Amaranth with White Fish (Whitebait)
@Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Taichung, Taiwan

I was trying to find some information about this tiny white fish over the internet and there's not much luck. Can anyone tell me? I do remember eating these tiny fishes fried with egg back in Singapore. Are they Whitebait? I think in Taiwan, they call it by another name 吻仔魚 (some kind of larval fish??), and I'm not sure if they are the same variety. Any other familiar names you can give me regarding this fish? Just look at the huge pile (or heaps) of tiny fishes in this's actually very light and tasty.

Does eating out inspire how you cook and plate your dish at home? It does for me, sometimes.


1 comment:

cakewardrobe said...

It's called Shirasu in Japanese. I love this too! BTW, I really like your blog - if i didn't, I wouldn't have come to this LY post :)