Sunday, August 29, 2010

Many Thanks to The Foodie Blogroll

Thank you so much

for featuring my blogsite

in this week's

I'll be in Japan until Wednesday,
See you when I get back!
Have a great day!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend Food Tour: Dhong Zhen Baba Yakiniku

Eat All You Can Yakiniku @ Xi Zhi

Photos taken last January when Hubby visited me!
He arrived last night for this year second visit,
and we had buffet lunch once again in this place.
Some food collection we had...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crispy Fried Fish

Chinese Style Fried Crispy Fish from the Cookbook Fish 100 by Angela Chang. It's really good! I'm not sure what kind of fish I used, but the book suggested red sea bream.

fish (red sea bream)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped red chili
2 tablespoon soysauce
1 tablespoon wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper
oil for frying
salt and pepper
Rub the fish with salt. Deep fry the fish until the outside is brown and crispy. Sprinkle the fish with pepper, set aside. In a pan, saute garlic, green onion, and read chili. Add seasonings and cook over high heat. Pour the sauce over fish. Serve immediately.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Biggest Change in My Life

Entry to
My Life is Change (Pagbabago)

Welcome to Taiwan! This was the welcome remarked that I received when I was hired as a teacher in an International School. I was so excited when out of more than five hundred applicants screened, passed, and interviewed. I grew up in a family with different culture. From there, I have to adjust different norms, culture and beliefs. Fortunately, teaching abroad and experience is a new chapter of my life was also a big transition because I knew I was facing myself to a potentially life altering range of challenges, all without the support system I have spent a lifetime developing.

As I arrived in Taipei, I was immediately thrust into a new culture and new roles. The first few weeks were very busy in school orientation/seminars and finding accommodations to my new environment. With the helped of the school administrators, I found myself living with other Filipino speaking teachers in a share house situation. I like my new school and felt comfortable in my new environment and was happy to be here. Most of all I was looking forward to meet my students.

The very first day of school, I encountered my most humiliating incident when I was introduced to one of my student parent. She was shocked to know why her daughter’s teacher was a Filipino, wherein their maid was also a Filipino! As I met all my thirteen students, only few can speak broken English, the rest speaks Mandarin and I cant understand at all. I asked for a speaking Chinese assistant, but it was rejected. The same thing with parents, only few could speak fluently. I felt stupid, when they talked in group in front of me.

The environment outside the campus became worst when people looked us either factory workers or housemaids. Here are some incidents: When a person knocked in our apartment and asked my friend if our masters were inside. One time in the elevator, a couple living in the 4th floor asked us if we could do part time (if we could clean their apartment during weekends). Some people asked us why we could have rest days during weekdays. A police asked my friend and me to show him our ARC (Alien Resident Certificate) when we were walking in the park. Saleslady ignored us and telling we might not afford what we want to buy. People talked to us in Chinese, and we cannot understand at all. All of these happened during my first semester of stay.

I taught of quitting by terminating my contract after first semester and just go back to my country. I started feeling very angry over minor conveniences and very much irritable. I stayed in my classroom and just kept on working even weekends. I ignored people that were different from me. I was sick several times for the reason that I don’t eat proper nutrition. I ate most of the time in an International Fast Food, since I don’t know how to order in local restaurants. I gained a lot of weight from overeating. There I realized how important my culture and I was crying most of the time which I don’t know why.

I went home for three weeks after first semester, planned not to come back. In a second thought, I just continued since I’m already here and hoping that the situation will improve soon. I don’t want to make a decision that I would regret in the future. I made sure to do something that would be able to live well in this environment with difference.

I was happy at first, then I found the difficulty of adjustment and challenges, and as a result I’m considering returning to the Philippines. As soon I experienced the different stages of culture shock (I’m not even aware) and found different ways to cope up. I learned and adapted some of the culture and happy to live in Taiwan.

Pederson (1995) has described culture shock as a five- stage process:
1. Honeymoon (2-8 weeks) – The first and second paragraph are very common to a person traveling for the very first time, the feeling of excitement. Some people might even miss it.
2. Disintegration (2-3 months) - The third paragraph of the case were the reason why a person moves to a new country, the real situation. This stage then begins the real culture shock.
3. Reintegration (3-6 months) – The last paragraph shows the determination to work things out and get things done soon, the positive attitude.
4. Adjustment (6- 8 months) - The gradual adjustment continues toward autonomy and seeing “good” and “bad” elements in both the home and new culture.
5. Interdependence (9 -12 months) - the person achieved biculturalism by becoming able to cope comfortably in both home and new cultures.

In dealing with new culture we can face it with either of two basic attitudes. First consists of understanding and acceptance. The second is rejection and culture shock. A lot of research provided different suggestions on how to treat culture shock. Adapting another culture and getting to know the people in a host country will depend on a person. The sooner of understanding, the sooner the culture shock will disappear. In my case, it took me six months before I do something to integrate to a new culture.

There are three possible solutions, the advantages and disadvantages after analyzing the case. First, “I could quit the job and just return home to my country and enjoy the support of the family and friends. I could eat the food that I used to eat, and then my energy will soon recover. But I will always know that I’m a quitter, and may regret this decision later in life”. Second, “I just continue what I am doing and hoping the situation will improve”. This attitude is already in the stage of adjustment, the last stage will occur soon. Doing nothing maybe good chance things will improve. Third, I could seek help regarding difficulties in adjusting. I didn’t bother to ask help in the beginning since I don’t know that emotional stress that I’m encountering was symptoms of culture shock. I always told myself, I have enough English to converse, but in reality I did not know the culture. Integration to a new culture is very difficult to achieve because my norms and values aren’t ready yet by that time. When we relate to another culture, we need to understand the people and their language. If language is the soul of every culture, so let it be. If we don’t have a command of the language, especially for adults, we’re just like children. We have to ask someone to show us what to do and do all the talking for us. Then we become frustrated.

In my experience, getting to know Taiwanese people helped me get over culture shock. Learning the language of the host country is vital. It was difficult, especially for the adult. This task alone is quiet enough to cause frustration and anxiety, no matter how good my teacher was. But once I started communicating with people around me specially buying things alone, I did not only gain confidence but also a feeling of pride, the meaning of culture shock was clearer to me. I began to find that not only what and how people do things but also what their interests are. In return, I share and teach Taiwanese people who are curious of my culture.

This experience change my life completely! I started travelling in some parts of  the world, recently I just earned a masteral degree here in Taipei.

Pederson, P. (1995). The Five Stages of Culture Shock: Critical Incidents Around the World. London: Greenwood Press

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Noodles with Smoked Beef

Sometimes the simpler the dish is, it taste better! Another no recipe I created. I used 2 slices of smoked beef , 1 stem sliced celery, 1 sliced tomato, 2 cloves sliced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Just saute everything until cooked. Place the mixture on top of fresh boiled noodles. You can also add some greens, here I added asparagus!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Fresh Mango Pudding

I made this today and shared with friends in the church. I didn't add sugar anymore since Taiwan Mango is as sweet as sugar. No offense, I still prefer Philippines Mango, the mixture of sweet and sour. 

Ingredients are shown above:
3 cups pureed mangoes, 1 cup evaporated milk,
1 cup hot water, 2 envelopes (20 grams) unflavored gelatin,
fresh mango slices for garnishing

Add gelatin in hot 1 cup hot water until dissolve; set aside. In a large bowl, mix the mango puree and evaporated milk. Add the gelatin mixture into the mango mixture. Mix well. Pour the resulting mixture into the mould and chill to set.
Garnish with fresh mango slices on top.

Note to serve:
Turn the mould onto a serving plate to remove the mango pudding, then garnish will fresh mango slices.

Mellow Yellow Monday
My Meatless Monday
Tuesdays Taste
Fresh Mango Pudding on Foodista

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Food Tour: Out of India

"Out of India". is just a small restaurant but the food are good!
When I was still studying my M.A., my foreign classmates and I
discovered many places to eat near our university (NTNU).

Here's one of our favorite Indian Restaurant:

I had this "Chiken Piazwala"(lightly spiced chicken with spring onions) .

"Butter Naan"(clay oven bread)
Denroy (Belize)  and Melissa had "Mutton Piazwala" (lightly spiced lamb with onion), mango juice with lassi (with yougurt)...yummy! I told Melissa she looks like Indian ( she said lots of people told her...she's from Honduras).

We will show you how did we enjoyed the food:

Look how Meli prepared...
... the way she ate!
... the way Denroy ate!
...the way I ate!
... well, that's me... just appreciating the food!
(actually, they asked me to do it!)
See the two guys... they were in the small
counter, preparing our food...
Indian food for the 2nd time...
I tried this one... rice and chicken curry,
I like the to "naan"( bread) better...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Super Spicy Shrimp

I sent this image directed from the phone, not bad! Anyways, I think I made this dish really, really spicy! This could be rolled in flour and deep fried to make Cajun Popcorn.

1/2 kilo large shrimps, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
olive oil for frying

In a bowl, combine all the seasonings, marinate the shrimp for about 10 minutes. In a pan, heat oil and saute the shrimp until cooked. Serve as appetizer or sidedish.

Lucious Saturday

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chicken Adobo (Chinese Style)

In my previous post, I have mentioned about Adobo, how it's being connected to culture. This time, I just made this name up since all the ingredients are almost the same with the original Adobo. I used oyster sauce and sesame oil to enhance Chinese flavor.

1/2 kilo chicken
olive oil for stir frying
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
salt (optional)
ground pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
green onion, chopped
sherry or cooking wine (optional)
chili (optional)
sesame oil

Marinate the chicken in oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, and pepper for about 30 minutes. Heat oil, stir-fry the marinated chicken for few minutes. Add garlic, wine, chili, few drops of sesame oil. Add drops of water and let it boil until the sauce thicken or the chicken is cooked. Sprinkle the green onion. Serve hot.
Serve with steamed rice or eat with broccoli as side dish.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fish with Curry Sauce and Peas

Another trial recipe! Whatever is available in the freezer, I found fish and frozen peas. In the ref, I found left-over noodles. Here we go:

1 fish fillet , cubed (about 100g) ; 1 cup frozen peas; 2 green onion leeks, sliced; 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; 2 tablespoon milk; salt and pepper to taste; fishsauce (optional) a little cornstarch; 1/2 cup water (or stock); 1/2 teaspoon sugar; 1 teaspoon curry powder; chili sauce (optional)
Marinate the fish with salt, pepper, and cornstarch for at least 10 minutes, set aside. In a pan, heat oil and half-cooked (about 50%), set aside. In the same pan,  saute peas, red chili, and green onions for few minutes. Add water (stock), sugar, curry powder, and fish. Let it boil. Serve.

Serve with steamed rice or any cooked noodles.

Monday, August 16, 2010

String Mushroom with Kanimi

Another dish without recipe! Kanimi is an imitation crab meat that's available in oriental store or supermarket. I just prepared two bunch of string mushroom, cucumber, kanimi, butter, salt and pepper. Saute all the ingredients in butter or extra-virgin olive oil.

Take note when you add salt, kanimi is already flavored.
The string mushroom is called Inoki or Enoki Mushroom

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WFT: Chikurin Tei Japanese Restaurant

Last winter (January, 2010), my husband and I had the chance to experience Spring Resort Hotel in Xinbeitou in Beitou District in Taipei. Beitou is well-known to its hot springs in Northern Taiwan.  Part of the package is dinner either Chinese or Japanese Cuisine. We decided to have Japanese Kasei (Traditional) Cuisine at Chikerun Tei, located on the second floor.
Here we go...
To start with,  I had the shredded Japanese lotus in passion fruit,
Hubby had silken tofu with shrimp and caviar.

We shared assorted sashimi, egg custard, shrimp roll
steamed rice and soup
grilled beef steak and stuffed chicken + red-bean dessert and fresh fruits

I might say this is the best Japanese Restaurant I've tried in Taipei! Not only the ambiance, the tasty meal, and also the great service.

Luscious Saturday
Yummy Sunday
Our Weekend Memoirs

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fish with Garlic and Tomatoes

Originally, the name of the recipe is Cod Fish with Garlic and Tomatoes (Merluzzo Fresco Con Aglio E Pomodoro) from my favorite Italian Cookbook by Guiliano Gasali's Kitchen. I used salmon and fresh basil instead of Cod and fresh thyme. Tomatoes should be peeled and seeded, but I added everything.

1 piece fish (cod or salmon)
6 garlic gloves, sliced
1 large tomatoes (2 medium), peeled, seeded, and diced
bunch of fresh thyme (I used basil)
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Place the tomatoes in a bowl. Add the thyme or basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir gently and allow to marinate for a while. Cut the fish in 4 pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic for few minutes until fragrant or slightly brown. Add the fish and saute for few minutes. Turn the fish carefully. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add the marinated tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Serve the fish with the tomatoes around and garlic sliced over the fish.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ten Cold Noodles and Pasta Salad

In my previous posts, I introduced ten spaghetti I tried in different restaurants in Taipei. For today, I'm posting my Ten Noodle Recipes I cooked and posted, not actually from the least to the best, but from the latest to oldest. When I'm only starting, I cooked not from scratch like instant noodles then I just added some fresh vegetables. Well, I can say that I'm improving!

1. Cold Noodles with Left-Over Beef. Almost the same as what I posted last time Cold Noodles with Beef, Vietnamese Style. This cold noodle is one of my favorite! I specially make this kind if I have left-over steak. All what I do is to slice the beef, boil noodles, chop some green onion and fresh tomato, mince garlic. Add salt and pepper + Italian seasoning. Add a drop of extra-virgin olive oil, mix and another meal is created!

2. Cold Noodles with Tahini Sauce. This time no exact recipe, I just bought the egg noodles from the Traditional Market and rinse it with boiling water, then soak the noodles in ice water. I thinly sliced the cucumber and carrots. For the Tahini Sauce, just mix 2 tablespoon of sesame paste, drop of soy sauce, lime juice or vinegar, spice oil, sugar, and salt (optional).

3. Cold Noodles with Humus Sauce. I made the humus into pasta sauce, just added Parmesan cheese, and roasted garlic.Place on top of any kinds of noodles... garnish it with fresh basil... A meal!

Scallops and Coloful Pepper Noodles
4. Scallops and Colorful Peppers Noodles. In this dish, any noodles will do. I used mung bean vermicelli since that's the only available in my pantry. In Taiwan, cold noodles are very popular during summer. After I cooked one package of vermicelli, I soaked it in ice water. Drained and saved the left-over in the refrigerator. The scallops in this recipe was marinated in wine to soften and get rid of unpleasant smell.

Cold Noodles with Beef
5. Beef Cold Noodles. Vietnamese Style, only I used Mung bean Noodles instead of Vietnamese Rice Noodles. I like eating cold noodles specially summer time and I'll be featuring some of cold noodles I've tried before. I got this recipe from my cookbook All About Rice and Noodles, but I didn't add beansprout and fresh basil leaves.

6. Cheese Tortellini with Broccoli. I'm in a supermarket the other day, when this pasta caught my eyes! I never tried cooking this before, so I bought cheese and spinach fillings. Mostly, I cooked pasta with tomato sauce or cream sauce. This time I made it differently, using only lime juice as the sauce. It turned out so good!

7. Penne with Crab Paste Flavor. Bring salted water to boil, add the penne and cook until al dente. In a pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes. Add crab paste. Season with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally. Drain the penne and toss with the sauce. Ad the basil and saute for a minute. Serve on a dish, sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.

8. Penne with Canned Tuna. Once in a while, I'm using canned food to make dish especially when I'm busy. I used tuna in water and just added olive oil. Fresh herbs will be better, if available. I've seen in Food Magazine (June Edition) from the Philippines. It's a must that I added vegetables if I'm eating canned food or any instant food.

9. Vermicelli with Stewed Tomatoes
Heat oil, Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, celery, tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and salt/pepper, Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese. Add little water. Bring to boil. Cover, and reduce heat, simmer for 15, stirring occasionally. Place on top of vermicelli. I served this cold.

10. Vermicelli with Fresh Chopped Tomatoes and Basil Leaves
1 tomato
few fresh basil leaves
1 stalk green onion
1/2 t fresh garlic
low fat mozarella cheese (or any cheese)
1T extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

This one is no need to cook the sauce, just chop all the ingredients and Toss.

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Tuesdays at the Table
Tuesday Taste
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
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