Luosong Soup: Too Chinese to be Borscht?

On the second day of spring New York City was hit by the fourth Nor’easter of the month. March is a fickle month. It often warms up as a portent of spring, yet sometimes the Canadian Arctic air swooshes down and reminds us that mother nature can be ruthless. This year, although Match has not…

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Not all Chestnuts are Created Equal

With the unusually warm autumn this year in New York City, the sudden cold snap and snow rudely reminded us that winter has arrived and Christmas is just around the corner. Which also means that chestnuts are in season and plentiful at the Chinatown curbside vendors. Seduced by one beautiful display, I lightened my wallet…

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Mid-Autumn Festival Blog Feast

Amidst the hectic pace and chaos of modern life, we often forget the importance of family. Whether it is the family we are born into or one we build for ourselves, it is love that keeps us together. We must continue to cultivate this relationship if we were to maintain a healthy balance in life….

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Celebrating the World of Dumplings

As one of the most beloved food in the world, dumplings are universally enjoyed. Last week I had an opportunity to have great fun by spending an afternoon celebrating their goodness at the 12th Annual Chef One NYC Dumpling Festival. A wide variety of dumplings including Latin empanadas, Polish pierogies, Italian ravioli and Asian offerings…

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It’s Not Too Late to Pickle Celtuce

Today is the autumnal equinox and that means summer is officially over. But with the unusually warm weather we’ve been enduring lately, it doesn’t feel like autumn at all. (What global warming?) Farmers’ markets throughout the city are still selling tomatoes, and Harlem watermelon vendors are still hawking this summer fruit at their sidewalk stalls….

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Baked Tangerine Oysters

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My Father’s Island Paradise

Across a very narrow strait from the downtown waterfront of Xiamen (廈門) sits the island of Gulangyu (鼓浪嶼), a hilly outcrop smaller than Central Park in New York City and dotted with colonial-era European style buildings. Warren and I took the short five-minute ferry ride to this island last…

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A Love Affair with Pan-Fried Noodles

My family is originally from the coastal Chinese province of Fujian. Traditionally our noodles are cooked in soup, boiled unadorned except for seasonings, or stir-fried in a wok with a thin sauce. When I was about ten years old my family went to a Cantonese dim sum house in Singapore, which at that time was…

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Zhajiang Mian: A Meat Sauce Taste Test

Go to a Japanese noodle shop or a casual Korean restaurant and you’ll find two noodle dishes with very similar names: Jajangmyeon and Jajamen. Not unlike spaghetti Bolognese they consist of a bed of noodles topped with a brown ground meat sauce often accompanied by julienned cucumbers. Few people though realize that…

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No Bones About It

“Why don’t they remove the bones before they serve the fish?” is a common question I hear from friends whenever we go to Chinese restaurants. In fact on one occasion after finishing a steamed striped bass at a popular Cantonese seafood restaurant in Chinatown a fellow diner jested that the remains of our dish looked…

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Communal Dumplings for the Family

In Ba Jin’s (巴金) epic Chinese literary trilogy: Family, Spring and Autumn (家,春,秋), the author describes the life of a Chinese aristocratic family during the final years of the feudalistic Qing dynasty. It was a tumultuous time in which the family members had to negotiate changing political landscape as dynastic rule disintegrated, as well as…

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