Simple Stir Fry Sauce Recipe: From Scratch

One of the most important things I keep in my fridge is a sauce I’ve developed that mimics typical simple stir fry sauces I’ve tasted in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the USA. I’ll keep it all as basic as I can, using ingredients you may have in your kitchen already.   Simple Stir Fry Sauce Recipe: Ingredients 1pt corn starch 1pt […]

My Little Taiwanese Kitchen: A Beginning

Back in 2009, I had the idea for a web-based cooking show called “My Little Taiwanese Kitchen.”  At the time, I was living in a fifth-floor walk-up with a kitchen the size of many Americans’ closets.  While my apartment situation has improved significantly, the kitchen is around the same size.  To see what it looks […]

Two Essential Chinese Sauces

Cooking Chinese food, I find myself using two sauces above all others: a Szechuan sauce and a Sweet and Sour sauce. Living in Taiwan, it’s hard for me to find the kind of Chinese food I like: the kind of Chinese we eat in the USA.  American Chinese food is very Cantonese, with thicker sauces, […]

Honey-Almond Granola Recipe

I live in Taiwan, where cereal is expensive.  Beyond that, cereal is not particularly healthy.  I took an old family recipe for baking granola and modified it to what I can acquire here in Taiwan and what I enjoy, in terms of flavor.  Enjoy. Ingredients List Oats Wheat Germ Shredded Coconut (unsweetened) Chopped Almonds Sunflower […]

Rice Cooker Banana Bread: A Recipe

I adore banana bread; while this is a recipe for my banana bread, we’ll see a unique baking option, too: rice cooker banana bread. First, I’ll show you how to make banana bread, traditionally, in an oven; then, we’ll get to rice cooker banana bread. Ingredients 2 sticks butter, softened/melted 2 cups white sugar 4 […]

My First Ride In A Police Car

I was driving north on WenXin Lu, Monday, August 20, 2012, at 10:45am, on my scooter.  Coming off the traffic light at Daye Lu, heading towards Dalong Lu, I attempted to merge right (from the right-hand lane into the scooter lane).  I felt something hit the right rear of my scooter and turned my head to see […]

Caught With My Pants Down

Taiwan has a pretty significant amount of earthquakes.  Most of them are pretty mild, but usually I can feel one or two each month – just enough to notice I’m not dizzy and that the room is, in fact, vibrating.  But every now and then, something a little bigger comes along, and you’re faced with the […]

Traffic, Shopping Carts, And Saving Face

It has always fascinated me that a culture so aware of public perception can also be so completely self-absorbed.  In Taiwan, there is a great emphasis on “saving face,” and yet, it only applies to certain facets of life.  I have yet to fully grasp the concept, but I have made some observations. Generally-speaking, Taiwanese people prefer […]

How Carrefour in Taiwan Hates Foreign Customers

While the people of Taiwan are often the nicest and warmest in the world, their cultural indoctrination leads to a dependence on bureaucracy, often to the point where people are unable – or unwilling – to make any decision without it being written as law or being directly authorized by a superior.  As a culture, […]

Missing Macaroni

One of the things I miss from back in The States is Kraft Blue Box Macaroni & Cheese.  Yes, I know it’s processed crap.  I don’t care.  And I’m willing to bet a lot of people reading this right now feel the same.  After being served it since children, we develop the taste for it, […]

Pesto, As Promised

You have one big problem making a legitimate pesto sauce here in Taiwan: pine nuts.  Everything else is so easy it makes my marinara sauce recipe look difficult. To make a pesto sauce, you need nothing more than basil, olive oil, Parmesan, and garlic…and that elusive pine nut. I’ve only seen pine nuts at Costco and, […]

Eating Italian In Taiwan

Taiwan has a lot of great food.  But both Italian and Mexican food are not on the list of things they do well. Traditionally, the Chinese like noodles served in a much more broth-like sauce – even their Italian versions of cuisine are noticeably loose.  Think when you go to a bad Italian joint in the USA […]

Homemade Brownies: A Healthier Alternative To Box Mix

I got to thinking about homemade brownies as they compared to cost, labor, and nutrition, compared to cooking out of a Pillsbury box.  Finding recipes online can be a real frustration.  I recently went looking for a homemade brownie recipe, as an alternative to typical store-bought “Box Brownies” that are both not necessarily available everywhere […]