Jodie's journal

How to make spicy Sichuan flower pepper oil

flower pepper oil in jarSichuan flower pepper oil combines the spicy hotness of chili with the unique numbing sensation of flower pepper to give almost any dish an authetic Sichuan (Szechuan) flavour. It's very simple to make, taking only five or ten minutes - although flower pepper can be difficult to buy in some places.

 

Gong fu tea: How to make Oolong tea (The Taiwanese-style tea ceremony)

tea making equipmentThis is the tea ceremony as traditionally conducted in Taiwan and China. It's different from the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Morning Markets in Taipei

Selling freshly caught fish in the morning marketThis is a list of some of the morning markets in Taipei. Taiwan's morning markets are ignored by most travel guide books, magazines and websites. In Taiwan, most families shop for fresh food in the morning markets two, three or even four times a week, that's how they get the freshest ingredients. Taiwanese people really care about fresh ingredients, for health and taste reasons, and because small homes don't have storage space – they want vegetables the day they are picked, noodles the day they are made, fish the day they are caught, and so on. Read more about Taipei's day markets here.

Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: A day in the life of the market

The wet markets of Taiwan usually are not on the regular tourist schedule.A monk in the marketMost guides or local people would never think of bringing their customers or friends anywhere near them. The floors are wet, vegetables are still dirty with the mud from the fields, slabs of meat are cut open on the stands, all kinds of smells float in the air.

Summer weather in Taipei

Weather in Taiwan is quite unpredictableSummer in Taiwan is extremely hot and humid. Expect temperatures over 30º C (over 85º F) from June to September. The weather is similar to Florida or Louisiana in the US, but with more concentrated rainfall. There's nothing really comparable in Europe.

Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: Morning Markets

Taiwan's morning markets are ignored by most travel guide books, magazines and websites. But, if you really want to understand local culture, a walk through a morning market can teach you far more than a day at some sterile, packaged tourist attraction far away from real people's lives.

The Buddhas on Elephant mountain

It's very common to see the statues of Buddha or Guan Yin (the Goddess of mercy) in the mountains of Taiwan. They are found in temples, shrines, caves, or sometimes just on big rocks. On Elephant mountain in Taipei, there are many statues of Buddha, too.

How to get to Elephant Mountain?

How to get to Elephant Mountain?

From Taipei 101 it takes about 15 minutes to get to the start of the hiking path.

First, walk east along Xinyi Road for about 10 minutes to the junction of Song Ren Rd and Xinyi Road Section 5.

From the office to the kitchen

There are some questions I'm often asked:From the office to the kitchen

How long you've been cooking?
Where did you learn cooking?
Did you learn cooking from a culinary school?

Well, there is a story to tell which might answer those questions.

Afternoon tea with delicious Black Forest cake

Gasthaus Zum Adler German Restaurant

Gasthaus zum Adler, a German restaurant run by Mr. Söffner, is near the center of eastern Taipei, 10 minutes walk from Taipei 101. They specialize in southern German cuisine. Mostly the dishes are home made.

We often go there for afternoon tea: a cup of fresh coffee or tea, with home made German dessert. It costs only NT$150. For German desserts, we can have a choice of their home made ice cream, chocolate-coated banana cake, chocolate truffle, or black forest cake.

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