The Taiwanese street food spirit: Shallot oil

Sit down in a Taiwanese noodle shop, and in less than three minutes the shop owner can bring you a great bowl of noodles. The flavor is well balanced: salty, sweet, and spicy, with aromatic herbs.
Shallot oil is the essential spirit of this delicious Taiwanese noodle soup, which is fast and easy to make. Shallot oil is an influential flavor in Taiwanese food.
Shallot oil is used on sticky rice, noodle soup, taro rice noodle soup, fish ball soup, warm green vegetables, and so on. Shallot oil is the secret that lets street noodle shops and stands serve a tasty and aromatic dish within three minutes.
Shallot oil isn’t difficult to make, but it takes time and it’s very easy to overcook. We need to use low heat to cook away the shallots’ moisture, and bring out their aroma. We need to be patient, because the finely chopped shallots can easily burn.
Shallot oil is not only used in the restaurant business, it’s a very common ingredient for Taiwanese family cooking, too.

Teaching the teacher

Last week, the American master chef Kevin Storm visited our kitchen. He was not here to advise or teach us – he was here to learn how to make local-style dumplings. In particular, he wanted to study vegetarian dumplings with me, so he can make them for his vegan daughter.

Kevin is the assistant manager of the American Culinary Federation. He instructs students from throughout the USA, and leads them to take part in culinary competitions around the world. Kevin is also the executive chef at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

美國廚藝大師 J. Kevin Storm 先生教您如何成為廚藝高手

2018 世界年輕廚師菁英賽」於今天九月七日在基隆經國學院登場,來自全球二十二國的冠軍選手將在這一展身手





Riches to rags to happiness

I’ve been shopping at WuXing street market for nearly twenty years. I go there in the morning for the freshest ingredients, and to have breakfast or snacks. But I also go to hear people’s life stories. In fact, the stories are the thing that interest me most. I could say the storytellers have become my life teachers.

This is a true story about my friend who sells fruit and vegetables from a street stand in the market – cucumber, tomatoes, peaches, guava and so on.

Many of the fresh food vendors finish selling at around midday, although other shops and eating places stay open until the evening. One summer weekend, I didn’t go to the market until 2pm. I went passed a woman who specializes in selling vegetables from the northeast coast of Taiwan. She always greets to me as she hasn’t seen me a long while, so she always makes me feel like an old friend.

Thai herbal yoga

I tried Thai herbal yoga class in Thailand, in a town called Hua Hin. Before I went to the class, I was guessing the yoga teacher, Tikki, was going to teach us how to cook with Thai herbs to help balance our body and mind. I had some doubts about this, but I turned out to be wrong.

As soon as I entered Tikki’s yoga class, I was immersed in the fragrance of Thai herbs. Tiki had filled up the slow cooker with a bunch of Thai herbs: lemon grass, old ginger, galanga, kaffir lime leaves, chopped kaffir lime, camphor and so on. For a second, I thought she was cooking a pot of Thai tom yum soup, and it did smell like that. I thought, this is so cool! I am going to do yoga with the steaming fragrance from this pot of Thai herbs. And there is no air conditioning during this yoga class, it will be hot!



Rosalba 與 Paolo 的義大利戚風蛋糕




炎熱的夏天是台灣南部檸檬盛產的季節, 隔壁的好鄰居收到農友送來好一大箱的有機檸檬,我們倆望著這一大箱的綠色萊姆發呆,她二話不說揀了一大籃的綠色檸檬給我, 她認為我一定有辦法消化這一粒粒綠綠的小球,望著桌上的這一大籃的綠檸檬已經好幾天了,好熱的天氣怎樣都提不起做事的勁。


為了不辜負檸檬農民與鄰居的好意,就壓榨這些綠檸檬來做英式的檸檬磅蛋糕吧!檸檬磅蛋糕用的食材需要奶油、蛋、與麵粉,因為家裡的奶油用完了天氣熱地不想出門補貨, 食材架上倒是有一大瓶從泰國帶回來的初榨椰子油,就試試看吧!用初榨椰子油取代奶油。