Taiwanese sweet and sour pickled ginger

During Taiwan’s hot and humid summer, it’s very common to see Taiwanese people add a few pieces of pickled ginger to their food. In this season, Taiwanese people believe that pickled ginger is appetizing, and it’s also good for the stomach if your stomach tends to feel bloated.

I learned how to make sweet and sour picked ginger from a very experienced Taiwanese chef. She said there’s no exact recipe – the amount of sugar and rice vinegar you add is up to you, so how sweet or acid you want it depends on your taste. Some people like it sweeter; Some prefer to add more vinegar.

Iron Plate Sweet and Sour Tofu

Sweet and sour sauce ingredients

4 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly chopped chili, 1 teaspoon (optional, depending on your preference)
Freshly chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon
Freshly chopped ginger, 1 teaspoon

Note: Prepare the sweet and sour sauce in advance because you will use it during cooking. For this recipe, you need about 6 tablespoons of this sauce. If you make more than that, you can keep the rest of the sauce in a closed container in the fridge for later use.

Cooking ingredients

Cooking oil, 3 tablespoons
Hard tofu about 270g, cut into triangular shapes
Mushrooms about 50g, 0.5cm, sliced
Bell pepper about 50g, 1cm sliced
Green onion, chopped


1. Prepare a flat pan for cooking – for example, a frying pan. Place it on the stove top and add a few tablespoons of cooking oil to the pan. Adjust the stove to medium heat.

You Can Make Fast Food, Taiwan Style

The tiniest food stand or street restaurant can serve delicious, fresh food only minutes after you order, but when you try to cook in your own kitchen, it can take hours of work. Why? It's mainly because those professional chefs know how to keep things simple. Obviously, they have skill and experience, but the most important trick they've learned for amazing food is to use fast, simple techniques and minimal ingredients. They create fascinating flavors just by combining a few seasonings like white pepper, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, chili green, and coriander. Even if you don’t have as much skill or experience as these chefs, you can still benefit from these simple cooking ideas that are commonly seen throughout Taiwan and China.

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.

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.


Kevin said that Taiwan is famous for dumplings, so he wanted to take this opportunity to learn how to make dumplings well.


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。

美國的競賽選手Logan由美國烹飪聯盟的指導老師 J Kevin Storm 先生領軍參賽,以下是 Jodie 與 Kevin 對話相識的一段小插曲。

美國廚藝大師J. Kevin Storm 先生蒞臨我們小小的廚房

今天我們小小的料理教室裡自美國來了一位廚藝大師 J Kevin Storm 先生,他不是來當我們的老師也不是顧問,他此行的目的不是來指導我們,他大約在一個月前就預約我們九月六日的麵食課程,當然我們料料沒想到出現的會是一位美國國家級的料理大師。

他跟我說台灣的餃子麵食很出名,要利用機會好好學習,而且要為他 課堂上他很仔細地聽講每一個細節,確定好工作方式後就照做,他說自己曾做過類似的麵團但沒有上課中做得好,料理是一個文化的呈現,他就是要來體驗我們台灣人做菜的感覺,感受中式料理陰陽的轉變與平衡的自然飲食。



J. Kevin Storm 先生Jodie 的對話

 1. 請教



2. 請教





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!