Jodie 的日記

Dumpling Engineering: The Filling

The basic dumpling filling uses simple vegetarian ingredients and a bare minimum amount of seasoning. After you've mastered the art of making delicious dumplings with a basic filling, you can experiment with a wider range of ingredients and add meat if you wish.

Obviously we want dumplings to taste great, but dumplings are also an engineering challenge. We have to make sure our filling does not overwhelm the dough wrapping by being too heavy or too wet. The dough has to stick together and not get soggy, or, in the worst case, the wrapping will fail, and we will have a dumpling disaster.

Soy paste: Key to Taiwanese cuisine

What is soy paste?

Soy taste is one of the essential tastes of Taiwanese cuisine. It is salty and sweet, and the texture is thick. The consistency is similar to oyster sauce. This strong flavor strongly influences Taiwanese cooking, and it is one of most widely used ingredients.

When a Taiwanese person has no idea how to flavor a dish, the most common solution is to flavor the dish with soy paste. For example: When Taiwanese cook tofu and green vegetables, chicken, pork, seafood, very often they serve it with soy paste, garlic and some cilantro.

For stir fried dishes, soy paste is added during cooking, at the same time as adding soy sauce. For other dishes, soy paste is usually added after cooking is complete.

Soy paste is commonly used on stir-fried dishes, sauces, noodles, and street food.

In the morning market

I sometimes hear the mushroom sellers telling their customers: “It's simple – just stir-fry the mushrooms and flavor them with soy paste, garlic and chili.”

Want to use roasted sesame oil for cooking? Don't do it!

Roasted sesame oil smells wonderful, but it's not suitable for cooking. The very high temperatures used in cooking burn the oil and turn its lovely fragrance into an unpleasant smell. However you use this oil, don't add it to food until the cooking is complete.

Here are few suggestions how to use sesame oil:


The typical ingredients for vinaigrette are usually extra virgin olive oil, with balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar. You can just replace the extra virgin olive oil with white sesame oil. For example: Tomato salad with sesame oil dressing

Stir-fried dishes

If you like to add sesame oil to stir-fried dishes, it's best to add the oil to the dishes when cooking is complete, and then quickly turn off the heat to avoid burning the oil.



老闆說歐洲經濟不景氣,加上氣候變化異常農產品如橄欖、小麥、蕃茄等收成不好, 義大利人面對這樣不景氣的環境,他們將產量減少價格提高,連出口的船班都減,反正貨只有這麼多,要的話就是這價錢。



Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan for kids: Kung Fu

Studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan is an increasingly popular activity for foreign families. Foreign parents bring their kids to Tapei, often during the summer, and send them a Mandarin school for few weeks.

Here is a Kung Fu school with some Kung Fu classes that are taught in Chinese. Spending time with the local kids, learning Kung Fu together, might be a fun idea for foreign children and teenagers to learn martial arts and Chinese, and to learn about local life.

The following is the class schedule for that school:

Tang poetry reading and Kung fu
Every Wednesday and Saturday, 11:00am-12:00pm

Kung Fu styles
Tiger style, crane style, snake style, mantis (grasshopper) style, monkey style
Every Saturday, 16:00pm-17:00pm

Chinese Martial Arts programs 

Where to buy Taiwanese hand made knives?

There are two old shops specializing in making and selling knives in the old part of Taipei. They are about 15 minutes walking distance from each other.

Yongxing knife and farm tools shop
No. 288, Section 1, Dihua street, Taipei
Tel: 02 2553 6545
Chinese name and address:
Tel: 02 2553 6545

Map on google:

Yuan Rong knife and hardware shop
No. 9, lane 60, Section 2, Yanping North Road, Taipei
Tel:02 2558 27862
Chinese name and address:
Tel:02 2558 27862

Taiwanese wedding dumplings

sweet dumplingsWhen a couple are getting married in Taiwan, the bride's family, neighbors, and friends traditionally get together to make small dumplings from sticky rice. During the engagement and wedding celebrations, the bride's family serve the sticky dumplings to everyone who visits them. The dumplings aren't flavored, but they're usually served with a sweet soup (or sweetened in some other way).

The handmade sticky dumpling balls are a gift from the family and all the friends and neighbors nearby. When they get together making the sticky dumpling balls, it's always a happy atmosphere. The dumplings aren't hard to make. It's like a kind of party, with everyone talking, laughing, and eating. A daughter getting married is everyone's business. So making the dumplings together is a blessing they all prepare for the bride. They put their happiness into making the sweet sticky dumplings, and share it with everyone.






感恩當初義大利師父 Alessandro Guastini 的傳授


義大利廚師們有個默契,他們不輕易傳授他人義大利菜 ,他們說這是義大利人吃飯的傢伙,尤其外國人要跟他們學更難,就好像某些功夫大師,他們不隨便傳授徒弟的。  




青醬會黑或是會容易變黑是青醬處理上最常見的問題 , 黑色的青醬表示內容物不是很乾淨,已經發生氧化了!氧化的青醬就打了折扣,香氣沒有原來應該有的濃郁。



1. 選擇新鮮的九層塔,紅梗的九層塔香氣較高,向菜販買秤重的九層塔,而不是已經包好的,包好的比較不容易確認品質,而且封起來的九層塔容易變黑氧化。

2. 用剪刀將九層塔葉子剪下,梗或是變黑的葉子都不要用,會影響口感與香氣。

3. 將葉子放在水盆裡,輕輕地用清水洗過幾次後,水盆裡的沙土會變很少或是沒有,再用乾淨的過濾水泡約5-10分鐘,將水瀝乾,把九層塔平鋪放在竹蔞或是類似的容器上,置於通風處或是陽光下至表面沒有水份為止。

4. 使用初榨的橄欖油與飽滿的松子。

5. 最好使用高速的食物處理器,約30秒內完成攪拌,打太久溫度太高青醬會變黑。

6. 加入一滴白醋防止青醬氧化。