The tasty tradition of Taiwan’s midnight meals

The tasty tradition of Taiwan’s midnight meals

(Image credit: Boaz Rottem/Alamy)

Stinky tofu is a popular option for ‘xiaoye’, or the midnight snack, in Taiwan (Credit: Boaz Rottem/Alamy)

While most countries only have three meals a day, Taiwan worships food so much that there’s a fourth and final meal: the midnight snack, or ‘xiaoye’ in Chinese.

I

It was dark and sopping wet at the Ningxia Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan. Yet even as the rain continued to seep into my socks, the narrow alleys were still jam-packed with people, elbow to elbow.

They were jostling to place their order at Li Zhang Bo, a small stinky tofu stall run by Yiwen Wang and Qirong Li, Taiwan’s self-described queen and king of stink. Their signature dish – deep-fried fermented tofu on a bed of pickled vegetables – would make even the most pungent locker room smell like roses. But still, the line of loyal customers threaded around the block, stretching as far as the nose-wrinkling

Read More

Learn to make tasty noodles, dumplings and more

<p>Each guide is packed with knowledge, experience and expertise </p> (The Independent)

Each guide is packed with knowledge, experience and expertise

(The Independent)

For a long time, the idea of attempting to make Chinese food at home would spark trepidation in western home cooks. The seemingly endless list of ingredients, cooking tools and new techniques required was daunting.

But over the years, attitudes have changed, with people becoming more inquisitive and welcoming of new regional cuisines and flavours.

The increasing availability of essential Chinese ingredients on supermarket shelves is also emboldening for home cooks who are looking to try their hand at something new.

Read more: Restaurant cookbooks for delicious lockdown recipes, from Dishoom to Leon

Even if you can’t find a specific ingredient in Sainsbury’s or Morrisons, the number of online Asian grocers that have popped up to fill the gap is nothing short of a miracle for home cooks.

These days, there is nothing quite as exciting as opening up

Read More

Tasty Land Excursions Enhance Silversea Cruises’ New S.A.L.T. Culinary Program

We enjoy Thai restaurants all over the western world. The Philippines produces magnificent cuisine as well. Yet, given the enormous Filipino diaspora worldwide, why do we seldom find Filipino restaurants? Why hasn’t that cuisine taken off?

Perhaps you’ve never noticed that. But through the new Silversea Cruises S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) program, Nicole Ponseca will set you straight on a cuisine that has for centuries been deeply enriched by Chinese, Malay, Arab, Spanish and even United States influences. The Filipina-American, California-native chef is co-founder of Jeepney restaurant in New York City and co-author of the colorful and highly-regarded cookbook “I am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook.”

Chef Ponseca is among a number of culinary figures who have started to collaborate with Silversea’s S.A.L.T. program. Set for its maiden voyage

Read More

Heartsmart’s Condiments: Healthy food can be tasty food

The steady growth of the agro processing sub-sector from a modest and little-regarded pursuit used mostly to subsidize the incomes of poor families to what, in some instances, are, these days, significant investments in the manufacture of condiments from locally grown fruit and vegetables, is, arguably, one of the recent noteworthy successes in the agro-processing sector.

 Time was when agro processed produce was vended mostly in hastily wrapped paper and plastic packages and from in bottles that often raised questions about the sanitation bona fides of the products themselves.  How things have changed! These days, the manufacture of these fruit and vegetable-based snacks, condiments and seasonings is subject to the strict food safety oversight protocols that are embedded in the law; so that even the smallest ‘manufacturer’ of agro produce, these days, must comply with at least minimum factory, presentation and sanitation standards that are subject to enforcement and transgression

Read More