Jan 26, 2010

Omelette Rice with Curry Sauce

Back into the kitchen!

I was under extensive care from mommy during my one month stay in Taiwan,
That translates as "Cindy is not allowed in the kitchen."
Seriously, she'll kick me out if I started wandering around the spatulas and pots...
My mom's reasoning: You provide no help in the kitchen.
A stab in my little food blogger's heart...

So all I had to do was sitting by the table and wait,
Moments later, plates of gorgeous homemade food will be handed in front of me...
Good life.

Sadly reality kicks in...
Now I'm back in California...no one is feeding me here...I have to work for my own food...

So here's omelette rice with curry sauce, made by someone who provides no help in the kitchen...

Ingredients? (for 4 big plates)

4 cups of rice (I used more, you know...my portion is larger than normal people..)
1 cup of chopped broccoli
1 lb of chicken (chopped)
1 medium carrot (chopped)
5 bottom mushrooms (sliced)
10 eggs
1 onion (1/2 chopped, 1/2 sliced)
2 stalks of scallion (chopped)
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fried onions
Japanese curry cubes
Olive oil
Black pepper
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Chili paste
Hot water
Some dried seaweed flakes


Don't be scared by the long list of ingredients,
This is actually a super easy recipe,
Basically there are just 3 main components: fried rice, eggs, and curry sauce.

So let's make the fried rice first,
You can use any ingredients of your liking,
Corns, bell peppers, you name it.

I marinated the chicken cubes with some soy sauce and some mirin for about 15 minutes.
For the fried rice,
Drizzle some olive oil in the pan, toss in chopped onions, sprinkle some salt, and give it a quick stir.
Add the scallions and some black peppers, cook till the onions turned translucent,
Now we add the marinated chicken cubes.

When the chicken is almost cooked, toss in chopped carrot, broccoli, and mushrooms,
I also added more soy sauce, some oyster sauce, and chili paste at this moment,
You'll have to decide for how salty you want it to be,
But remember don't use too much because the curry sauce we gonna pour over the rice later on will be salty too.
*For me, I used mainly oyster sauce for the seasonings and less soy sauce.

Pour in about 1/2 cup of hot water, bring to a boil,
Give it a quick taste to see if more seasonings are needed.
Add the rice into the mixture, few scoops at the time and mix well with the ingredients,
This little trick prevents uneven rice lumps that couldn't get fully coated with the sauce.

When the fried rice is ready, scoop it out and set aside.

Have a medium pot ready for the curry sauce.
Drizzle some oil in the pot, toss in sliced onions, sprinkle some salt, and cook till translucent.
Pour in some hot water and add some curry cubes.
Mix well. Bring to a boil and turn to low medium heat, 
Taste to see if more curry cubes are needed.
Toss in chopped fried onions and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

For the omelette part,
Drizzle some oil in the pot, wait till it gets very hot, and pour in beated eggs,
About 2.5 to 3 eggs for one portion of fried rice.

Keep stirring the egg, try not to let the center gets fully cooked,
Before that happens, transfer the egg onto the rice.

Pour in some curry sauce, sprinkle with dried seaweed flakes.

That's my omelette rice with curry sauce!
I wish my mom can taste this dish, but the result can be nerve racking..
Either she'll approve with my kitchen skills...or she'll just ban me forever from the kitchen...

Cindy's Rating: 8

Jan 21, 2010

Afternoon Tea Addict - Taiwan, Taipei

While most of the people are having fun drinking during traveling,
I'm sipping my cup of tea with accompanying snacks,
Call me a weirdo, maybe an aged person...
Somehow tea interests me more than alcohol...
(P.S. I do drink liquor occasionally..either with food or...being forced in some ways...)

So I figured I'd better put up a small post with some of the tea places I've went to during my one month trip to Taiwan, Taipei,
Therefore, my afternoon tea journey begins~

Coffee Alley 咖啡弄-

Pretty popular place in east area,
I guess location-wise is one of its biggest advantages,
Besides that, Coffee Alley also serves some snack items such as waffles and brownie,
However, the waffles only taste mediocre.
In addition to that, Coffee Alley can get very crowded during busy hours, especially during weekends.

Locations and store numbers are listed on the bottom of their homepage.

Frog Coffee 蛙咖啡-

Unlike Coffee Alley, Frog Coffee is quite and spacious,
Free wireless service is also provided in the store so you can spend the whole afternoon sipping tea and surfing the web.

Frog Coffee also provides a special "parking area" for bicycles outside the restaurant,
You can hang the bikes on the wooden wall, neato.

Locations and store numbers are listed on the website.

Smith & Hsu-

This is the hardcore place for afternoon tea,
Smith & Hsu has a wide selection of tea ranging from Asian oolong tea to European herbal tea.

Before selecting tea flavors, you even get a sample of nearly all the selections they have,
The purpose is for you to "smell" the tea leaves first before making the final decision-

One special note here,
Their scone is superb! After one bite and you'll know what I'm talking about-

It is so buttery, if pairing up with honey, imported butter, and mint tea,
Man....that's heaven...wait...!...that should be a food paradise!

Locations and store numbers are listed on the website.
Reservation highly recommended since they only have few tables inside the store.

Room for Dessert-

Cute tea pot-

Most of their dessert plates are decorated with cocoa powder,
I think the quality is pretty good for the price they charge, which is about $7 U.S. for a combination of dessert and tea.

Room for Dessert
Number 15, Alley 187, Section 1, Dun Hua South Road, Taipei, Taiwan


An expensive place with growing popularity despite the current economic downturn,
Probably a look into an interesting financial status among the customers dining at Paul.
I guess the rich people are not as hard hitted by the crisis compared to the majority of the residents in Taipei.



Paul sells expensive bread and pastries,
When it first opened in Taipei, the place was famous for its imported bread loaves,
Yes you heard me, imported, all the way from France,
The most expensive loaf can costs up to $18 or more.

Strawberry millefeuille-

So does the taste worth the price?
I seriously think it's overrated,
Some bloggers have been to the stores in France and said the flavor is slightly different compared to the ones in Taiwan,
Can't blame Paul for that...after all, some ingredients, even the weather can be a factor of the taste,
However, their price really is not so wallet-friendly.


After comparing a few tea places, which one is my favorite?
I'll have to give it to Smith & Hsu,
The service was good, the scone was wonderful,
And most importantly, their wide selection of tea plus pairing notes,
Highly recommended.
One drawback though, they limit your tea sipping time to 2 hours,
Well, don't know about you, but 2 hours is good enough for me.

Jan 11, 2010

Mos Burger in Taiwan

Mos Burger is probably my favorite fast food restaurants in the world,
Let's see...at least it'll definitely made into my top three list,
Hm? What are my other two selections?

Potential candidates including:
1. Kentucky Fried Chicken in Taiwan
(Tastes different from the ones in the states, plus they serve Portuguese egg tarts in Taiwan)
2. McDonald's (childhood memories, somehow I'm addicted to their salty fries)
3. T.K.K. Fried Chicken (tastes a wee bit like southern style fried chicken)
4. Lotteria (too bad I can't find one in Taiwan anymore..)
5. Chick-Fil-A
(Love their cows! Always telling people to eat more chicken!)

God! I'm making myself hungry...
Now I'm dreaming myself swimming in fried oily fat...
Anyways, back to Mos Burger,
It's originated from Japan,
Mos stands for mountain, ocean, and sun,
Does that giving you any feeling of what kind of quality fast food they'll serve to you?

Their portion is smaller compared to regular fast food meals,
Moreover, they strive to use better quality ingredients for their burgers, especially their signature item, rice burgers,
That they use rice patties instead of traditional buns for burgers,
More of an "Asian" kick!

I was thinking why I like this place so much,
Maybe because I can still feel healthy eating "fast food," especially eating "burgers."
You can tell that Mos Burger also paid some attention into details,
For instance,
If you ordered fried chicken legs, you'll find that the bones have already been removed,
Only the bottom bone left for you to grab on,
How nice!
Plus they always provide a cozy and clean dining environment for customers,
I guess that's why I love this place so much!

Give it a try if you travel in Asia sometimes!

Cindy's Rating: 7

Mos Burger

Jan 5, 2010

Nibbling in Taiwan, Tainan

I'm still in Taiwan!!
I have to admit that my vacation time is a little bit too long....
4 weeks in Taiwan....especially I'm spending most of the time in Taipei with my parents..
Surrounded by buildings, cars, and people, I need a short break,
A break during my vacation (so greedy..),
So I traveled to Tainan, a small city in the southwest part of Taiwan.

Since this is mainly a food blog, let me show you some of the "small eats," or street food I had during my short stay there.

Fish noodles (卓家汕頭魚麵)-

The noodles itself are made with fish, yes, fish meat!
Basically they remove the bones, heads, and tails from a particular kind of fish,
Then they grind the meat and add some seasonings, possibly flour too,
After that, they spread the mixture on a smooth surface, cut into thin strips,
There it is, fish noodles!

According to my friend, it tastes like dried squid snacks soaked in soups,
I find that description quite accurate,
The noodles itself were kind of chewy, and really taste like dried squid snacks.

Fried fish stomach (from 阿川土魠魚羹)-

Fried fish eggs (from 阿川土魠魚羹)-

The fish stomach is semi-chewy, the texture is similar to fried calamari, but harder,
The fried crumbs on the outside are very delicious,
I'm guessing some kinds of seasonings were added into the flour they used.

The fish eggs are my favorite,
You can feel tiny little eggs moving between your teeth and tongue while eating it,
Kind of fun!

Soup noodles with stewed minced pork + stewed egg + meat ball (from 度小月)-

The aroma from the pork is unbeatable,
Simple but not dull, you get a layered aroma from the soy sauce, the seasonings, and the pork itself, which completed the flavor of this simple soup noodles.

Anping Bean Jelly (aka bean curd) (from Tong Ji 同記安平豆花)-

This is the traditional bean curd with small tapioca and served with sugar water,
The bean curd itself is full of the flavors from yellow beans,
The place only use organic yellow beans, which I love (I'm an organic freak!).

They also carries bean curb made with black beans, or infused with whole milk,
Too bad my stomach was bloated already from all the small eats....otherwise I'll try them all!

Eateries locations:

Fish noodles (卓家汕頭魚麵)
Number 158, Section 1, Min Shen Road, Tainan, Taiwan

Fried fish stomach and fried fish eggs (阿川土魠魚羹)
Number 109, Section 1, Hai An Road, Tainan, Taiwan

Soup noodles with stewed minced pork + stewed egg + meat ball (度小月)
Multiple locations in Tainan and Taipei

Anping Bean Jelly (Tong Ji 同記安平豆花)
Number 433, An Bei Road, Anping Area, Tainan, Taiwan