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Sardines and Beans


Bean salads tend to be a weekly affair, and here is another one of my regulars: sardines and black-eyed peas salad. The recipe is here. The addition of celery adds crunch. The capers add tang. I have also previously substituted the sardines with tuna, anchovies, and canned herring, depending on what’s available in the pantry.

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August 16, 2015   No Comments

My Chinese-Indian Southern Belle’s Guide to Durham


Allison at her puja ceremony before her wedding. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett of JLBWedding)

Last Sunday was my sister Allison’s birthday, aka Restaurant Baby #3. Happy belated birthday, my southern belle!

I call Allison a southern belle because if there is a place that best embodies her, it is probably the South. Though born and raised in the Midwest, Allison knows and shows southern hospitality like it’s in her blood. Allison has a sweet-as-pie demeanor. She shows generosity to all whom she meets. She pulls off colorful floral prints very well. And she loves to cook and host, excelling at both… Sorry fellows, she’s married to her high school sweetheart.

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August 5, 2015   3 Comments

Food in the News: Food Waste, Channing Tatum, the Case Against “Ethnic Food”, and more…

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Did you know that pigs can beat three-year-old humans at video games? Or that despite their reputation as lethargic creatures, domestic pigs have an average 11mph running speed?

Did you know that up to 40 percent of the food produced in the US never gets eaten?

Reading can make a fool like me sound smart, no? This weekend I started reading Pig Tales by Barry Estabrook. So far it’s entertaining me with fun pig facts, but beyond that, it’s also nudging me to reflect on my own behavior as a bacon consumer.

Food has been in the news, and I wanted to share a few articles that have come to my attention recently. I figure if you visit Restaurant Baby, you probably enjoy reading about food. And who wouldn’t? From the few articles below it’s clear–food is personal, and political, and our relationship with it speaks volumes about who we are as individuals and a society.

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July 27, 2015   No Comments

An ABC discovers PB+B


PB&B using dried bananas, a slightly new twist on an old school lunch.

I have not seen ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, but I have heard from fellow ABCs–American Born Chinese–that they find familiarity in Eddie Huang’s childhood experiences. One scene shows Eddie navigating his school lunchroom. The cool kids invite Eddie to sit with them, but when he twists open his tupperware container revealing some kind of Asian noodles, the kids plug their noses and shriek, “What is that?”

Ah, the elementary school cafeteria–a place where poignant lessons are learned. Perhaps for many ABCs of my generation, it was a place where we learned that we are different, or at least that others will insist on our differences. We also learned that we cannot share or trade our favorite foods with our friends because cha siu bao looks bloody, and everything else we like is stinky.

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July 21, 2015   No Comments

Blueberry + Buttermilk Muffins

blueberry muffin

Blueberries were on sale for 99 cents a pint at my local grocery store. Next thing I know, I had hoarded more blueberries than I could eat. Meanwhile, I had some leftover week-old buttermilk in the fridge. Blueberry buttermilk muffins it is!

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July 15, 2015   No Comments

I’m so unfancy: Dining Solo on Beans n’ Carbs

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My meals are not fancy. I am not a professional cook. Most things I make are quick and easy. For those reasons, it has crossed my mind that I should not be food blogging. What are my credentials?

But then, most of the food bloggers I follow and enjoy lack a professional culinary background. And many of the recipes I use and enjoy are the easy ones, like this broccoli recipe from Helen Rennie at Beyond Salmon. I have also been a long-time follower of Mitch In the Kitchen. She eats what I like to eat, and I admire her bare bones, straight-to-the-point website. Last but not least, I enjoyed Andrea Nguyen’s post about the anatomy of her weekday lunches. Though she is a professional cooking instructor and food author, her typical lunch at home takes less than 10-minutes.

Bean salads are my go-to lunch. Budget-friendly, filling, nutritious and tasty–what is there not to love? There are also so many kinds of legumes, making it easy to keep things interesting.

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July 13, 2015   No Comments

Emily’s Kimchi Fried Rice Can Feed A Village

Photo credit: Steven Allen Suh

Photo courtesy of Steven Allen Suh

It’s wedding season! Last month, I had the privilege of witnessing my friend Emily wed her partner-in-crime Michael.

My friendship with Emily formed over food. Emily is a talented cook, and a generous soul. Her culinary ventures are documented on her blog Are Yu Hungry.

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July 7, 2015   No Comments

‘Messy’ is subjective: Eating with bones & shells


I made this Chinese Trinidadian stir-fry shrimp over the weekend. The recipe instructs you to cook the shrimp Chinese-style– leaving the shells on. (The Trinidadian part of the recipe instructs you to use lime juice to wash the shrimp before cooking, which apparently removes the ‘fishy’ taste.) If eating with bones on your fish, or shells on your shrimp would be anxiety-inducing, then I won’t push it on you–eating shouldn’t make you anxious.

However, I grew up in a family that served fish whole, and shrimps still in their shells. Doing so helps to preserve flavor during the cooking process. [Read more →]

June 17, 2015   2 Comments