Saying Goodbye to The Kitchen God

The day after Trump’s inauguration, I was in Tokyo doing some food ‘research’ on route back from my pop up dinner in Niseko. An American friend of mine Elizabeth, who had moved there a couple years back, invited me to join her and some others on a march at Hibiya Park, one of the 676 sister marches planned around the globe in alliance with the Women’s March on Washington. About 650 of us, mostly expats, traversed the city in a respectful, quiet and distinctly Japanese fashion, in a neat double file to the side of traffic on the road.  Later that night, I returned to my Airbnb in Shibuya and watched as Gloria Steinem declared that “God may…

Chinese Breakfast • Jing Theory Chinese Breakfast • Jing Theory From left: salted duck egg, pickled turnip with sesame, pickled green beans and chilies, thousand year old egg in sweet soya sauce Cake made of red dates Pickled onion bulbs Fried peppers with fermented black beans Fresh green dates
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Chinese Breakfast

One of the things I miss the most about home is breakfast.

I’m not talking about just any breakfast you can find in a diner, or even a roadside restaurant in China. This is the stuff you can only find at home, and every Chinese home has its own traditions.

There’s the Cantonese tradition of yum cha- or dim sum, in the North where wheat is abundant, theres steamed, stuffed buns and deep fried dough sticks, in Yunnan its bowls of rice noodles in soup, and in Sichuan there’s dumplings and noodles slathered in chili oil- yes, even at 7 in the morning.

My family always liked variety, some days its lao zao- a fermented glutinous rice wine with rice balls, dates, osthmanthus flower buds, some days its deep fried crullers with freshly made hot soybean milk. Most days its congee with plenty of savoury side dishes to go with it. There’s something about congee that is so immensely satisfying. Its hearty, you can put anything in it from beans to fish to pork, and its…

Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles • Jing Theory
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Sichuan Cold Sesame Noodles

If you recall an earlier post of mine, some of the greatest noodles in the world are also the simplest. Served cold and dressed up with the right combination of chili, sesame and soy sauce, they can be mind meltingly good.

I made a weekend trip to Chengdu last month to visit my grandparents and mother who was in town. My mother loves to eat almost as much as me, and has sharp taste buds that can tell you instantly if a dish is missing a pinch of sugar or a dash of vinegar. Over the years I’ve found that my taste preferences have become more and more akin to hers, with newfound appreciation for things like salted duck eggs and pickled radishes on homemade congee for breakfast. I imagine she gets her tastes from her mother as well.

My mother was born in Chengdu but her parents migrated from Jiangsu province, a small city called Zhenjiang that is famous for fragrant black vinegar. Her own cooking has often been at the crossroads of sweet and mellow Huaiyang cuisine …

Jing | 05.09.11 at 12:25 PM |
Nonya Fried Chicken -  A recipe • Jing Theory
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Nonya Fried Chicken – A Recipe

You may have wondered why, since I moved to Singapore 9 months ago, there hasn’t been a single post on the wealth of food found on this island. On the topic of food in South East Asia, one of the first things that pop into mind is the varied and abundant hawker fare this country is known for.

Singapore is truly a food-obsessed nation. Multi-storey hawker centers with hundreds of small stalls dedicated to street food of every genre are scattered around the city. You could sample the best of SE Asian cuisine with just a handful of change in your pocket. Hawker stalls don’t even begin to graze the surface, there’s chili crab institutions, chicken rice joints, food courts upon food courts in air-conditioned luxury malls, new spanish tapas bars that open every week, heavy hitters from the likes of Boloud, Tetsuya, Batali…

I could go on.

But the reason why I haven’t written about it is simply because I haven’t eaten much that is worth exalting. Sure…

Jing | 29.08.11 at 04:03 AM |

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