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January 17, 2011 / icekale

Nikon D7000 Review of DSLR

January 17, 2011 / icekale

Nikon D7000 Review of DSLR

January 17, 2011 / icekale

January 17, 2011 / icekale



August 12, 2010 / icekale

Top Chinese Food Stories

Chinese food products made news for all the wrong reasons in 2007 and 2008. However, throughout the years, Chinese cuisine has grabbed a few more upbeat headlines. Here are some of my favorite fun Chinese food culture stories.

1. Wok Sledding

Wok Racing Picture - Photo of Wok Racing at Wok World Cup, Innsbruck, AustriaPhotographer Jan Pitman, Getty Images Entertainment

Thought a wok was only for cooking? It turns out a round-bottomed Chinese wok is perfect for speeding down icy slopes. The brainchild of German talk show host Stefan Raab, wok sledding (also called wok racing) takes place on a standard Olympic bobsled track. Competitors can compete in one-man and four-man events.
Wok sledders take their sport seriously; competitors in the 2008 World Wok Racing championships battled it out on the Altenberg bobsleigh run, considered to be one of Europe’s most challenging runs.
By the way, fans of the film Cool Runnings will be happy to know that Jamaica has a wok racing team!

2. The Great Powerball Controversy

Lottery officials were scratching their heads when 110 people picked 5 of the 6 winning numbers in the March 30, 2005 Powerball lottery drawing. Even stranger, all had the identical incorrect sixth number (source: Statistically, the odds against this happening were astronomical. What made matters worse for Powerball administrators is that the second place prize was not simply divided amongst all the winners. Instead, each person holding a winning ticket received a fixed amount. While 89 people received $100,000, another 21 who used the Powerplay multiplier option received $500,000.
Lottery officials suspected fraud, but it turned out that all 110 winners played numbers contained in fortune cookies made by Wonton Food.

3. Chopsticks or Eyeglasses?

In 2004, a German company that sells prescription eyeglasses came up with a new invention for clients who don’t have time to sit down for their favorite dish of sushi or fried rice. They created eyeglasses with detachable frames that can double as chopsticks. Dubbed "sushi specs," the glasses immediately became a big hit in Japan. (They can also be purchased through opticians in Europe and the United States). However, the eyeglasses do have one drawback: they are unwearable while the detachable arms are being used as chopsticks.
While the chopsticks were invented in 2004, they didn’t really begin taking off until 2006, after China imposed a 5 percent tax on disposable wooden chopsticks to help combat rising deforestation.

4. Fried Pork in Space

Space food has come a long way since the 1960’s, when astronauts were squeezing "essence of asparagus" out of tubes. When China launched its first human astronaut, Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei, into space in 2003, they made sure he had plenty of Chinese food to feast upon, including diced chicken and rice loaded with dates and nuts (Source: When China’s second manned space mission took off in 2005, the menu for astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng included everything from pineapple-filled mooncakes to beef balls and beef with orange peel (source: China Daily).
Working with a Shanghai food company, China’s space training agency has now developed more than 60 space dishes for astronauts.

5. Chinese Cooking Robot

It steams, stir-fries and reportedly can create thousands of Chinese dishes. Named AIC, short for Artificial Intelligent Cooking, the robot made its debut at the 2006 China High Tech Fair in Shenzhen, where it produced a delicious version of Kung Pao Chicken for visitors in just two minutes (Source: China View). The robot’s inventor, Liu Xinyu, hopes to see it go into mass production sometime in the near future, for use in both households and Chinese restaurants.

6. Who Invented the Fortune Cookie?

Fortune CookiesRhonda Parkinson

Despite their association with Chinese restaurants, fortune cookies are almost unknown in China. The crescent-shaped cookie is actually a California creation. For decades, both Los Angeles and San Francisco have claimed to be the birthplace of the fortune cookie. The San Francisco Court of Historical Review even held a mock trial in 1983 to settle the issue, ruling in favor of Makoto Hagiwara, founder of the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park.

August 11, 2010 / icekale

Satay Peanut Sauce Recipe

Satay Peanut Sauce


Many readers sent me emails requesting for Peanut Sauce recipe to go with my chicken satay, a recipe that I shared not too long ago. I apologize it look me this long to post the recipe for satay peanut sauce; it’s just one of those things that I procrastinate.

Last weekend, I was devising and perfecting my Malaysian satay recipe for the Southeast Asian cooking class that Jaden of Steamy Kitchen and I will be co-teaching, so it sort of forced me to make the peanut sauce and documented my recipe, finally…


Malaysian Satay with Peanut Sauce

The cooking class will be held tomorrow and I am so looking forward to it. This will be my first venture into cooking instruction and I hope that it will turn into something meaningful in the near future (read: my own cooking class!). I have made many friends from food blogosphere, but Jaden is a real gem. We share a lot and constantly exchange ideas and share our dreams; she has helped and supported me so much and “hooked me up” with many great opportunities. I can’t thank her enough, she is a star, really!

I will post my recipe after the cooking class tomorrow…for now, you can feast your eyes with my Malaysian Satay with Peanut Sauce gallery above.

August 10, 2010 / icekale

Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)

Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)

Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles) pictures (1 of 3)

I have been so busy recently I can hardly find any time to have a breather. If you’ve been following my blog and Twitter, you will know that working on my cookbook has pretty much consumed all my time. As a result, I have been eating out more, and cook only when time permits.

In the past, I would always attempt to make my Asian dishes from scratch. If that means tedious work and hours of making my own spice paste, I would do it. But I can no longer afford the time. As a result, instant spice paste and seasonings have become my easy and go-to ingredients nowadays. I absolutely love them, especially the World Foods line of instant paste, condiments, and sauces, which I bought from my neighborhood Whole Foods market. (World Foods products are made in Malaysia and Thailand.)  As an Asian food enthusiast, I can’t live without my rice, noodles, and I am just so glad that I can still enjoy authentic and scrumptious Asian dishes in practically 15 minutes, with these instant paste products…

For my lunch today, I made Mie Goreng, or Indonesian fried noodles, using World Foods Indonesian Fried Rice Paste.  It was delicious and so easy to make. Most importantly, it satisfies every ounce of my craving for this noodle dish, and totally reminded me of my holidays in Bali when every lunch, the hotel butler would bring a serving of this flavorful noodles to me!

Here is my mie goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles) recipe. Please take note that this is a very simple version of this iconic Indonesian dish. It fits my busy schedules and doesn’t compromise on the taste. You can also use the same paste to make nasi goreng, or fried rice.