Category Archives: Food

Fooding Overseas – Taiwan Live Fish Restaurant

Shiyuan Taiwanese Live Fish Restaurant

“Waste not, want not” the old saying goes – and the next Fooding adventure definitely does just that.

As you probably know, most people outside of America are not squeamish about the fact that meat was once a live animal. In Asia, they take it to the extreme. There, the ultimate sign of seafood freshness is being able to go to a restaurant and point at living meat (future meal) swimming around in a tank and then 10 minutes later, have that formerly living meat show up at your table cooked in 5 delicious ways, head, skin, and bones still attached – almost every part of the fish utilized in some way. This is the story of my Taiwan Live Fish Fooding adventure.

Click here to see the rest of the post

How To Smoke a Brisket – Texas BBQ Brisket

I like brisket. No, I love brisket. It is THE best form of BBQ. I wanted to chronicle the process and provide a How To guide for BBQ smoked brisket. This smoked BBQ brisket recipe has provided me with consistently tasty and repeatable results. Below, I detailed a step by step process for using your own offset smoker to create a BBQ brisket that will rival that of any local BBQ joint. I’ve also included lots of photos for your reference.

…Click to see the entire recipe.

Bacon Salt Review

Bacon Salt Ingredients and Nutritional Information

When we first heard about Bacon Salt a couple of years ago, Jon immediately bought a couple of bottles for both of us. It held such promise… after all, bacon makes everything taste better!

And for a while, it was amazing! I dashed it on eggs, on mashed potatoes, on chicken, on everything. It really did taste like bacon, if it was a bit on the salty side. Slowly though, as the newness of bacon salt wore off though, reality set in.

Click here to see the rest of the post

Austin Wine Festival 2009

Austin Wine Festival 2009 - Go Texan

Today all of the members of Fooding Blog took a field trip to visit the Austin Wine Festival. Despite the May Texas heat, we managed to have a great time sampling various local wines from the Texas Hill Country and beyond.

You may say to yourself, “Wine in Texas?” Why yes, there is indeed a lot of wine in Texas. According to the Orbitz Insider Index, Austin is the 2nd Fastest Growing Wine Destination in the Nation. Also, the Wine Society of Texas tells us that there are well over 100 wineries here in the Lone Star State.

Click here to see the rest of the post

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

If you ever find yourself in Taipei, wondering to yourself… “What should I do for dinner tonight?”, well I have the answer for you. Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung is a first and foremost a dumpling house, but these are not your typical Sunday morning Chinatown Dim Sum type of dumpling, these are pure ecstasy for the taste buds.

dtf1

Their signature dish is the pork dumpling with soup. I’m certain there is a more elegant name for them, but that was the translation the group of friends that I was with gave to me. These dumplings were exactly as described, a dumpling filled with tasty ground pork and soup. So naturally my first question was, how do they get the soup in there? After some speculation about needles and secret magic, no one knew the answer. Thus, I made my way down to the kitchen area to watch the 20 or so employees frantically making the dumplings(this is a very popular place). I watched them closely as they assembled the dumpling first the wrapper, add a bit of meat, then a glob of something that resembled jelly, only it was brown. Then it hit me, they were using congealed broth! Brilliant. They would place a small amount of the congealed broth, then seal the wrapper. During the steaming process, the broth would melt and become tongue searing hot soup.

Click here to see the rest of the post

No Durians

Can durian fruit really be so bad, that they are banned from the Singapore Metro?

There isn’t even a fine associated with it.

nodurian

Update: Turns out durian does not smell all that great.

Update 2: Cracking one open in your house isn’t such a great idea.

Update 3: I don’t care for durian.

Update 4: Neither of my dogs care for durian.

Update 5: My wife has forever banned durian from the house.

-Jon

Frozen Peach Drink – Frosty Beverage Friday

There are two temperatures in Texas, Hot and Face of the Sun HOT.

If there is one thing that is going to make this Face of the Sun season (known as summer elsewhere) bearable and it comes in the form of the Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker. Yes, the same device that was depicted as the cause of the  economic crisis. Of course, you can use any blender you have available, just make sure to add 1 cup of ice to blender before mixing.

peter_tsai_peach-7

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups frozen peaches
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/2 to 3/4 of Tito’s Vodka

Place all of the ingredients into the blender and mix them until they resemble a chunky smoothie. Use the shave function of the Margaritaville to add about 1 cup of ice. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

I sometimes add water in small amounts if the mix gets stuck. Share with friends.

Cheers!

-Jon

Photographs courtesy of Peter Tsai Photography

Fried Chicken Fast Fooding – Bojangles, a Southern classic

When I found out that I was going to spend a weekend in Charleston, South Carolina a strange craving suddenly manifested itself in my belly. It was a craving that had been dormant for almost ten years, but upon the mere mention of the Carolinas it sprang back to life instantly. It was an urge to eat fried chicken, not just any chicken, but possibly the best fast food fried chicken I have ever had.

That urge, it turns out, was for Bojangles’.

For some strange reason, this awesome fast food chain is only in the South, and only in certain parts of the south… mostly North and South Carolina. I used to eat it growing up in Tennessee and in Atlanta but by the time I was in junior high, all of the Bojangles in Atlanta had disappeared, so we had to drive to North Carolina to get any. Then I moved to Texas where there are no Bojangles at all – so until this past weekend, I had not gotten my Bojangles on in nearly a decade.

First thing I did was leave the airport and head straight for the nearest one. Was it as good as I remembered? Heck Yes! The chicken is moist and flavorful, and the spices used in the batter are amazing. The skin is crispy and delicious. Still the best fast food chicken I’ve ever had.

What makes Bojangles so good then? Apparently they never freeze their chicken and they freshly batter the chicken in store. Also, everything is fresh (they have a no biscuit over 20 minutes old rule). I strongly recommend getting the dark meat (the leg and thigh combo is awesome)… made the mistake of getting the chicken breast on my second trip there last weekend… don’t do it! Nothing beats some fried dark chicken meat.

The sides are amazing too. For sides, no question about it… get the mac and cheese and the dirty rice (which is infused with ground meat, pepper, and chili flakes). A lot of people like their fries too, which I agree are good as well. A lot of people make a big deal about their sweet tea, but I just think it’s OK… a little too sweet for me. Also, the biscuits are probably the best of any of the fast food chicken chains as well!

So, if you are ever in the Deep South and you are hungry for some chicken… by all means – go to Bojangles! You won’t regret it. I Hope you enjoyed this review and if you want to learn more, check out the Bojangles’ website at www.bojangles.com

Happy Fast Fooding!
-Peter

All photos courtesy of Peter Tsai Photography

Fooding on the Road – 10 Pound Lobster at the Barking Crab

Fooding on the Road Adventure – The Barking Crab (Boston, MA)

I went to the Barking Crab in Boston last weekend expecting a tasty lobster meal. What I didn’t expect was seeing a giant 10lb edible sea monster from the deep sitting on the table in front of me. 

This lobster was massive – as large as a toddler and with pinchers that look like they could cut off a finger or 3! Luckily the claws were tied shut so it was safe for the staff to parade this guy around. Incredibly enough, on the day we went there was also an 8lb lobster making the rounds (you can see him in the picture below looking as large as the little kids petting him).

children are amazed at the size of an 8lb lobster at the Barking Crab in Boston, MA

When we asked how much these guys would cost, the owner said that since a 1.25lb lobster usually runs 25 dollars and this guy is 10 pounds, it would probably cost about 200 dollars!  Wow – that’s one way to eat an entire month of groceries in one sitting. It should be noted that this restaurant is somewhat known for it’s large food though, as it was featured on the show Man v. Food on the Travel Channel.

I would definitely give a thumbs up to the lobster (which tastes amazing with purified butter) and the clam chowder (full of bacon-y goodness). For the more adventurous, the steamers (baked clams) are a Boston favorite and they taste great, if a little fishy. Just be sure to ask someone how to clean the steamers before eating or you will get a mouth full of grit.

Overall, the Barking Crab is very solid restaurant with beautiful harbor views and a great outdoor patio. The food is priced reasonably, but this isn’t a cheap meal especially if you are going to have lobster. One of the best deals if you want to eat lobster is to split a clam bake, which includes a lobster, steamers, clam chowder, and cole slaw for about 40-50 dollars. The restaurant has cheaper fried seafood options and burgers as well, so your non crustacean loving or broke friends can come along too.

Also, make sure to try some of the local beers from Harpoon and Samuel Adams to wash down the seafood goodness.

Happy Travels and Happy Fooding!
-Peter

All photos courtesy of Peter Tsai Photography