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

How NOT to Open a Bottle of Wine

Every spring, I look forward to the new batch of rosés. The gang and I like to try different ones early in the season and then pick our favorites, which will become our wines for the summer. After a highly successful shopping expedition, we happily discussed which snack options would go best with our wine. The first wine we decided try was the 2008 Chateau Valcombe Cote du Ventoux Rosé, so we a bottle of it out to chill.


A short while later, we had assembled an array of snacks on the table out on my brother’s shaded deck. It was a beautiful afternoon in Austin: the sun shining, a slight breeze blowing. The tinny music floating outside from the old kitchen radio was perfectly complimented by the cacophony of birdie happy hour which had commenced at the feeder in the backyard.

Click here to see the rest of the post

Brazilian Caipirinhas – Frosty Drink Friday How To

Add a couple of lime wedges and you are done.

When I went to Brazil in 2004, I quickly learned about the country’s national drink, the Caipirinha. At every bar and restaurant around town they were serving up the good stuff. Why do Brazilians like Caipirinhas so much? Not only does this drink taste really good, it’s also deceptively strong. The magical ingredients of sugar and lime go a long way to mask the strong taste of the Brazilian Cachaça rum too. Also, this drink served on the rocks is a refreshing way to cool off from the Brazilian heat.

Now that Brazilian Churascarias like Fogo de Chao have become popular in the States and are serving up Caipirinhas in a restaurant near you, I thought I would share this recipe, especially during the economic downturn. Why pay $8 for this delicious drink at Fogo de Chao when you can make all the drinks you want for roughly the cost of only 3 of these tasty drinks at a high dollar restaurant?

Click here to see the rest of the recipe

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.


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.


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.


How to Make Simple Syrup (with pictures)

One of the most common components in mixed drink is simple syrup, which as the name suggests, is very simple to make. Simple syrup is just a mixture of water and sugar, but the secret ingredient is a little bit of heat.

Because sugar and water don’t mix completely in cold drinks, it’s important to heat the water when mixing in the sugar to ensure that the sugar dissolves completely. Using simple syrup instead of mixing in the sugar into every drink also saves a lot of time and energy if you are going to mix up a lot of drinks.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • a stirring device

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Add water to a pot and heat on high until it boils, reduce heat to medium.
  2. Add the sugar to water and stir.
  3. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the water becomes yellowish and clear.
  4. Remove the simple syrup mixture from the heat to cool.
  5. You can now mix your drink or bottle the simple syrup for later.

Check out the picture gallery below for a visual.

Happy Fooding!

All photos courtesy of Peter Tsai Photography

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.



  • 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.



Photographs courtesy of Peter Tsai Photography