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Category Archives: Asian

Sweet mung bean soup

One of my favorite summer meals is a simple, refreshing bowl of chilled soup — gazpacho, cucumber-avocado,¬†curried carrot and other veggie-based soups are lovely ways to enjoy the season’s bounty. When my sister and I were growing up, our mom would serve us sweet, cold mung bean soup in the summertime. We were fond of [...]

Cool as a cucumber

Sometimes I enjoy cold food in even colder weather. I’d rather have a glass of ice water after coming in from the cold than a mug of hot cocoa. Then again, I’ve been known to describe sub-zero weather merely as “brisk”. Last week I made a refreshing Asian-style cucumber salad. It’s similar to what you [...]

Hot pot – our Christmas dinner

As a child of Taiwanese immigrants, I was sometimes embarrassed by the ethnic dishes my mom served for Christmas dinner. I wanted the beautiful browned turkey and the honey-lacquered ham; what we got was roasted duck from Chinatown. (And you can stop it with the fa-ra-ra-ra-ra jokes already.) Now, a couple of decades later, I [...]


It’s time for another trip to the northwest suburbs — I’ve run out of shokupan. Even with all the hearty artisanal breads available in the city, I often crave this incredibly soft, fluffy white Japanese bread that probably has absolutely no nutritional value. But who wants to eat loaves of handcrafted organic 37-grain health bombs [...]

My electric water boiler – an appliance I can’t live without

Practically every Asian family I know owns an electric water boiler, and for good reason — they boil up to five liters of water significantly faster than a pot on a stovetop, excellent for brewing large quantities of tea. I always feel warm and happy when I’m at my parents’ house hearing the pleasant whir [...]