Posts Tagged ‘taiwanese’

Sunny Happiness (幸福最晴天)

My new drama love…. I even watched episode 1, in its entirety!  I marathoned 21 episodes in a span of 36 hours last weekend, but stalled with 4 episodes to go.  This always happens.  I’m not sure if its a way to put off the inevitable funk and withdrawal that occurs after a drama-crack marathon or to prolong the drama addiction.

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太完美 (Too Perfect)

Super Junior M is back!  This is the Mandarin sub-unit of Korea’s biggest boy band, and sometimes I think I like them better than the entire group of 13.  M has the addition of Taiwanese-Canadian Henry and Chinese Zhou-mi, and CSW is also in it!  I was especially excited to hear that Jay Chou had written a song for their new album.  And I love it – it sounds like classic Jay, almost 10 years ago.

The below isn’t the Jay song, but its the only one with an MV so far.  I didn’t like it at first, but then ended up singing it in the shower…

If you pronounce the title just a bit differently, it could mean “Taiwanese Girl.”  Ha!

Things To Eat in Taiwan

I make lists for everything, so why would wouldn’t I have one for the things I CAN’T WAIT TO EAT in Taipei?!

Some of these things are not easily found here, yes even in NYC, so I am super excited to have:

大腸包小腸 [Little Sausage in Big Sausage]
Taiwanese pork sausage with a bigger “sausage” made out of sticky rice wrapped around it.  It’s the Taiwanese version of the American hot dog!  Found at street markets and I have not been able to find it in the US.  Ever.  Not even in Arcadia, CA. Though I was there only once.

木瓜牛奶 [Papaya Milk]
Before living in Taipei back in 2002, I didn’t like papaya all that much.  Then I discovered this drink – we lived above a bubble tea place – and had to restrict myself to one per day, and then only on the days I went to the gym.  Yes, it’s so good that I used it as a reward for working out.  It’s possible to find the drink here, but it tends to be powdered papaya mix and not the fruit.  Even making it at home isn’t that same.  I’m convinced the milk is different there.  Probably extra full-fat.  =P

蚵仔麵線 [Oyster Vermicelli] or with large intestine, which I prefer
There’s a place called Ximending, which is kind of like the Taiwan Harajuku, and there’s a shop called 阿宗面線 that specializes in this dish, but with the intestines.  It’s not really vermicelli but a type of thin noodle called misua.  It’s SO good with lots of black vinegar and cilantro and chili.

燒仙草 [Hot Grass Jelly]
This is also another dish that has gotten easier to find here but it’s only available in Taipei in the winter.  When hot the jelly is more of a gooey soup, and the vendor/shops will add things into it, as you would for shaved ice.  I would always add mung bean, red (azuki) bean, boba or the sweet potato balls.  YUM.  When I left Taipei, I was desperate to find it in some form, and was able to find a mix.  Now I think Chinatown shops sell it in packets.

燒餅油條 [Fried cruller in this flaky flatbread] with 豆漿 [Soy Milk]
A typical Taiwanese breakfast.  You can dip the cruller sandwich into the hot and slightly sweetened soy milk.  The combination just melts in your mouth, its so good.  We used to eat this at home when we were younger – until my mom probably decided it was too much of a pain to go to Flushing each weekend to get the goods.

Here are some others that can be found here or my mom can make it for me:
皮蛋瘦肉粥 [Century Egg with Pork Rice Porridge]
牛肉麵 [Beef Noodle Soup]
包子 [Buns….any kind!]
豬血糕 [Pork Blood & Rice] – kind of like soondae?

To be edited….with more selections and pictures (hopefully) when I return!

The downside of obsession

Pronunciation: \ə-ˈdik-shən, a-\
Function: noun
: the quality or state of being addicted
2 : compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance or behavior (such as nicotine or asian drama-watching) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly.

Symptoms of Drama Addiction
» disregard for normal activities of daily living, such as eating, web-surfing, showering, and sleep
» difficulty in falling asleep,  because your favorite drama scenes (that you just watched) are running through your mind
» lack of interest and concentration at work (which is just interrupting the drama-watching, you know)

Symptoms of Drama Withdrawal
» disproportionate sadness upon completion of a much-loved drama series
» dissatisfaction with return to normal (and more boring, in contrast) life
» mild to moderate self-loathing for the amount of time spent watching

I finished It Started With a Kiss last night.  30 episodes in 3 days.  I went to bed at 2am , and woke up at 6am, feeling like I didn’t even close my eyes.  You see, this is why I am so hesitant to start watching a drama series sometimes.  A drama will sometimes set off this vicious cycle that lasts for days (sometimes  a week, if real life can’t be avoided), but its hard to predict just which one will spur my interest to this extent.  I always feel bad about myself afterwards, but even knowing this outcome, I haven’t managed to achieve self-control.


But, the ending was hilarious and sweet and satisfying.  Really zany  in the way only the TwDramas can get.  LOVED IT.   Of course, the girl always gets the guy, but the lead up to it was awesome!!  Zhi Shu ♥ Xiang Qin!  ♥♥♥♥


My new obsession: It Started with a Kiss (惡作劇之吻), a 2005 Taiwanese idol drama.

I didn’t think I’d get sucked in so rapidly or so thoroughly.  I managed to cram in 9 episodes on Saturday, and 11 on Sunday.  There are a total of 30 episodes!  Times like this, I almost wish I lived alone so I could spend 15 hours straight watching without feeling bad about myself.  Pooh made me leave the house on Sunday to do grocery shopping and run some errands.

ISWAK was adapted from Japanese manga Itazura Na Kiss, (a Korean version is in the works!).  It was extremely popular and remains one of those “classic” dramas that every TwDrama fan should watch.

You can probably guess the type of storyline this is, per my drama preferences.  Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng are the leads; the drama takes them from high school through college.  He’s a genius, but cold and standoffish (aren’t they always), while she is not-so-smart, but a happy spirit.  Due to an earthquake destroying her house, her father brings them to live with his college classmate, whose son turns out to be Joe Cheng’s character.  Chaos and hilarity ensues, and along the way, he warms up to her (but of course).

Prior to watching ISWAK, I had read that the female character is SO dimwitted and bumbling that she provokes feminist sensibilities. It’s to Ariel Lin’s credit that I’m not as frustrated with her as I thought I would be.    In fact, I’ve barely fast forwarded past any scenes — only the little montages that start/end commercial breaks.   This is the first time I’ve seen something of hers, but I know she’s considered a very good actress in Taiwan.  She’ll be doing the Taiwanese version of Coffee Prince, which I will definitely be adding to my “to watch” list!  Joe Cheng is very, very good as well and the chemistry between the leads has me eagerly watching for the too-far-and-few-inbetween cutesy moments.  I’m amazed I’ve watched 20 episodes without the usual drama fatigue.

The awesome part of this obsession??  There’s a ISWAK 2!  Called They Kiss Again, I’m sure I’ll be marathoning through that one as well after I finish the first!

Key Ingredient: Green Onions

I haven’t cooked a proper meal in ages!  I was tempted to reach for my trusty ramen (Neoguri or Jjapagetti), but had already eaten a packaged noodle lunch product today and thought I’d better try to eat something that wasn’t so processed and msg-laden.

What I had to work with:
– 1 package of firm tofu
– eggs
– bunch of green onions
– can of corn
– various Asian and American spices and condiments
– rice, of course.

What I ended up with:

Fried Tofu Side Dish (DooBoo JoRim)
The recipe is from Aeri’s Kitchen, my new go-to site for Korean recipes.  This turned out really well despite my not having onions or carrots as the recipe called for.  I actually followed the sauce recipe pretty closely (the parts that matter :))!  Oh, the smell of soy sauce + sugar + sesame oil + garlic + green onions made me drool.  MMM.

Corn with Oyster Sauce
Gotta have a vegetable in there somewhere, so this was it.  Heat a can of corn in a pan, add green onions and a few shakes of the oyster sauce, and ta-da, you’ve got a vegetable dish!

Lazy Verison of “Steamed” Egg (Gyeran Jjim)
That’s actually a small frying pan.  I debated trying the microwave method or putting a bowl in a pot to steam, but laziness won out.  I did sautee the green onions a little first, with a dash of soy sauce.  This was 3 eggs with maybe 1:1 ratio of water.  I poured the mixture over the green onions, stirred to mix and then covered the pan with a heat-safe plate.  10 minutes later on very low heat, the eggs had firmed up.  I might lower the heat as low as it can go next time, the eggs were quite dark on the bottom.

Dinner is served!


Congee, or rice porridge [zhou/粥] is what a person eats when she is sick.  Well, according to all the Korean dramas that I watch, in which case I guess this would be jook/죽.  Ha.

Not an appetizing picture, but tastes just fine:
Veggie broth, 1/2 cup cooked rice, frozen peas and one egg mixed in.

I grew up eating congee for breakfast along with side dishes such as pickled cucumbers, fried gluten, salted duck eggs, bamboo in hot oil, nori paste, and other odd-sounding but yummy foods.

Then, I went to Taiwan, and discovered mixed congee, where the dish is flavored while it is cooking.  My favorite is 皮蛋瘦肉粥 (literal translation:  thousand-year-old egg & lean pork congee).  Good for hangovers!  Never seen a thousand-year-old egg?  Here’s a picture: