My Love Affair with All Things Asian
Huanying and Yokoso
Which means “Welcome” in both Chinese and Japanese
I wanted to start a new blog post to showcase more of my love of all things Asian.
I probably won’t be posting many recipes here, if any, but what I do want to post is anything and everything that I deem beautiful about the Asian cultures. I do have a few Asian blog posts on this website that I will link to this one.
In addition to my believing that everything Asian is beautiful, I am also a huge fan of all the foods.
Eating at Chinese and Japanese restaurants, or even getting Take Out from the local Asian Fast Food scenes is something that we love to do and that we do often.
It is normal to us to run by 3 different Asian Take Out restaurants on our way home for dinner.
We don’t just go to one! Too many good ones out there to pass by.
Sometimes it’s fun eating out of the cute little Asian Take Out containers, and other times I like to get out our Asianware and set the table. Here is one of those times.
The pretty fans I found at my favorite thrift store.
My pretty Asian set here I purchased from a restaurant that was going out of business in San Francisco.
Plums at the Center of Attention
Kimchi is a Korean Cabbage loaded with healthy bacteria.
This was a beautiful and Delicious Dinner.
I hope you’ll join me and stop by in to see what new things I’ve posted.
Zaijian and Sayonara
Blog Posts Will Begin Here……..
April 30, 2021
Chinese Take Out to me is so Beautiful! 🙂
April 30, 2021
We finished an excellent post:
Take a look and cook!
April 29, 2021
Japanese Boy’s Day is May 5th.
Brodie Receiving His Early Boy’s Day Gifts
When we lived in Hawaii one of the islands special days was Japanese Boy’s Day. Hawaii has a very large Japanese population as well as the other Asian cultures that live there as well. Brodie and Veronica always loved the Japanese holidays and we even celebrate them to this day. Here Brodie is receiving his gifts from us.
This beautiful WOK we found at the Asian Supermarket and we knew that Brodie would love to have one to cook all those great meals in his new apartment.
The Year of the Monkey
Brodie was born in the Year of the Monkey. I found these and thought he would like his old rookie chopsticks. I realize they are Chinese, but I thought they went very well here.
The Sumo Wrestler was actually a Boy’s Day gift many years ago that I found and decided to give to Brodie. The black chopsticks I thought he might like for when he cooks his Asian dishes. The Sake Sumo Wrestler cups I also found and thought that Brodie might like. And we threw in a small bottle of Sake. Oh, and a wooden spoon for his new wok.
I Love The Writing on The Side
Everything Tucked Neatly Inside
Happy Boy’s Day Brodie
Mom and Dad
March 3, 2021
Japanese Girl’s Day
Just wanted to post something cute and Asian for the day that honor’s the girl. In Japan they have since combined Girl’s Day and Boy’s Day and they just call it Children’s Day, but Hawaii still keeps the holidays separate. We like them separate.
So, Happy Girl’s Day Veronica.
Chinese Take Out and Mulan
At this writing we are going through kitchen renovations and cooking isn’t the most pleasant thing to be doing.
So, Delicious Chinese Take Out it is!
And the New Mulan Movie
We’re sequestered to our bedroom so eating on trays is a necessity.
But lots of fun too. Oh, and be sure to watch Mulan.
Mirrored Sushi and Sake
We do love a good sushi dinner.
Plums Wrapped in Sticky Rice
Sadly, our grocery shopping needs are in the hands of our Instacart shoppers. Usually a different person every time. And when it comes to anything exotic….well…they do their best.
We had requested some pickled plums so that I could make these, a food memory from Hawaii. My friend Cathy introduced me to them one day. She had made them and brought them to our Girl Scout meeting. Not sure if the girls liked them but they were very good. Cathy, is what is known on the Hawaiian Islands as a Hapa-Haole. Half Japanese and Half Caucasian. It is not a racist term at all. Just in case you were wondering. It’s just how the islanders describe people. They would refer to me as a Haole, meaning white woman.
What you see in the photos are something between a cherry and a plum with LOTS of PITS! I wanted pickled plums. Regardless, they were nice, just way too many pits.
Sushi, Always a Favorite
The Beautiful Picture Says It All
Manapua, and a Candle that just Won’t Light
If you would like the recipe for our Manapua.
Hawaiian Fried Noodles
From our many years of living in Hawaii, Fried Noodles are a staple at every get-together on the island. Whether it be an office party, a child’s birthday party, a luau, a wedding, a beach party….
You will always find them!
I believe that everyone’s does vary with ingredients, but you can always spot the dish and it does go very fast! We recently made yet another batch. Although every time we make them we do it a bit differently.
A Cascade of Noodles
If you would like the recipe we do have it listed here on this post:
Just scroll down the post until you come to it.
The Year of the RAT
Saturday, January 25, 2020
It was right before Chinese New Year that I found out that I am a RAT. I had always thought I was an OX because when we would eat at Chinese Restaurants and they would place that paper place mat in front of you with all the Chinese Zodiac signs and symbols and years, 1961=The OX.
What they don’t tell you on those paper place mats are the exact days of the Lunar New Year and when the year of The Ox actually began in 1961. Hint: February 15th. I was born on February 13, 1961. That makes me a RAT. Not an OX.
At first I was a little bit upset by it. I mean, a RAT? Rat’s aren’t good. Rat’s aren’t honorable. Why am I a rat? However, when I read the profile of a rat it fit me. I am an Aquarius in the “other” Zodiac. And it fits me to a T. However, I always wondered why the OX never fit me? Well, now it makes sense. Because I never was an OX, I was always a RAT.
Gordon, whose birthday is January 8, 1965 always thought that he was a snake because that is what the paper menu said about people born in 1965. However, because of the Lunar Year Gordon is actually a DRAGON! A DRAGON! A fickin’ awesome DRAGON! While I am a RAT. (He got an upgrade. I’m still not sure about me.)
Our Homemade Chinese New Year Dinner
Every Chinese New Year we always hit about 3 different Chinese Restaurants, including the Asian Supermarket, picking up all sorts of goodies for our celebration. However, this year because of the Coronavirus Pandemic I told Gordon to skip the Asian shopping and just come home and we will just make something here. Oh, not to be racist at all! But, the virus did originate from there and I would think that the Asian Restaurants and Supermarkets would be where it was. Not necessarily because of it’s workers, but because of it’s customers. So very sadly, we stayed away.
Gordon ended up making Fried Rice and Potstickers.
Our very meager meal. It was delicious!
But, we do miss the grandeur of the Asian food that we would purchase.
The Traits of the RAT
The RATS are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.
That would be ME! 🙂
The RAT is the first of the Zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor, said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The RAT tricked the OX into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, RAT jumped down and landed ahead of OX.
The RAT is also associated with the Earthly Branch, and the Midnight Hours. In the terms of Yin and Yang, the RAT is Yang and represents a New Day.
In Chinese Culture, RATS were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.
Although I am not going to list all the traits of the RAT. I really was amazed how well the profile fit me. I am a bit upset however, that the RAT did trick the OX into giving him a ride only to then outfox the OX when they arrived at their destination. So, the RAT finished the race first.
Long before I found out I was a RAT I always admired the small people that can outsmart the large people. I would always say that it doesn’t matter how big you are, just how smart you are. And low and behold I end up being this small being in the Chinese Zodiac.
So, do I believe in this stuff? Sure I do! Why? I have no idea! 🙂
P.S. Gordon the frickin’ awesome DRAGON comes in 5th. in the race! Just like I said, It doesn’t matter how big you are, just how smart you are! 🙂 And I will be rubbing that in his face!
Served here with Aloha Shoyu.
We first learned of Potstickers from our 13 years of living in Hawaii. They have been a staple in our house ever since. Buy the bags in the grocery store with all the Asian writing on them and you will get the good stuff. Remember that. 🙂
Here is our favorite way we like to cook them. They are always frozen when we start. Just place as many as you like into a saucepan. But first, place into the pan about 1/4 cup of water and 3 T. of vegetable oil. The potstickers do have a flat side, place that side down into the pan. Have your heat on a medium-high. Place a lid on top of them. The lid doesn’t have to fit perfectly. Here Gordon is placing the lid down into the pan and on top of the potstickers. When the water starts to boil, let it boil for about 8 – 10 minutes. Then, remove the lid to allow the water to steam away, leaving just the oil in the pan. Now you are basically frying them. Continue to fry until the one side turns brown. And then they are done!
You can see the nice caramelization. You can taste it too! 🙂
Eat with your favorite dipping sauce.
Top with some spring onions.
Asian Cocktail Sausages
I believe that we based this recipe on an old recipe of Nigella Lawson’s. I don’t even remember what she called them but they were so delicious! I remember that she used Black Soy Sauce and Clementine’s. We have made this quite a few times but we end up changing it around occasionally depending on what ingredients that we can acquire.
But, they are always Asian in nature.
Here we are using 2 packages of mini Cocktail Sausages, the juice of about 2-3 Naval Oranges, some Sweet Soy Sauce, some Chili Garlic Sauce, and some Sweet Chili Sauce. We don’t even really do measurements. We just place everything into a baggie and let it marinade overnight.
The next day we place them into a dish and bake on 350F for about 20 minutes or so until they are done. They will plump up nicely. Stab with a cocktail pick and enjoy!
Another favorite Asian food of ours that we have yet to make ourselves.
It is on our bucket list though.
This was just my way of incorporating Asia into Thanksgiving.
The pumpkins, my orchids, and my salmon tablecloth.
Hot Tea and Vietnamese Salmon
This was an excellent dinner that Brodie picked up for us at the Vietnamese Restaurant.
It WAS Delicious!