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Archive for January, 2017

Red-Cooked Pork Belly

This weekend is the Lunar New Year! From the year of the monkey (a good bit of monkey business certainly did happen last year), we’re moving on to the year of the rooster.

In our family, the new year is the perfect excuse for a feast. Ever since the majority of the cooking responsibilities have been passed on to me, I’m always looking for fun new dishes to try in addition to our traditional standbys.

Since our users have shared so many recipes on Fridgg in the last few years, I thought it would be fun to see what our top Lunar/Chinese New Year posts are.

Every new year needs a countdown, right?


Our Lunar New Year feast often includes fish, and this steamed version with black bean sauce that Maggie from Omnivore’s Cookbook posted sounds so easy to make.


Our next post, also from Maggie (because Maggie is awesome and posts alllll the tasty Chinese recipes) is dumplings. Because really, who doesn’t like dumplings?


While fortune cookies might not be the most traditional New Year’s food, these homemade ones from What Charlotte Baked would make a fun addition to your New Year’s table, especially with some fun, personalized fortunes!


Also not-so-traditional, but these cheesy shrimp baked spring rolls would make a tasty appetizer!


Seriously, I wasn’t kidding when I said Maggie has all the Chinese recipes. Our sixth most popular post is another one from her – Chinese Walnut Cookies!


If you’re feeling ambitious, these duck pancakes – yep, another recipe from Maggie – would make an AMAZING addition to your New Year’s table.


Jen, from Use Real Butter, is another of our more prolific posters, who shares quite a few Asian recipes as well. These spicy Sichuan pork wontons would be an excellent addition to your New Year’s table.


If you’re looking for something simpler, this egg drop soup from Maggie is super easy to make, and uses ingredients you probably already have at home.


Our second most popular Lunar New Year post on Fridgg is one of my favorite things to make and eat for the Lunar New Year – egg tarts!


Drumroll please… our number one, very most popular Lunar New Year post on Fridgg is… red-cooked pork belly, from Cheryl of Black Girl Chef’s Whites!

Now, I can’t very well tell you that the pork belly is our best Lunar New Year recipe without trying it out myself, now could I?

(I mean, I could, but then I wouldn’t have had the perfect excuse to make it at home!)

Red-cooked pork belly

Despite possibly not actually getting pork belly…

(The Korean supermarket labeled the package “pork belly” but I don’t know… does that look right to you?)

Red-cooked pork belly

… and spending ten minutes staring at all the different soy sauces before giving up and just deciding to use the Kikkoman shoyu I have at home (which miiiight be why my pork belly isn’t exactly red?)…

Red-cooked pork belly

… and not realizing until I re-read the recipe several days later that, “Oh shoot! I totally forgot the cinnamon!”…

Red-cooked pork belly

… it turned out amazingly! So good. Falling apart, succulent, perfect over a bowl of white rice. (And, if I do say so myself, those yellow takuan pickles were a genius addition, they were wonderful with the pork belly.)

So good, I have pork belly on my shopping list just so I can make it again soon!

So good… you should definitely include this on your Lunar New Year menu!

Red-Cooked Pork Belly

Recipe from Black Girl Chef’s Whites.


  • 3 qt water
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 lbs pork belly

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients except for the pork belly.
  2. Bring the cooking sauce to a boil, and let cook for about five minutes.
  3. Add the pork belly, cover, and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Cook the pork belly for two to two and a half hours, until very tender.
  5. Remove the pork belly from the liquid, and slice to serve.
  6. Serve over white rice.
  7. Enjoy!

Eiffel Tower, Paris {May, 2014}

After landing in Paris, we were too tired to deal with figuring out a new transportation system, so we took a taxi to our hotel – Hotel Relais Bosquet, in the 7th Arrondissement.

Having traveled to Vietnam before, it was striking – but not very surprising – just how much Paris felt like we were in downtown Saigon.

The French rule of Vietnam from the late 1800s up until the 1950s definitely had a huge impact on the architecture and layout of the streets in Saigon, but you don’t necessarily realize how weirdly similar they are until you’ve had a chance to visit both countries.

After checking into the hotel, smooshing ourselves and our luggage into the tiny hotel elevator, and checking out our tiny hotel room, we made our way back down the narrow stairs and headed out to wander.

It wasn’t long before we found the Eiffel Tower – after all, our hotel was only a block away from the park.

We made our way through the park, across the street, and beneath the huge structure.

… and decided that we absolutely, positively were not going to waste time in the crazy lines to go up into the Eiffel Tower.

Besides, after an uninspiring lunch and nothing else to eat all day, I was starving.

We sat a little in a nearby park, got some cool views of the Eiffel Tower through the trees, and tried to find somewhere to eat.

You’d think that’d be easy in Paris, BUT NOPE. Maybe it was the hunger clouding our brains, but we found it impossible to find anything online telling us somewhere nearby where we could find food.

Preferably something that wasn’t an insanely expensive tourist trap.

So off we went walking again, in hopes of finding easy food somewhere.

We found a food faire by the Seine, but unfortunately only sweets were to be found.

After a bit more wandering…

We found food!

Unfortunately, I think we found the crappiest crêpe in all of Paris. And the rudest shopowners.

Whatever. It was food, and it was enough that we could get on with enjoying Paris.

(But my gosh, seriously the worst crêpe I’ve ever had. And sadly, the only crêpe we had in our entire Paris trip!)

After eating, we took a walk down the Seine, to see what sights we could see.

It wasn’t long before we turned around, and headed back to our side of the river.

We were tempted to try this Vietnamese restaurant, but 1. it was pricey, 2. we were afraid we’d be sorely disappointed, and 3. we’re supposed to be in Paris for French food!

Once we got back to the 7th Arrondissement, it was time to search for dinner – and finally, some real (and delicious!) French food!

You’ll get to see all the delicious things we ate… next post!

Weekly Wanderings {2017 week 3}

My wanderings around my world this third week of 2017 started with…

Remembering my dad on the one-year anniversary of his passing.

Apple fritter

We got new bowls. They’re perfect for bibimbaps!


Buy a bunch of sashimi (and inari, obvs), and take it home to eat. Better (and cheaper!) than going to a sushi restaurant.


What’s cookin’?

… you’ll see this week!

Cooking liquid

Wingin’ it.


Every year, for as long as we’ve lived together, we stay up late on January nights and watch the Australian Open.

Yes, that is a drawer overstuffed with fluffy socks.


Son: *glances at my computer screen* “Oh, that looks familiar!”
Me: “From when you did your master’s?”
Son: “No, more recent. I think it was in one of the robotics courses I took online.”
Me, excited: “Oh! …they use softmax?”
Son: “No… I think it’s that big ‘E’ and everything…”
Me: “So… math. You’re saying it looks familiar because it’s math.” *laugh-crying*

Neural Networks

Fish and fries were meh. Lobster roll was, sadly, meh. But that clam chowder… was so good we bought two more bowls of it to go.

But the best part of lunch was getting to see all the people with signs and pink hats getting off the Metro Rail all the way down in Long Beach, after the LA Women’s March.

Lunch at Pier 77

Somebody had their eye on my food.


Fly away!

Fly away!


Where are you wandering this week?


Wagamama, London {May, 2014}

Our last morning in London began with a very friendly, talkative man who drove us back to Heathrow Airport. He was from Holland. It’s too bad we didn’t meet him earlier in the trip, because he was an excellent tour guide!

Once we checked in and found our gate, it was time to find something for lunch.

After wandering a bit, we decided to try Wagamama.

Son got their duck ramen, and I picked at their teriyaki chicken bento. (I wasn’t feeling too hot, so I didn’t want to try anything too wild.)

I know a lot of people seem to really like Wagamama, and I know I usually try to post about places I think you should go try out… but to be honest, we were kind of meh about it.

Maybe it’s because we’re Asian, or because we can get excellent Asian food anytime we want, living in Southern California. But whatever the reason, we found it to be bland and disappointing.

Regardless, it wasn’t long before we were off to Paris – the land of excellent food!

Egg Tarts

What is your one food that, if you see it on a menu, you’re definitely gonna order it? For me, it’s anything with bacon, potatoes… or bánh bèo. For Son – bún bò Huế, squid ink pasta, and… egg tarts!

We’ve gotten them at plenty of bakeries here, as well as on our trip to Hong Kong last year (which is coming soon to the blog!), but our favorites were the ones we got at Borough Market in London.

Unsurprisingly, after that trip Son decided that it would be awesome if I could make egg tarts at home. So the next year, for his family’s Lunar New Year celebration, I tried out this ridiculously easy recipe.

I like ridiculously easy recipes. I like them even better when they’re also ridiculously delicious. And this recipe is definitely both. Son LOVED them, and I got rave reviews from everyone who got to try them.

But silly me, I forgot to write down the exact measurements and method I used back when I first made them in 2015… so before posting this recipe, I knew I had to make them again. Just to be sure.

Oh darn what a sacrifice.


Egg Tarts

Recipe from Guai Shu Shu.


  • 1 package (around 450g) frozen store-bought puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/3 cup (75g) fresh milk
  • 1/4 cup (45g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150g) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tbsp (15g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp (8g) cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Grease tart pans or muffin tins with vegetable oil or butter.
  3. Unroll the thawed puff pastry, and cut out rounds the size of your tins. Gently press the puff pastry into your tins, lightly stretching to fit if needed so it lines the entire tin. If you’d like, you can use this method to roll up the scraps and use them to make a few additional egg tarts.
  4. Mix the milk and sugar in a small bowl, and microwave until boiling (1-2 minutes on HIGH). Alternately, you can heat in a small pan on the stovetop, just until boiling.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, cornstarch, and egg yolks. Slowly pour the hot milk into the mixture, a little at a time, and whisk until incorporated.
  6. Pour the custard into the puff pastry shells. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and slightly browned around the edges. Let cool, top with powdered sugar if desired, and enjoy!