Doro Wat (Ethiopian Spicy Chicken Stew)

Thanks to all of you and your voting prowess, we made it past round #1 of Project Food Blog! Yay! This is my entry for challenge #2: attempt a classic dish from an unfamiliar culture.

We had a tutor when we were growing up in Hong Kong. She used to come to our house on weeknights, maybe 3 times or so in a week, to help us with our homework. My sister and I referred to her as 姐姐, calling her “big sister” in Cantonese because in many ways, that’s who she was. She was in her 20s, studying at the university, and sure, she helped us with our homework, but she also played games with us and took us out on fun outings.

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A Case of Culinary Wanderlust

This is my entry for challenge #1 of Project Food Blog: describe who I am as a food blogger.

Maybe a good place to start is my cookbook shelf.

After all, wouldn’t you agree that a person’s cookbook collection speaks volumes(!) about who they are in the kitchen?

And it’s only fair, really. Because if you ever invite me to your home, I guarantee that you will lose me somewhere along the house tour, doubling back only to find me nosing around your own shelf of cookbooks. Not only will I be drooling (not literally!) over the books you have that I don’t, I’ll also be finding out things I’m dying to know about you. Are you addicted to a certain cuisine? Do you have a favorite celebrity chef? Are you a sous-vide fanatic? I love noting how one person’s copy of the Zuni Cafe cookbook is stained and tattered while at someone else’s house, it’s the Momofuku that’s been most heavily used. That is, unless you’re my sister in which case all books, in heavy rotation or not, are in mint condition because that’s just how she rolls.

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Vegetable Tagine (Moroccan Vegetable Stew)

My parents being accountants, my sister being a graphic designer, and myself being a scientist, you can imagine that finding things to talk about at the dinner table would be a tricky affair. After all, my parents want to hear about my newest findings in lab about as much as my sister and I want to hear about the latest tax law revisions in the state of Texas. I have seen my dad’s eyes literally glazing over when I started in on “signaling pathways” and “chemotaxis” (don’t worry if your eyes glazed over just now – no offense taken) and I can assure you that terms like “1099” and “itemized deductions” make me tune into myself faster than any type of meditative breathing.

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Black Pepper Noodles with Tofu and Green Onions

Do you have any culinary pet peeves?

I’m not talking about normal pet peeves, of course, since I’m sure everybody has those. In fact, I find that I am accumulating more and more of them as I get older. For example, pronunciations of words beginning with ‘wh-‘ as ‘hwh-‘ annoy me to no end, perhaps because it reminds me too much of my old high school English teacher, she who also emitted a certain, shall we say, “fragrance” reminiscent of mothballs.

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rice and wheat is moving…

Yes, it is finally happening… We’re moving to a shiny new (internet) home!

Mad props to my friend and fellow food-blogger Ben, who can be quite convincing when he wants to be. After he moved his own site, he’s been rooting for me to move rice and wheat, naming off one good reason after another. How can I resist??

So we are officially moving to a shiny new home over at!

There will probably be some wonkiness while the new site and the redirects get set up, so please bear with me.

“Laghman” (Handmade Noodles with Lamb and Tomatoes)

Well, there’s really no easy way to put this. So I might as well just come right out and say it.

I don’t know how to cook Chinese food.

Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous coming from a Hong Kong native who ate pretty much nothing else but Chinese food for her entire childhood. Naturally, you would think that Chinese cooking would come as second nature to me. But alas, nothing could be further from the truth. (Chinese eating, however, is another matter altogether and on that front, I believe I do my culture proud.)

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Chicken Rendang (Indonesian Dry Chicken Curry)

Around this time last year, on those days when wedding planning became just a little too overwhelming, Nathan and I would throw aside our spreadsheets and daydream about our honeymoon instead. Narrowing down our options to a shortlist of destinations turned out to be surprisingly easy since it just so happened that at the top of both of our respective “Places to Travel Next” lists were Spain and southeast Asia. Clearly, we are meant for each other, no? ^_^

Deciding between the two places, however, proved much more difficult.

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Khao Soi (Egg Noodles with Red Curry)

Khao soi.

Until recently, we thought it was something our friend Reid had made up as a cruel joke on us. He had been to Thailand years ago, you see, and he insisted that he had eaten this really amazing noodle dish there. And the dish did sound amazing – a tangle of egg noodles swimming in creamy red coconut curry with juicy pieces of chicken and garnished with fresh lime wedges, a handful of chopped shallots, and plenty of cilantro. It sounded so amazing that Nathan and I immediately made a pact to find it as soon as humanly possible.

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A Not-Very-Traditional Vegetable Biryani

Spring is appearing in SF in sneaky little bursts this year – a few days of gorgeous sunshine (Yay! How we’ve missed being outside!) followed by days of chilly rain (Wait, staying home is not so bad either!). But as far as I’m concerned, spring is already here and winter is just being a little lazy and clingy and not willing to let it go until next year. And let’s face it, we’ve all felt lazy and clingy at one time or another, so let’s give Mr. Winter a little break, shall we?

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Nasu Dengaku (Broiled Miso-Glazed Eggplant)

Did you see some broiled, miso-glazed eggplants hiding out amongst the pork belly stew last time? If you did, my dear hawk-eyed reader, then perhaps you also thought to yourself, “Forget the pork belly! Tell me how to make those eggplants!” For surely, this little scene did not only happen in my head.

Well, here, at long last, is that eggplant recipe!

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