Braised Pork in Coconut Water

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Dear reader, one more week before Chinese New Year comes, blasting the streets with upbeat festive music and dragon dance drums. Have you decided on the reunion dinner menu? Where will it be this year? Have you gone to the bank to exchange new notes for ang-baos? Is the house ready to welcome the year of the rooster? Continue reading

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On Me-Time and the Simple Pleasure of Moving Slowly

Dear reader, how has your weekend been? Did you finally get round to shopping for Christmas after sleeping in until 12 noon? Did you manage to try out that Instagram-worthy brunch place people have been raving about? Or did you stay at home in your pj all day, eat leftover pasta for lunch then attempt to whip up a proper decent dinner? Because if you did, high five! I did too. Continue reading

Cha Soba Bowl with Orange-Miso Dressing

 

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Some people loathe early Christmas decorations. I don’t. To me the anticipation before any holiday is the most exciting part of it. You plan activities, organize meet-ups, shop for gifts, watch people shop for gifts while sipping coffee resting from all the shopping you’ve done. Then all of a sudden, Christmas passes, and soon enough you find yourself humming to festive songs with dragon dance drums playing at the background. Early decoration for Tết – the equivalent of Chinese New Year in Vietnam – is never a sin either. Continue reading

The No-Recipe Roll-it-yourself Platter

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Recently two of my very close friends (one of them an expert in pumpkin prep) decided that their current jobs have become too much to bear. There comes a point when all the long working hours, the taxing straining professional relationships and the constant supervision will no longer justify the monthly paycheck. There comes a point when the learning curve stagnates and you start churning out results like a robot. They have reached that point, and they quit. Continue reading

September and My Xôi Memories

Autumn. September. Time to get back to school. Streets are full of motorcycles with students in uniform at the back seat carrying colorful backpacks. School entrance is a battleground of various sounds demanding to be heard: lively music celebrating the wonderful student life and how exciting it is to learn new things, chattering from breakfast vendors whose trade relies entirely on a bicycle, gas buzzing from the pump of balloon sellers (my primary school requires each student to bring a balloon to release to the sky so yes balloon business thrives on 5th September), and of course the first-school-day encouraging and motivating conversations between parents and their children. That is the picture you can paint for any primary schools. When students grow older, 5th September seems less of a fun fair and more of an orderly unloading bay, where parents drop children off and then leave for work. Continue reading