Understanding the World of Chinese Morning Tea

“Dim Sum”   ,  “Yum Cha”  ,  “Morning Tea”   or  “Zao Cha”

Drinking Tea has always been an important part in the daily routines of most Chinese people, but Morning Tea specifically has been enjoyed by Cantonese Chinese  for hundreds of years. Nowadays Morning Tea, Yum Cha, or Zao Cha are all ways to describe the activity Westerners might call “Brunch”,  and Dim Sum refers to the dishes that are served at this leisurely mealtime. As with much international Chinese culture, this tradition has it’s roots in Guangdong province, but is practiced regularly throughout Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Chinatowns worldwide. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for first-time morning tea patrons!

Kungfu Tea at your Table

Kung fu Tea

Don’t miss the chance to Pao Cha with your hosts while you sip on piping hot kung fu tea in small tea cups. All Morning Tea establishments provide the option of small tea sets with boiling hot water that you can use to make tea at your table. Sometimes the tea alone costs as much as the food, but worth it for first-time visitors. A common favorite among Cantonese is Pu-er tea, which is a darker tea that reminds me of coffee. It’s known for aiding disgestion and doubles as a dieting tea.

An alternative to Kung Fu tea is just a simple pot of house brew that varies place to place. The cups are usually bigger too. Continue reading Understanding the World of Chinese Morning Tea

Asian Secret #1 Hangover Cure

A Delicious Hangover Cure

Head ringing after ringing in the new year? Drink your meals today. Eat soup, porridge, or noodles.

A traditional Korean hangover cure called “Haejangguk” and has been eaten since the late 1300s contains cabbage and ox blood in beef soup. Chinese often eat Congee(porridge) to fight a hangover or illness. A savory congee for lunch is a great choice.

Whatever you do, make sure you get extra liquids and vegetables in your diet today. Feel better!

Continue reading Asian Secret #1 Hangover Cure

Robo Ricecookers

Cooking Rice in Style

I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but today I finally bought a rice cooker! Maybe because I’ve been a bread person my whole life I never thought buying a machine specifically for cooking rice was important. But since I’ve been in Asia I have eaten rice just about everyday and loved it. After years of fluffy white rice at restaurants and friend’s houses, I’ve developed a taste for this healthy staple. But when it was time to start looking for one at the supermarket, what I wasn’t prepared for the endless choices in front of me.

There are TONS of rice cooker options on the shelves in Chinese supermarkets, but most of them look pretty ugly. And since I’m not a “heavy” rice eater, I figured the huge 5-6 liter mutha rice cookers wouldn’t be my thing. So, I set out to find a small one that would be an interesting addition to our kitchen here. That’s when I met “Robo”. Continue reading Robo Ricecookers

The “Too Healthy” Complex

I’m not sure where this all came from, but while I was growing up in Middle-America 1990s, I specifically remember people getting called out as “Health Freaks” or “Health Nuts.” For whatever reason, which I’m finding bewildering today, a person who chose to eat Toufu or drink Soy products was trying too hard to be healthy. As clear as day, I remember other kids saying “my mom drinks soy milk at breakfast and its gross!” Another would say “What a health freak!”

Well, we all avoided those too-healthy things and stayed in the safe zone. Phew! But what is so scary about soy milk? I drink it a few times a week now that I’m in Asia. Its popular with children here too. Its part of a balanced breakfast, which also includes porridge(congee), hard boiled eggs, scallions and salty tubers. It’s delicious with a little bit of sugar too. (And I’m sure its healthier than coffee!)

As I enjoy the Asian diet everyday here, I find that a lot of my Western diet starts to disappear. I only eat toast with peanut butter because I miss home sometimes. I only eat a large hamburger or pizza when I go on a pricey date with my girlfriend. I eat chips with salsa or dip when I’m home for Christmas. Sandwiches have lost their flavor for me. Salad is also flavorless, and is nothing more than uncooked vegetables in my mind. I’m not a health nut, I just like Asian food better.