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Chinese

Call me boring, but my standard for xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings, is the ones from Joe’s Shanghai in New York. I’ve had excellent xiaolongbao in Vancouver, too, and of course, the best ones were probably those from Din Tai Fung in Taipei, but Joe Shanghai makes the most consistently tasty ones out of those I’ve had stateside. So when I had friends rave about the soup dumplings at Shanghai Cafe, I had to give them a try. We stopped in mid-afternoon on a Friday and were seated immediately. The place

I first heard about Xi’an Famous Foods when Anthony Bourdain featured it on his former show. Once we landed in NYC, since we were in the area, the hubs, our friend, and I decided to stop in at Xi’an for lunch. The outpost we went to was in East Village and tiny, tiny. I’m talking there’s just a few tables lining one wall, a bar lining the other wall, and room down the middle for the queue that ostensibly fills up during meal time. There’s a boombox playing old school

For most of my life, I didn’t care for hot pot;in my opinion, it was a dish in which too many things were going on, and yet they all soaked up the same, monotonous flavor from the boiling broth. That is, until I had Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot when it opened an outpost in Houston some years back. That was where I learned the broth is only half the game. Hot pot is also about the dipping sauce. Since then, hot pot has become a regular meal in our

Piggybacking on my recent posts on eating Din Tai Fung, beef noodle soup, and stinky tofu in Taipei, here’s a video on me trying snacks I brought back from various trips to Asia, including Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan. This is a new series I’m launching on my YouTube channel, and it’s called “Christine Tries.” The fun part about this video is I have no idea what I brought back from Asia (I let my friends pick snacks off the shelves without telling me what they were), and now I’m going

You can’t go to Taipei and not hit up a street market or two, or three…or more. There are many street markets in Taipei, but as I was only there for three days, I only had the chance to hit up two. On one of the afternoons, I went to Ximending, which is more of a shopping district. (Okay, I admit, I wanted to go to UNIQLO.) I sampled a few street foods there, such as the fried chicken cutlet, grilled mochi, oyster vermicelli with pig intestine, and boba tea

I was told by a couple of Taiwanese-American friends that Yong Kang Beef Noodle served some of the best beef noodle soup in Taipei. In the evening after I gave my TEDxTaipei Talk, I rewarded myself with a trip to Yong Kang. I think the first time I ever tasted Taiwanese-style beef noodle soup was at Sanding in Houston. The broth is aromatic with remnants of five-spice, which typically consists of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and peppercorns. In a typical bowl, you’ll find beef (duh), bon choy, medium-width

People say the Din Tai Fung in Taipei is superior to any other outposts in the world, but upon my brief trip to Taiwan in late November to do a TEDxTaipei talk, the only DTF I’ve ever experienced is the one in Taipei. But then there are also multiple outposts within Taipei itself, so which one is supposed to be the best? I didn’t go to the main DTF, but instead dined at the one inside a mall. We went fairly soon after opening hour, and there was already a

They call ‘em “crack wings” (though I prefer not to make light of something as serious as addiction), but yes, this fried chicken from written about San Tung before. I usually get the dried version because that was what was originally recommended to me, so I have no idea how the wet fried chicken tastes. With the dried wings, the skin is crispy and the meat flavorful. I also love their noodles with black bean sauce—chajiangmian—which can also be found in Korean cuisine. Consumer reviews online also rave about their

As promised, this week, I’m delving into foods my hometown of Houston is known for. Of course, being Asian-American and having grown up near an abundance of local Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants (also known as Bellaire Blvd.), I have to talk about the wide variety and quality of east Asian cuisine we’re lucky to call our own. First, a short history of the Vietnamese diaspora: in the 1980s, the first Vietnamese to settle in this city made the area near Hobby airport in south Houston their home. That’s where you’ll

I visited the Bay area last year to host a fun, interactive dinner on behalf of the Guide Dogs for the Blind. During my trip, I got to walk with a guide dog and play with the puppies—catch my GDB adventures in Blind Life episode 9. As always, my not-so-secret agenda with all travels is to EAT. Because the GDB is located in San Raffael, a township to where I’ve never been, I was looking forward to trying something new. The hubs and I asked our favorite food friend from

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