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The Secret of Japanese Mayonnaise

I spent part of my childhood in Japan, which left me with an enduring love for manga and mayonnaise. Specifically, the absolutely delicious Japanese brand of mayonnaise known as Kewpie. Now I know plenty of people make their own homemade mayo, which I’m sure is also extremely tasty, but for those of us can’t eat raw eggs or are just too lazy to whip up a batch, it’s a great option. Kewpie mayo is also beloved by chefs like Momofuku’s David Chang, who called it “the best mayonnaise in the world”(Food & Wine). Read more

The Charms of Liverwurst and Crickets

When I first arrived in America, I was so pleased that I could read all the signs that were in English that it never occurred to me that the average American would not have heard of Enid Blyton. I was thunderstruck. One of the bastions of literature for small children in ex-British colonies all over the world was virtually unknown here, together with creations such as Noddy, the Secret Seven, the Five Find Outers…

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Asian Beer – An Unofficial Taste Test

Lots of people complain that light Asian lagers lack individuality compared to Western beers. However, most Asian beers are designed to be drunk with food and one could argue that their clean profile fits this role admirably. Picture yourself at a roadside stall on a sweltering night, eating spicy seafood while insects commit suicide under carbide lamps. There really isn’t much room to ponder a complicated beer as the sweat trickles down into your underpants. Read more

What Do You Eat When You’re Reading?

Reading and eating are two of my favourite activities. In combination they can be sublime–or deadly. As a child, I almost choked to death while gnawing on a salted apricot. I was lying on the floor, reading a book, when I rolled over to turn the page. At that moment, the seed got stuck in my throat. Read more

Chinese Chicken Soup Recipe

There are many varieties of Chinese soup, some delicious and others quite horrifying. I once ate something with gelatinous globules which later turned out to be rehydrated frogs’ eggs. We were suspicious when my mother refused to drink it herself, despite her insistence that it was “good for children”. Read more

Paper Offerings (1)

A few months ago, I was in Singapore around the time of the Hungry Ghost Festival. This is when paper offerings are burned for the dead to use, the nearest approximation being a Chinese version of the Egyptian afterlife. Read more

Interview: The Next Big Thing

Happy new year! In December, Lori Nelson Spielman, author of the upcoming THE LIFE LIST, tagged me as part of The Next Big Thing, where you answer ten interview questions. Read more