Game of Thrones

I want Tryion’s brilliance, Sansa’s regality, Arya’s spirit, Ned’s cognizance, Cersei’s long hair, Jamie’s knighthood, Daenery’s followers, and Snow’s conviction.

Plus a direwolf or two.

#gameofthrones

Advertisements

10 Cantonese Foods That Make You Legit

The Satisfaction of a List

We’re more than Char Siu, Lo Mein, and Jook (Rice Porridge.) We eat all edible parts of the animal – in soup, with rice, and by themselves- and they most likely have tons of nonsensical health benefits as touted by your Cantonese mother.

1. Pig Blood Curd

Pig Blood CurdWikipedia
Rectangular cubes of coagulated, solidified pig’s blood most seen in Hot Pot or as a kebab. It’s thick, gelatinous, chewy, and has a distinct flavor – blood, but all in all the flavor is lighter than you’d expect and adds a nice consistency to the right dish.

2. Fish Eyeballs

Fish Eyeballs

angela n./Flickr

Cantonese steamed fish is fantastically prepared. It’s one of the few Cantonese dishes that uses a lightened version of soy sauce that’s mixed first with water and then oil. The fish is topped with beautiful and fresh pieces of ginger, cilantro, and scallions. It’s presumably fresh… if you’re in a restaurant with multiple fish tanks and a net, which brings me to my point. This is legit because you’ve most likely had it at a banquet in a large seafood restaurant and your parents most likely plucked that eye out with chopsticks and jokingly successfully or unsuccessfully got you to eat that eyeball. I did and am not a fan.

3. Chicken Feet

Chicken Feet

If you have Chinese friends, this one may be the most recognizable to you because chicken feet is usually ordered as dim sum. It’s the Chinese sushi in terms of a general, nameable go-to fare. Chicken feet look odd and have the color palette of orange chicken. They’re not intimidating though; it’s just skin. The flavor is fat along with garnishes of chili, sometimes peanuts, and thick black bean sauce. The oiliness of the dish captures the spirit of quintessential Cantonese cuisine.

4. Prawn Heads

Prawn Heads

Special*Dark/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 / Via chinesefood.about.com

Now this is a snack! Unless you’re eating it as a meal with rice and stir-fried green beans, it’s comparable to crinkle fries or popcorn chicken, but in a higher class. After all, it’s real seafood. Topped with jalapenos and fried garlic, peppered and salted, it’s traditionally eaten skin-on and with the head in true Cantonese style. Please, eat it whole. It’s deep-fried and the mushy brain blends rather silkily with the seasoned, chitinous shell and the thick, juicy meat of the prawn.

5. Cantonese Snails (Periwinkles)

Cantonese Snails (Periwinkles)

Irene N. / Via yelp.com

Not your typical escargot lathered in butter and pesto sauce, these miniature snails, or periwinkles, are only 1-2 centimeters and so their meat can be difficult to extract for the inexperienced. If you don’t want to spend an embarrassing amount of time heaving or choking trying to suck it out, use a toothpick for the job. Tastes like: your average chewy mollusk, but with a twist. That magical Cantonese infusion of soy, garlic, ginger, star anise, and greens will have you sucking the slug out of it.

6. Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

My least favorite vegetable, bitter melon has a bitterness that is impossible to completely mask. It’s a warty, pickle-shaped gourd sliced thinly and mixed with eggs and either tomatoes or meat. You can also find it chopped and stuffed in a bell pepper. I would never order this voluntarily, but my favorite vegetables are broccoli and brussels sprouts, two of America’s most reviled. Don’t form an opinion on bitter melon without trying it, its taste is inimitable and its bitterness rare in common cuisine.

7. Pig’s Feet

Pig's Feet

Yum! Braised in thickened dark and light soy sauce along with Chinese wine, brown sugar, star anise, and oyster sauce, pig’s feet is cooked until it looks less intimidating. It culminates in a hearty and browned tenderness. It’s comfort food and that fat to meat ratio hits a near 50/50 that’s unparalleled everywhere but the rest of the pig.

8. Chicken Gizzard

Chicken Gizzard

Gege à la Gomme / Via pinterest.com

I may have misspoken on #3. Gizzards are quite popular worldwide. Reminiscent of lengua in tacos, they’re meaty, but texturally not quite meat. The gizzard is a digestive organ so it’s tough, muscular, and bounces. It’s mainly served either as a snack as seen in the picture above or on a skewer and has a factor of less than one on the repulsive scale.

9. Stinky Tofu

Stinky Tofu

JLim02 / Via foodiehub.tv

So what do I mean by stinky? It’s fermented, pungent, you’ll grimace, and the smell will overpower the room immediately upon its cooking. Typically deep fried, it smells like a dirty boot – but so can whisky. I say it’s Tofu 2.0 because of its audacity and mature open-mindedness. You’ll hold your nose, bite into the rubbery skin flavored with hot soy sauce and chili sauce, and taste a spongy, aerated, less smelly, slightly sweet, substantial piece of bean curd.

10. Shark Fin Soup

Shark Fin Soup

avlxyz / Via Flickr: avlxyz

Controversy alert, I’m aware. Unsustainable and cruel in practice, Shark Fin Soup has some deep-seated cultural roots. In Chinese weddings, it’s the tossed, bridal bouquet or the floral, three tiered cake. Served last, it completes the onslaught of back to back to back dishes. It signifies wealth, respect, and luxury. Its stringy, sinewy texture pairs well with the gooey, warm, and jelly-like soup. Undeniably delicious, but also pricey. More likely that I had the affordable and eco-friendly alternatives of lobster or abalone, which are just as good and guilt-free.

CONTINUE HERE

Happy Belated Earth Day, Earth

Earth

Jenny Huynh's photo.

Carl Sagan abolishes any inkling of self-importance and human conceit in grandly scaling us back 6 billion kilometers to view our place in space. It’s a lovely place, a churning world, a place of survival and diversity, but a place that has become self-destructive globally and individualistic personally. Here in the US, our social construct idolizes self gain and wealth: pursue your goals and you’ve earned it, no social responsibility attached. Carl Sagan tries to underscore our littleness so that we may appreciate our being and our world, but our being here in modern society is so pigeon-holed and disconnected and our world is so ideologically and geographically split that the big picture is unfortunately out of the picture. Until we can discuss philosophy and sustainability seriously in the 3rd grade along with the solar system, until there is a world threatening Armageddon, until we actually care enough about one another to care about humankind, or until families don’t need to worry as much about providing food and normal childhood necessities, the environmental comprehension of our planet’s future will remain moving at a snail’s pace.

The Beginning 4.21.16

Goodbye Xanga, Hello WordPress

Back in the 2000’s, Xanga was the preferred blogging platform, thee best with over 27 million users. At my high school, we used it to share our content[1], adolescent event filled days evidenced by endearing and free-hearted photos uploaded via PictureTrail.

I don’t know about others but in actuality, I used it as a private diary, and I let any stinging, open, opaque wounds or negative ideas fester in anger, hatred, and resentment. It pulsated aggressively and it grew unrestrained because it never found its correct outlet. To this day, I probably still do not have the well-adjusted ‘adult’ approach in dealing with emotions on the whole.

Now at 27, I am publishing entries[2] I once wrote in secret. I can only think of 5 Xangians who can probably recall the entries I did share and who left favorable comments on my ‘writing’. My entries are vain, self-absorbed, but likely to still echo a boxed in reality preteens still live in. I think I want these entries to speak to individuals in the same age range these posts represent, because in an age of Instagram and Facebook, everything seems so superficially happy, so pictorially validated that words and ideas have fallen quite bleakly on the wayside; but I still want to speak to people of my age who feel lost and uncertain in their current being. Who knows, maybe it’s just me.

The capability to write proficiently, I feel, did get me into the college of my dreams as a junior in high school, and I feel does matter so deeply in the mechanisms and reliefs of our brain, heart, and feelings. The correlation between literacy and “success” is no joke.

I want to do what I love. I haven’t accomplished that yet and I haven’t ever tried. This is a small step towards a passion I envisioned ten years ago. There’s a reason why artists are popularly represented in black. It is so difficult to express yourself so openly – for me, in a reserved and ‘proper’, unimposing culture – for me, because I am fearful and afraid to trust – for everyone because very few of us prefer judgment and vulnerability. I’ve always wanted to write but writing, ideally editorially, at my aptitude always felt so subpar or inept. It’s no research journal I’m attempting to author and no novel I’m selling to MGM. My aim is not a Pulitzer; my aim is not Chanel shades or a Hermes bag; my aim is a voice, a speck, a speck Calvin so eloquently screamed at the vast skies, “I’M SIGNIFICANT.”

[1] (kənˈtent/ adjective 1. in a state of peaceful happiness; not the noun now coincidentally referring to uploaded craft)

[2] Select entries