Category Archives: Asian

Dina’s Best of 2017

As 2017 ends, it’s a time to reflect on all the delicious meals and treats I had this year.  I had some firsts this year that have become favorites:  pupusas,

pasteis de nata (Portuguese egg custard tarts),

pasteis de nata

adjaruli khachapuri (a Georgian boat-shaped bread filled with sulguni cheese and topped with an egg and butter)

and hot pot. 

hot pot at Good Harvest

It was a year of great food with the exception of two disappointing meals, one at one of those cheesy (pun intended) fondue restaurants that served mediocre cheese and another at the much-acclaimed Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina.  I had high hopes for Chef & the Farmer, especially since I lived in southeastern North Carolina for a number of years and know its farming history, but it turned out to be up there with my Dovetail experience a few years back as one of the worst restaurant meals I’ve ever had.  Regardless, I ate well this year, especially on my New Jersey pizza tour. 

pizza

I declared Star Tavern in Orange, NJ, and Brooklyn’s Coal-Burning Brick-Oven Pizza in Hackensack, NJ, as the best overall pizza in New Jersey with Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville, NJ, having the most traditional and flavorful crust. 

ice cream

I did a best ice cream in New Jersey tour too.  My favorite ice cream was from 

  1. Denville Dairy in Denville, NJ–the creamiest soft-serve ice cream.
  2. Magnifico’s in East Brunswick, NJ–best cherry-dipped cone.
  3. Cookman Creamery in Asbury Park, NJ–delicious vegan options.

I discovered Calandra’s Bakery and returned to my childhood with delicious pepperoni bread as well as many other great pastries.


There was a lot more, but these stand out as the most memorable of the year.

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New Jersey Ice Cream, Day 11: Ice Hot Teppanyaki, Wildwood, NJ

There are some long lines at Ice Hot Teppanyaki on the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ, but they are not as long as the lines for this type of ice cream in New York City.  So I could finally try it.  It is as fun watching these guys make the ice cream as it is to eat it.  The cream is poured onto a freezing metal surface and manipulated with a spatula until it starts to harden.

Other ingredients are added in,

then it is rolled into a cylindrical shape,

put into a cup, and topped with fruit or cookies, etc. This style of ice cream seems to have originated in Thailand but it is called teppanyaki because a Japanese teppanyaki pan is used to make it.  Teppanyaki is food that is cooked on a griddle like what you get at a Japanese steakhouse.

ice cream, teppanyaki

It’s very pretty and very tasty.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor

If you want to get a taste of old New York, you have to go to Doyers Street.  It is the cutest little street in Chinatown.  Its curved, narrow shape gives you a good idea of what New York was like back in the day.  It’s also where you can find Nom Wah Tea Parlor.

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The restaurant opened in 1920 with its original location being next door to its current one.  It’s a no-frills place to get dim sum.  On my visit, I got a fried tofu skin roll with mixed vegetables.  This was fried to perfection, crispy and delicious.

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Also got yummy vegetarian dumplings.

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And Shanghai soup dumplings.  They were good but not as good as the gold standard, Joe’s Shanghai.

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Finally, got the rice roll with the fried dough.  This sounded good in theory, but it was a bit too carb-heavy for me.

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How to Get Free Onigiri at Wasabi Sushi & Bento

From February 18 through 28, the NYC location of Wasabi Sushi & Bento is celebrating its first birthday by giving away free onigiri to any customer who tags a photo @Wasabi_NYC!  Just show your post at checkout. 

Crock-pot Coconut Curry Chicken

Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY in celebration of my 1000th post!

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I made this crock-pot coconut curry chicken from Practical Stewardship.  I especially liked this dish because it had turmeric.  I’m using a lot of turmeric now because it is good for you.  This dish was delicious and tasted just like something I’d get from an Indian restaurant.  I have a crock-pot, but I don’t know why I never use it.  I didn’t saute the onion–just chopped it and added it to the crock-pot.  I only used one clove of garlic (I’m not a fan of garlicky things).  I didn’t use the red bell pepper at all (I don’t like them).  And I used dry ginger.  Also didn’t chop the chicken.  I ate this sans rice because I prefer a low-carb meal.  I was very happy with the results, and I will be adding this to my rotation.

Mid-Autumn Festival

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!  I’m celebrating with some moon cakes.  I got these at an Asian market.

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They came in a nice tin with a pretty gift bag.

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Aren’t they lovely?

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One has salted yolk and one doesn’t.  I like the salted yolk one best.  It was a bit salty with a peanutty taste (from the peanut oil).

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Last year, I tasted one a friend had gotten from a bakery.  Of course it was better–much more pronounced peanut flavor, flakier crust and very delicious.

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Ramen Dinner

Guess what I had for dinner last night?

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Homemade with marinated eggs.  Yum!

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