Friendly Friday:
Is Koji the New Cool Kid Coming to Your Kitchen?

When is fusion food a good idea? Seems worth a try, especially in the case of Koji!

In this week’s installment of Friendly Friday: shoutout to one of my favorite podcasts for their inspiration-sparking episode this week, Gastropod:

Listen: Meet Koji, Your New Favorite Fungus (Gastropod)

Read: The Science of Koji – Cook’s Science (by Gastropod co-producer C. Graber)

Try: Koji- Cured Grilled Salmon Recipe (Saveur Magazine)

I find this especially a propo, since I’ve been getting into different kinds of non-refrigeration experiments, like pickles, adobo, and sourdough starter. It’s a great way to save money, food, and explore parts of our heritage tied to non-electric food preservation.

Have you tried Koji or other new fermentation-related foods?

Contact me or comment below to share your adventures and delight!

Pro-Tip Tuesday:
Alt Uses for a Water Bottle While on the Road 1

Discovery in the desert, Moab, Utah near Arches National Park:

While on the road, you can use a large Nalgene bottle (or other water bottle) as a stand-in for a foam roller to roll out your thighs and other muscles, a great plus if you, say, went for a hike while car camping and have sore muscles! For my petite frame, my size water bottle worked (see slightly awkward feature photo for this post). If you have larger thighs, try a longer water bottle. Gonna be thirsty anyway.

For a video demo: Kinetic Sports Rehab’s Youtube video on how to foam roll your quads, my local neighborhood therapist.

For other ideas on foam roller usage: Runner’s World Foam Roller How-to

Also see: Pro-Tip Tuesday: Alt Uses for a Water Bottle While on the Road 2

Moab Vignette

View of the Moab Desert, Utah around 5AM 4-17-2017.

Bonus post for you subscribers!

When I close my eyes, I can still see the desert.

I look down and toe the red-brown dirt at my feet. I look up, and a vast horizon unfolds before me, the carpet of dirt for miles, dotted with the occasional tenacious yellow-green scrub bush. Far beyond, a ribbon wall of canyon cliffs lines the horizon. It is striped vermillion, pink, and a subtle purple in the dawn light. Distant rocky mountains toooed with snow peek out from beyond some unseen border. Above, the sky begins to lighten to its blue blue tint for the day, a vast and airy canopy smudged by some unseen but zealous artist with wisps of cloud.

The fresh bracing air whispers by, and carries a faint low of distant cows breaking their fast.

When I close my eyes, I can still see the desert, and it whispers in my ear with tranquil calm from eons of age.

What to Know About Your Phone for International Travel
Taiwan Pro-Tip Edition

SIM Card Rental & Local Pay Options $ < Global Data Plan $$$

Did you know: you can rent a SIM card or cell phone when you arrive at the airport in Taiwan?

I found this out once I was there, after already having purchased my $10-a-day global data plan with AT&T. AT&T would charge for each day the plan was used and meant if you stayed 8 days, you’d be charged $80 to use the same options as your regular plan back home. Turns out instead, you can rent a SIM card for your cell phone from the airport at a much cheaper rate, and then use your phone as usual.  E.g. as of the writing of this post, if you get a 7-day pass with 240hrs of data at NT500 that’s about $16.61 USD. You could also Continue Reading

Taiwan Adventures – Going “Home” Part 2

 Recap of What I Expected to Find in Taiwan:
(see Taiwan Adventures – Going Home 1 for the full intro)

-Familiar but unfamiliar: being too-rusty in language skills, feeling a stranger in a friendly city
-Pollution galore

What did I find?


Arrival


Aah, that southern Chinese accent! Familiar, just …familiar.
I walked off the plane to find the Taiwan scents and accents floating around only familiar. It’s this kind of lush, humid smell with a subtle industrious undercurrent. Not as plastic as Hong Kong, with a strong hint of tropics. Delightfully homey.

Sometimes when I hear another language, it sounds like something on the edge of my hearing, where I can’t quite understand but if I listen a little more in a different way, it’ll make sense. It’s like a whisper of misty rain, sifting by and gone before you know it. It also didn’t feel like I was drowning in a foreign language.
In Taiwan, like a tranquil pool, I was happy to sit in it and let the words float by in a sea of general comprehension. Some waters were in other unknown dialects, like Hakka and Taiwanese, but those friendly waters floated by harmlessly. Continue Reading

Going Home
Taiwan Adventures 1

Dear reader,
I’m trying something different this time with the writing. Let me know how it goes. Thanks!
Y

Belonging is a funny thing. As an Asian American kid growing up in Minnesota, I just wanted to be like everyone else I knew. My mother (born in Taiwan) persistently spoke to me in Chinese despite my brother and I coming home from school and responding in English for about ..twelve years. My parents sent me to Chinese language school on Saturday mornings. Despite being a good student on weekdays, come Saturday morning, I would just put down all the words I’d crammed for the quiz Friday night, wistfully think of the cartoons on tv I was missing while in class, then get on with my day.* Perhaps this allowed me to continue pretending I would grow up to be 6 feet tall, blond-haired and blue-eyed, with Scandinavian features when I grew up (it’s Minnesota, people look like that).

This April, an opportunity came up for me to go to Taiwan. Unlike last Fall, this one worked with my schedule and current obligations and seemed a good chance to go explore places where my mother grew up. It would be my first time back in 16 years. I say “back,” but honestly, I’ve been to Taiwan three times in my life: Continue Reading

Blog News: How to Get Food the Wong Way, Right Away?

What do you call some one who works on contract for a scribe? A sub-scriber!

A yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk. How do you get Food the Wong Way posts right away? A short bit of blog news here: you can now subscribe to get email alerts via the ‘Subscribe!’ option on this main page. On full web browser: it’s to the right, below the ‘Hello’ section. On mobile: it’ll be below that ‘Hello’ section at the very bottom of your browser. I promise not to sell your info to a spam list.

Little-known secret: not everything that goes up here goes up on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram accounts, and some times what does go up did not go up right away. Thanks for putting up with my corny jokes. ;D I made that one up myself, just for you.