Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Family: East Meets West: BBQ Short Ribs to Mohinga (Burmese Fish Soup)

From time to time, I invite others to write guest posts on my blog.  Here's one from my brother, Ron, about our annual Pre-Labor Day BBQ celebration.

Marinated Charred Short Ribs

Thanks to Po's afternoon milk tea, I find myself still awake at 3am, so I decided to write about our fantastic backyard family and friends summer gathering that was inspired by Burmese food vendors serving traditional dishes at a Nibban Zay fundraising event held at a Burmese Temple in Manalapan, N.J. Back in early August, friends of mine, Mark Pochaw and Jenny Chin, forwarded a menu of Burmese foods that were going to be offered at the temple. It sounded delicious, so we decided to attend. After having eaten traditional Burmese foods, I decided to serve traditional Mohinga (Burmese Lemongrass Fish Soup), fried fritters, Lat Thoke vegetarian noodles paired with BBQ ribs, flank steak and curry yogurt chicken at our family event.
Mark's cousin Vera, one of the temple vendors, was kind enough to prepare the Mohinga fish soup, which we decided to pair with Pae Kyaw fritters from another vendor. Aunty Vera and Mark threw themselves into gathering and preparing the Mohinga ingredients, an endeavor that took on a life of its own. They used as many of the traditional Mohinga ingredients as possible including lemongrass, catfish, and rare young banana stem bark which is not available in New York. It was flown from Florida to Albany on Wednesday, transported to Queens, cooked all day Saturday, and on Sunday found itself in the stomachs of friends and family in Short Hills, NJ, people with backgrounds from the US, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Saint-Tropez, France, Thailand and Vietnam, among others.

Banana Bark for Cooking Mohinga (Burmese Lemongrass Fish Soup)

We truly enjoyed Vera's Mohinga, which was amazingly, soulfully delicious and brought back memories of sitting on wooden stools eating the fish soup on street corners in Yangon, Burma. With a full stomach and a touch of insomnia, I'd like to thank my friends and family for coming to this memorable summer backyard gathering. Also again, thanks to Mark, Aunty Vera, Jenny Chin, my sister-in-law Yin Yin,  Pae Kyaw Fritter vendor Daw Si Si Cho and U Michael.



What food adventures have you had lately? Send us your pics or recipes!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Food Talk: Holy Basil!

I often get my brain picked on for my expertise with exotic drinks from various Asian regions;  whether with modern-global touches or with traditional roots.  This time, I asked two renowned bars and their mixologists for their favorite herbal concoctions.

One of my favorite spots when I am in Bangkok is the Q Bar.  This recipe is courtesy of "Travelin Matt".

Thai Basil by Travelin Matt
4 lime wedges
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 oz vodka
Fresh watermelon
Fresh Basil (4-5 Leaves)
Ice Cubes
Sprite to top off

1 Muddle Brown Sugar and lime first
2 Muddle watermelon
3 Add basil leaves (no muddle)
4 Add vodka
5 Add ice cubes
6 Top off with sprite or 7-up
7 stir strongly (Mojito Style)
8 Garnish with basil leaf and watermelon wedge

Private VIP Lounge of Q Bar

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Food Talk: Away from the Big Apple; From Farm to Table

When my friend Alan Adelson invited me to his house in the Catskills for dinner to talk about his new documentary film project, we didn't hesitate.    
  Gallery and Art Studio of Turquoise barn

Thursday night after work on MTA train to Poughkeepsie takes me and my partner to the heart of the Hudson Valley, where we picked up a rental car. 
For the next three days, we had enjoyed very much being vegan with the abundance of fresh farm grown vegetables to varieties of melons in the rolling hills by the Hudson Valley. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Entertainment: Summer Outdoor Fun

Summertime begins in the month of March for me every year, as I've been planning outdoor celebrations from weddings to a child's first birthday. Why not celebrate your special occasions with gatherings at a farm or on your own roof top. The beautiful weather will make it easier and merrier to create a simple, yet smart party planning.

Coming up with a fun ideal menu, like BBQ Striped Bass with Refreshing Tomato Vinaigrette or aromatic grilled Balinese Chicken Satay. And you can always make outdoor meals ahead of time so you can enjoy the wonderful company and setting.  Make simple rustic arrangements where your guests can participate with the setting by helping themselves to some Hibiscus Lemonade.  That's a party that can't be beat!