TRYING JAPANESE CANDY!!

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Let’s investigate Japanese candies.   But let’s begin with a candy that in America we know and love in one flavor, the Kit Kat.  But in Japan there are at least 15 flavors of Kit Kat.

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Northridge,CA: Szechuan Place

Spicy wonton soup

Spicy Wonton Soup- Photo by Crystal A. Johnson

While going to do my laundry at a strip mall, a vibrant place caught my attention called the Szechuan.  Something about it even from afar screamed authentic.  The crowd mostly, if not all Asians except me tends to validate my authenticity suspicion.

The restaurant has an extensive menu.  Things caught my attention like Szechuan pork, a couple nearby sharing tofu stew,  and corn chowder soup.  However, I settled on something that I don’t see everyday which is spicy wonton soup.   This is not you standard American Chinese won ton soup.   Instead it is a mixture of chili oil, broth, green onions and garlic and my wontons were filled with pork.  Though, I enjoyed the flavor,  I did think it was too oily.  I would like to maybe had more broth based.  It was very rich.  The garlic and green onion tasted very fresh.   I also order some crispy spring roll that were perfectly crispy and the vegetables inside tasted fresh and were crunchy.

I believe this restaurant is relatively new.  The service was extremely slow but the staff was very nice.

The decor is beautiful.  It make you kind of forget you are in s strip mall by a laundry mat and cleaners.  I definitely would like to explore some of the other dishes.

Szechuan Place

The restaurant is located by California State Northridge University.  It should do well and better than previous establishments in that location.

Where: 9250 RESEDA BLVD UNIT #7-8 NORTHRIDGE 91324

Chinese New Year at the Kennedy Center

Chinese New Year: Shenzhen Pop Music Show

FRI, FEB 5, 6:00 PM, 2016

FREE on the Millennium Stage, no tickets required. This performance features pop music artists from Shenzhen, including the band Jam You, female singers Tsinger and Majia Jiado, male singer Ray M, and rappers Too Phat.


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Chinese New Year: Family Day Activities

SAT, FEB 6, 11:00 AM, 2016

FREE throughout the day, no tickets required. Activities highlighting Chinese culture will be offered for kids of all ages–from Chinese paper cutting lessons to Beijing Opera stage makeup demonstration and costume dress-up.

Los Angeles Korean Festival

Already on its 42nd year, the Los Angeles Korean Festival has become a yearly event promoting the Korean culture as well as providing an instrument in which the different cultures of Los Angeles can come together in fun and entertainment. With the different cultural communities in Los Angeles and free admission, the Los Angeles Korean Festival does a wonderful job in promoting the Korean culture as well as advocating the cultural diversity, a characteristic that defines the city of Los Angeles is known for. With the idea of multiculturalism in mind, the Los Angeles Korean Festival has grown to be one of the largest ethnic celebrations in the nation.

There are festivals—-and then there’s LA Korean Festival. By weaving a deep-rooted fascination with culture, community, history and humanity through everything we do—from the expo to the global adventures we undertake —LA Korean Festival Foundation transcend run-of-the-mill with experimental and diverse take on a culture-based Festival. Burdened stereotype and presumptions of it being too traditional and “boring”; anticipation and the element of surprise possess the Festival goers with an utter sense of excitement with every year’s never-ending improvements, the LA Korean Festival is about to rock the city of Los Angeles.

When: Oct 1 through 4th

Where:

Seoul International Park
3250 San Marino St
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Koreatown

Click for Parking Coupon

Korean Festival

http://www.lakoreanfestival.org/en/photo.php

http://www.lakoreanfestival.org/en/food.php

Asia: About Barley Tea

Roasted barley tea is a caffeine-free, roasted-grain-based infusion made from barley, which is popular in Japanese, barleyChinese, and Korean cuisine. It is also used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute in American cuisine. Barley water is a popular traditional soft drink in Britain.

Roasted barley tea is called mugicha (?) in Japanese, dàmàichá (大麦茶) or màichá (麦茶 or 麥茶) in Mandarin Chinese, and boricha (보리차) in Korean. While the tea is generally regarded as a cooling beverage in Japan, it is served year-round, mild in summer and cool in winter, in Korea. Originally, roasted barley seeds were stewed in hot water (this is still the method generally used in Korea), but tea bags containing ground barley became more popular during the early 1980s; this is now the norm in Japan. It can be found from many different distributors in vending machines all over Japan.

In Korea, roasted unhulled barley is used to prepare the tea. Often the barley is combined with oksusu cha (roasted corn), as the corn’s sweetness offsets the slightly bitter flavor of the barley. A similar drink, made from roasted brown rice, is called hyeonmi cha or genmaicha (with green teaadded).

Health Benefit

Roasted barley tea was found to inhibit bacterial colonization and adhesion, specifically with respect to the major cause of tooth decay also implicated in cardiovascular diseases, Streptococcus mutans biofilms.[2] It also lowers blood viscosity, proportional to the level of alkylpyrazine in the tea

Vietnamese Meatballs Recipe

At the Los Angeles Times the The Taste Event, MCCN’s editor got the chance to try some delicious lamb meatballs from a restaurant called the Asian Box.  We got to interview to the chef.  He described his lamb meatball Vietnamese street food.  In Vietnam, meatballs (thịt viên hay mọc, bò viên, cá viên) can be used as an ingredient in phở and hủ tiếu. It is also common to cook meatballs in tomato sauce, and finely chopped spring onion and peppers are added before serving. In bún chả (a specialty Vietnamese rice noodle), meatballs are grilled to be chả and served with bún (rice noodles) and dipping sauce (based on fish sauce seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, and chili). Xíu Mại is a pork meatball in a tomato sauce often served with a baguette.

See Recipe

Bengali Soup – Orange Split Lentils with Tomatoes and Cilantro

This is a weeknight variation of orange split lentils which are extremely versatile because of their quick cooking time and naturally mild and Bengali soupadaptive taste. They are comforting, simple, and as basic as it gets. Everyone in my family, including my children, loves this lentil. This light variation is a summertime favorite but can be enjoyed as a soup in winter, if desired, with some hot buttered whole wheat toast.

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes

  • ½ cup dried orange/red split lentils (masoor dal)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Put the lentils and 3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the turmeric, salt, and green chilies and cook for about 15 minutes. While the lentils are boiling a scum may form on the surface, gently remove this while the lentils
are cooking.

Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Mix the mixture well—it should have a nice soupy consistency that is not too thin or too thick.

Heat the ghee in a small skillet on medium heat for about 1 minute and add the cumin seeds and wait till the seeds begin to sizzle. Pour this seasoned ghee over the lentils and stir in the cilantro.

 

Recipes from THE BENGALI FIVE SPICE CHRONICLES: Exploring the Cuisine of Eastern India
By Rinku Bhattacharya

Filipino Sweet Spaghetti

A staple Filipino dish is Sweet Spaghetti.  Meats tend to include hot dogs, Vienna sausage and ground beef.  According to Pinoyfoodblog, “Before Jollibee or even Tropical Hut came out with the Filipino version of the Italian Spaghetti, there was Makati Supermarket’s spaghetti sold in their coffee shop in the early sixties. This is probably how the sweetish Filipino spaghetti evolved. ”    Click to See Recipe

Polynesia: Otai Recipe

The modern Tongan recipe is most well-known today is usually a blend of water(1cup), cream of one coconut (1), shredded coconut meat, and any variety of grated tropical fruits, most commonly watermelon(1/4 of medium size), mango and pineapple(1), with watermelon being the most usedWatermelon drink in the Tongan Islands. Sugar is usually added to taste.

Tongan historians have noted this version is a very modern take on the traditional Polynesian ʻotai, especially since milk, refined sugar, watermelons, mangos, and pineapples are all introduced, foreign ingredients that were not native to Tonga. The original Tongan recipe was said to be identical to the Samoan recipe, except the preferred native fruit was not ambarella (vi), but the Tongan mountain apple, called fekika. In Samoa, this distinction of “native” and “introduced” recipes is differentiated as “ʻotai” only refers to the drink prepared with vi fruit, while the ʻotai made with European-introduced fruits are respectively called vai meleni (watermelon drink), vai mago (mango drink), or vai fala (pineapple drink).

The mixture was poured into large, empty coconut shells corked with coconut husk and allowed to chill in cold pools of water (or behind waterfalls) before serving.